Top Ten Blog Articles of 2019

Throughout the year Synergis Software shares how Adept users find strategic value in the product, and to improve your existing Adept installation. Some of these articles seem to be more popular than others; we think of them as our Top Ten. In 2019, here are the blog posts that you found to be the most valuable:

#10: 3D Printing Dives into Serial Manufacturing Production

For a generation, 3D printing has gradually gained acceptance as a useful tool in product development and manufacturing. More recently manufacturers have begun creating end-use parts. Now companies are starting to look beyond prototyping toward serial production. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/01/09/3d-printing-takes-first-steps-into-serial-manufacturing-production/

#9: The Goldilocks Approach to Data Management

One size fits all? Not in the fairy tale and not in data management. Let Adept right-size how you control, access, and share engineering data. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2016/02/04/the-goldilocks-approach-to-data-management/

#8: The Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid During Engineering Document Management System Implementation, Part 2

Engineering document management system installation isn’t rocket science, but it also isn’t as simple as downloading a smartphone app. Successful implementation requires planning. In this part 2 of a series, the installation experts at Synergis Software share their ideas on what to avoid when implementing Adept. Details:  https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/03/21/the-top-11-mistakes-to-avoid-during-engineering-document-management-implementations-and-upgrades-part-2/ Read More

Gaining New Workflow Efficiency at Fluid Components International

When the senior management of Fluid Components International sent Karyn Dawes and her team on a quest to replace their manual document management with a computer system, their first choice was rejected for cost and complexity. They dug deeper into the marketplace and discovered Synergis Adept. Now they have more than document management, they have a complete engineering information management and workflow solution that serves multiple departments including manufacturing.

Fluid Components International is a world leader in flow and level measurement applications for industrial process and plant applications. They offer their customers a variety of patented thermal dispersion flow measurement technologies, and claim to have the world’s largest installed base of thermal flow meters, flow switches, and level switches. With offices and manufacturing facilities in California, The Netherlands, and China, engineering processes and production workflow were becoming too complicated

“At first everything was in paper,” says Karyn Dawes, Configuration Manager at Fluid Components headquarters in California. From drawings to procedure management with paper drawing logs, “it was all a manual process.”

They were using software for rudimentary document management, a flat file system Dawes says “was becoming obsolete.” They decided their new document management software needed to do more than control CAD files. “We use AutoCAD, Word, and Excel. We needed a program that could handle all these file types. Adept was it.”

Adept has proven to be more than up to the challenge, Dawes says. “I can put anything into Adept; it doesn’t matter what file format. Adept may not see it as a supported file type, but we can still maintain it and put a revision control on it, no matter the file extension. Read More

Calculating the Return on Investment for Adept Engineering Document Management

Almost everyone seems to know a horror story about a big IT project that became the software equivalent of a Money Pit (a house that needs one expensive repair after another). Just as new products or projects must generate a good return on investment (ROI), so must IT projects.

Synergis has worked closely with several of its largest and most experienced customers to quantify the value of Adept in an engineering workgroup. The information provided, when combined with standard industry metrics on typical engineering activities, can become a powerful persuasive force.

Much of the value of Adept is in streamlining or eliminating existing practices, and in providing new more cost-effective work processes. Quite often, the inefficiencies of existing workflow is invisible, as in “but we’ve always done it that way.”

After the interviews with customers, Synergis took their information and created a spreadsheet that allows anyone interested in Adept to study how it can improve workflow and streamline processes. The results are available in a spreadsheet available for download. There is nothing like accurate, believable numbers — especially numbers with dollar signs — to persuade decision makers to invest in a good project like adopting Synergis Adept. Read More

Frost & Sullivan Honors Synergis Software with Global Customer Service Award for Engineering Information Management

Over the years Synergis Adept users have been very loyal to the company. They expand their use of Adept as their company grows, and keep finding new ways to take advantage of Adept as their engineering information management requirements become more sophisticated. Three times Synergis has been recognized as a leader in customer support from Helpdesk International (HDI), and rated #5 in the HDI’s Global Elite 50. Now another independent evaluation company has noticed Synergis. Frost & Sullivan has awarded Synergis Software its 2018 Global Customer Service Leadership Award for Engineering Information Management, citing the company’s “strong overall performance, focus on customers, and long-standing commitment to the engineering information management solutions market.” Read More

5 Reasons to Join the Adept Community Forum

Each year at our annual Adept user’s conference, Adept Experience, attendees tell us that the time they spend networking face-to-face with other Adept users is far and away the best value of the event. So in the spirit of continuing that sense of community and sharing, we set up an open Adept community forum. As important is it is for our users, it’s a way for our developers to interactively relate to our customers all year round.

So, If you’re an Adept customer interested in extending your knowledge of Adept or if you’re a non-user and want to know what our customers are saying about the product before you buy, here are five great reasons why you need to join the community forum now.

Connecting with other Adept users

The single biggest advantage of the Adept community forum is the ability to connect with other Adept users—from newly implemented users to experienced superstars—all in one central hub. People can share ideas and tips with others or ask and answer questions to a simple or complex question, allowing you to extend Adept in ways you’ve never thought possible. Read More

How Adept Streamlines the Composites Business at Toray

Toray Composites is a world leader in a strong growth area, the manufacture of carbon fiber composites for industrial applications. The company has used Synergis Adept for years, helping it to streamline workflow and coordinate teams on three continents.

Toray has been producing carbon fiber composite materials in the USA for more than 20 years. It has become a leading producer of advanced materials for the aerospace industry and other industries including energy and sports equipment. Boeing is a leading client; carbon fiber composite makes up 50% of a Boeing 787 by weight.

Toray Composite’s Journey to Selecting Adept

After years as a CAD and engineering manager for other companies, Phil Fitzgerald was hired by Toray as both document administrator and CAD manager. In 2006, Fitzgerald won approval to find a new document management system for engineering. After examining alternatives, Fitzgerald narrowed their focus to two products, Autodesk Vault and Synergis Adept. Fitzgerald shared his Adept journey at the Adept Experience user conference in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. You can watch a video of the presentation on the Synergis Software YouTube channel. Read More

The Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid During Engineering Document Management Implementations and Upgrades, Part 2

Engineering document management (EDM) systems are a big investment. But while a poorly planned and implemented EDM rollout can cause lost productivity and delays, a successful implementation can help your organization streamline workflows, cut costs, and much more—in other words, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.

In this second installment of the Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid, we’ll be covering the final six mishaps our Applications Consultants see companies make during Adept implementations—and how to avoid them. Head to Part 1 for our first series of must-have tips. Let’s dive in.

Mistake 6: Confusing functionality across products

Choosing the right software solution—and vendor—for your organization requires extensive research, time, and attention. All too often, those performing the software evaluations are tasked with this project on top of an already jam-packed list of daily responsibilities. Keeping track of which solution does what without a score card or requirements list can be challenging. Without documentation on each solution, it can lead to some confusion on which software does what across vendors. Read More

3 Tips for Crushing Information Silos at Work

When you hear the word silo, you might picture the tall round buildings filled with grain. But silos have another meaning in the business world. Virtual silos exist when information is not openly and consistently shared between people or among departments. They are a huge and costly hurdle for any organization that needs to be nimble and competitive on a global scale.

While you may have software tools (like Synergis Adept engineering information management) to manage and organize your information in a centralized repository, your organization may still be lacking the cultural and social skills to make a bridge across disparate teams and global sites.

Crushing Silos

At last year’s Adept Experience, keynote speaker Brian Cristiano, founder & CEO of BOLD Worldwide, a fast-growing media and marketing company headquartered in NYC, brought a fresh and inspiring perspective to crushing silos in the workplace.

Cristiano recently announced a bold goal over the last year: To grow his marketing agency to revenues over $100 million. During this journey, he’s encountered many virtual silos that have hampered growth and collaboration. In his keynote, he shared his real-life tactics on how to crush these silos. Here are his key tips: Read More

The Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid During Engineering Document Management Implementations and Upgrades, Part 1

Rolling out an enterprise-level document management solution across your organization can be a daunting task. While there’s no be-all, end-all method to implementation, setting up enterprise software does require several layers of planning and cross-communication. In fact, the success of the solution often relies as much on the implementation process as it does on the technology itself.

To better understand the do’s and don’ts of implementing your engineering document management system, we asked our Applications Consultants to compile a list of the top 11 mistakes they see companies make during Adept implementations—as well as suggestions on how to prevent these errors.

This installment covers the first 5 of the eleven mistakes to avoid. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll cover the final 6 tips for a successful implementation.

Mistake 1: Assigning too many administrators

One way that organizations stumble early out of the gate is in determining user rights. All too often, our Applications Consultants see companies grant all users Administrator-level access, or give individuals or departments admin rights when they really need low level access.

Limiting the number of Administrators helps to establish a clear line of control and eliminates conflicting approvals. After all, the last thing you need is for someone’s work to be undone by another user. We recommend that you start small and only elevate rights on an as-needed basis.

It’s best to assign one primary administrator and to assign lower level permissions, such as Library Administrator or Workflow Administrator, to designated users.

Mistake 2: Over or underestimating the number of user licenses

There are several layers of investment to consider when deploying a new engineering document management system across your organization—including how many user licenses you’ll need for optimum performance. Shortchanging or overestimating the number of user licenses can directly impact the success of the software.

In order to determine the right amount of user licenses, we recommend scheduling a focused meeting with an Adept expert to thoroughly review the different types of users you have, the level of access each type requires, and the frequency of access needed. The perfect ratio of user licenses varies from customer to customer; therefore this comprehensive consultation will analyze and determine what would fit best for your organization.

Mistake 3: Cutting back on implementation onsite training days to “save money”

It’s not enough to roll out software and expect all the end-users to automatically adapt to new software. One of the recurring problems our Applications Consultants see onsite are customers not taking full advantage of their implementation training days.

The Synergis Technical Applications Consultants have over 40 years of experience installing and implementing Adept across the globe. The training and implementation time spent with them is of extremely high value and will ensure that your system is setup successfully to your specific needs and requirements. Often, companies who cut back on training need more assistance earlier in the adoption process. For example, being overly reliant on resources such as Helpdesk causes them to be less efficient than if they were well trained from the beginning. We recommend prioritizing training—either on-site or at our offices—to get the most out of Adept from the start.

Mistake 4: Opting for manual file migration vs. custom file migration

Now for the nitty-gritty part of implementing engineering document management—migrating your data into Adept. While both manual and custom file migration can get the job done, consider the pros and cons of each before you make a decision.

Manual file migration provides an opportunity to clean files during the migration process; however, it requires users to be locked out of files for manual cleanup. Programmatic custom migration occurs off-site and therefore, doesn’t cause as much downtime. Make sure you carefully review your data with our data migration experts before you make a decision.

Mistake 5: Becoming stuck in the “old perceptions”

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of implementing new software is letting go of “perceived requirements” and embracing the new challenge to think outside-the-box. For example, one perceived requirement can be an out-of-date workflow process that you’ve been using forever, but you know isn’t really efficient. It’s not always easy to change or tweak “the old ways of doing things” when adopting a new system.

In order to become the productivity powerhouse you’ve always hoped for, you’ll need to be flexible and open to new, innovative automation methods. We strongly recommend leveraging Adept to find better workflows and ways of working—even if this path can initially be uncomfortable or different. Ultimately, your team will work more efficiently.

 

Having a thorough implementation strategy in mind is crucial to making Adept a success. Avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll be golden. Subscribe to our blog and check back next week for Part 2 of our series.

3D Printing Takes First Steps Into Serial Manufacturing Production

[Editor’s note: Guest blogger Randall Newton continues his occasional series of articles on trends in engineering with this report from the recent FORMNEXT 3D printing conference in Germany.]

Automobile manufacturer Audi is using its A4 Limousine, a low-production model, as a proving ground for process innovation research. One large steel frame section of the A4 has always been difficult to manufacture, so the research team decided to try 3D printing. Audi engineers optimized the design for improved cooling and a 50% weight reduction, and then used Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to create 10,000 pieces.

For a generation, 3D printing has gradually gained acceptance as a useful adjunct to product engineering and manufacturing. In recent years, a few manufacturers have created end-use parts; GE Aviation recently celebrated the 3D printing of the 30,000th jet engine fuel nozzle. Now companies are looking beyond prototyping and limited editions and toward the day when 3D printing can produce final parts in the hundreds of thousands.

The Industrialization of 3D Printing Technology

In November, 3D printing vendors showed their newest products at Formnext, a fast-growing annual conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Martin Boch of Audi was a keynote speaker at the Formnext executive conference. “The main goal is the industrialization of 3D printing technology,” says Boch, the project lead for metal additive manufacturing at Audi. His company currently has three basic uses for 3D printing. R&D occupies about 20% of the company’s use of 3D printing; 60% is for prototyping; and another 20% is for creating spare small parts and tooling. Before Audi can move into serial production of small parts, Boch says it must define standard processes for sourcing both printers and materials. Read More