How Adept Streamlines the Composites Business at Toray

Apr 4, 2019 4:38:07 PM / by Randall S. Newton posted in Adept, customer story, EDM, Engineering Docuement Management, case study, implementation, Synergis Adept, ROI, Toray Composites, Technologies

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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.

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Huffman Engineering Simplifies Control Systems Engineering with Synergis Adept

Jun 27, 2018 8:00:46 AM / by Synergis Software posted in customer story, case study, document management, PublishWave, Version control

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Process plants depend on highly specialized control systems. They are an integrated product combining software, mechanical equipment, and sensors. Huffman Engineering, Inc. has become a leading partner to manufacturers, utility plants, and the pharmaceutical industry in the US Prairies region by delivering high quality custom process control manufacturing and integration.

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A Culture of Flexibility Helps Space Age Electronics Transform Itself with Engineering Document Management

Jun 13, 2018 3:40:17 PM / by Synergis Software posted in security, customer story, case study, process improvement, document management, API

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For more than 50 years, Space Age Electronics has built custom and short-run life safety and fire protection electronics products. Such a specialized, narrow focus has served it well. The company has developed a wide range of specific business processes that help it build quality components within specified budgets, taking advantage of its depth of experience and market knowledge.

Willingness to embrace change is a strong part of Space Age’s company culture. The company has a deep team of multi-discipline experts to move from customer support to design to manufacturing or even IT, as needed.

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Solving User Push Back Issues When Implementing Engineering Document Management

Jan 4, 2018 3:57:33 PM / by Synergis Software posted in customer story, case study, document management

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Resistance to change is a near-constant theme in engineering software. From the first generation of computers in engineering to today, people become familiar with routines and processes, and are reluctant to change without either significant external motivation or proof the benefits clearly outweigh the effort to learn new skills and adopt new workflows.

The engineering team at Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) is familiar with this theme of reluctance. They were the leading candidate to win a major contract from the United States Coast Guard (USCG), but winning the contract required a significant upgrade of their data automation processes. After a thorough search of alternatives, ESG decided to replace its existing document management system with Synergis Adept.

Before Adept, ESG was using Microsoft’s SharePoint technology to manage engineering documents and connect team members. SharePoint is a technology rooted in 1990’s file management practices, with file size limits that seem quaint by today’s standards, and rudimentary search technology unable to exploit metadata or take specific advantage of CAD and related data types. SharePoint for engineering is usually a requirement placed upon engineering by the IT department, and significant changes are required to make it functional in engineering.

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A New Generation of Decision-Makers for the New Year

Dec 22, 2017 8:00:45 AM / by Synergis Software posted in CAD, compliance, customer story, case study, Change process, document management, Version control, Technologies

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In the past engineering groups made decisions about product improvement software internally. A CAD manager — often just another one of the engineers who got stuck with double duty — would read about a file manager or a CAD add-on that offered a bit of increased utility. The decision to purchase would be localized to the department, and the productivity gains were limited to which employees installed the new utility on their workstation.

For the most part, those days are gone. There is general consensus that software purchases are an organizational initiative. Productivity improvements are purchased to impact more than just one group or department. PDM (Product Data Management) software is now recognized as an enterprise automation solution, not a departmental file manager.

Product development leaders now hold their software to higher standards. There has been a change in thinking from individual achievement to a focus on enterprise business initiatives surrounding all of product development, not just engineering and design issues. To make the cut in this era, a PDM system must be able to:

  • Manage file relationships for parts, assemblies drawings, configurations;
  • Control access (check-in/check-out) of all design data, both in 2D and 3D;
  • Perform complex versioning and revisions;
  • Control access (check-in/check-out) of all design data, both in 2D and 3D;
  • Integrate with CAD tools and other technical and graphics-based software;
  • Unite the wider enterprise document management functions with engineering;
  • Provide an automated and robust audit trail.
  • Play nice with other enterprise systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM);
  • Guide and protect key business processes including quality management, approvals, and regulatory compliance;

Today’s PDM decision-makers want software that creates a competitive edge. They want to streamline business processes and automate existing workflows. Eliminating wasted time searching for all kinds of product data is also essential. They want a high return of business value for their investment, and are willing to take enough time to find the right solution.

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How Joy Global Tamed their Global PDM Monsters

May 26, 2017 11:13:31 AM / by Synergis Software posted in customer story, Change process, file control, PLM, document management, PDM, Version control

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Joy Global (now Komatsu Mining Corp.) is a world-class manufacturer and services provider for high-productivity mining equipment. Customers around the globe use are using Joy Global products and services on the very largest mining projects in energy, industrial, and hard rock minerals. Over the years it has grown both organically and by acquisition, to the point where it how has eight major brands, 12,000 employees, and offices in 20 countries. With each acquisition came new data, new data management systems, and new challenges for creating, storing, using, and sharing engineering data.

In 2009, the company decided it must standardize on a single product data management system (PDM). “Our access and files were out of control,” says Joy Global’s Norm Kopp. Research on how to proceed started with a simple step. The small team assigned to the job looked at only 10 shared directory folders on the corporate network. More than 675 users had access across the 10 folders, with no tighter level of access control. In one directory alone, there were more than 1 million documents, taking up more than 2 terabytes. “We knew there just had to be a better way,” recalls Kopp. Their engineering data had become an uncontrolled monster hiding inside the organization.

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Dow Chemical’s Best Practices to Plan, Deploy, and Measure a Global Document Management Solution

Apr 12, 2017 10:47:29 AM / by Synergis Software posted in customer story, EDM, case study, data management, webinar, document management, Events

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The Dow Chemical Company was an early leader in the use of Engineering Document Management (EDM) in the 1980s. But through the 1990s and 2000s it grew rapidly by acquisition. For data management, this meant the company acquired and continued to use more than 25 different homegrown and commercial EDM systems. An internal Six Sigma audit in 2011 revealed a variety of gaps and other inefficiencies in the use of engineering data; the wide variety of EDM systems in use was cited as a major factor. “All of them had some usability or supportability issues,” says Barbara Migl, CAE Technology Leader for Dow. “One system took 45 minutes to sign in a document.”

The problems found in the Six Sigma internal study are not that unusual, according to research by Dr. Mario Hirz, a leading research on engineering data and documentation management. Successful EDM is highly dependent on interdepartmental and interdisciplinary integrations of both data and workflow. His research notes key issues that large companies often struggle with when trying to gain efficiency through better EDM:

  • Insufficient transmission of knowledge;
  • The need for a systematic approach to the design and development of EDM processes and systems;
  • The complexity of implementation in large organizations;
  • Lack of unified processes.

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Ruhrpumpen Realigns Global Engineering for Efficiency and Innovation

Feb 9, 2017 11:40:02 AM / by Synergis Software posted in collaboration, customer story, case study, document management, Version control

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Large-scale engineering organizations constantly search for ways to differentiate their products from the competition. Many engineering-centric companies are using acquisitions as a way to increase their product line and market reach. As product complexity and variety increases, the smooth flow of data in the organization increases in importance. The sheer volume of product data increases, requiring not just the organization but its supply chain to spend more resources defining, translating, and transferring product data and solving technical problems associated with data management.

Ruhrpumpen is a prime example of this set of challenges. It is a global centrifugal pump technology company with a wide variety of engineered-to-order products for Oil & Gas, Chemical, Power, Industrial Applications, and Water & Mining. They also manufacture a wide variety of off-the-shelf centrifugal pumps for these industries and more. From its home base in Germany, it has grown by acquisition; it now has manufacturing and sales offices in 11 countries on five continents.

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Making Configuration Management a Better Watchdog

Sep 23, 2016 10:36:27 AM / by Synergis Software posted in customer story, workflow, document management, Configuration management

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The Bill of Materials (BOM) is the gospel for product development and an important element of configuration management (CM). But in many organizations the creation and use of BOMs and the existing paper-based configuration management workflow places a stranglehold on efficiency and prevents innovation.

The idea of configuration management is to have a watchdog process, driving consistency in product definition and manufacturing execution. Done right, configuration management provides visibility into the functional relationships in a product’s definition. If changes are required, the CM becomes the guide to final reconciliation of consistency. CM ensures that every person on the team shares a common understanding of what is being designed, approved, ordered, built, sold, and serviced.

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Improving Oil and Gas Industry Safety With Better Data Management

Jul 15, 2016 1:19:16 PM / by Synergis Software posted in security, customer story, data management, Oil & gas

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After a series of high-profile accidents involving gas transmission pipelines, in 2014 the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) commissioned a study to see what could be done to lower the incidence rate. The report, “Integrity Management of Gas Transmission Pipelines in High Consequence Areas” included an analysis of how pipeline quality data was gathered, used, and shared. A close look at the report offers some interesting insight into engineering data management issues.

The NTSB report on Integrity Management (IM) published 33 findings; seven of the specifically mention data management issues. Following the findings, the report listed 22 recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, seven of which specifically mention data handling.

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