How to Modernize Your Paper Engineering Drawings
A White Paper From the Paper to CAD Experts
Making it Work
Once the implementation decision
is made, how do you ensure the success of enabling your paper drawing archives or EDM/PDM
system? With long implementation cycles in the
enterprise-wide EDM/PDM system, payback and user acceptance can drag and stall throughout
the initial stages of a full-scale implementation. The integration of manual paper-based
archives as a first step can help companies to successfully implement such a system. An
incremental approach can produce a more immediate payback and end-user satisfaction with
Plan Globally, Invest Incrementally
This simply means looking at the
broader business issues related to the life-cycle of paper drawings. Select the most
critical business issues and implement the appropriate technology while planning for the
bigger issues of document management and workflow systems. A paper-enabled approach incorporates elements of EDM/PDM before deploying a
full-blown system. This step-by-step process allows payback benefits to be realized while
addressing the integration of the vast amounts of paper designs within CAD and introducing
an electronic distribution environment. The value of the drawings increases along with
existing drafting systems by implementing hybrid or raster CAD systems. This allows
scanned archives to be manipulated within the same tool set used for newer design work.
A more critical evaluation of the EDM/PDM backbone can be
accomplished by enabling the initial conversion process. Users have more time to model
workflow, design ECO/ECN processes, define security requirements and determine other
control issues best handled by EDM/PDM.
Companies using progressive
implementation strategies may have already taken the approach to implement PDM to help
manage the existing CAD/CAE environment. Most PDM systems can be expanded by adding
raster-literate viewers and hybrid raster-editing systems to allow the vast amounts of
paper archives to be contained in the same system managing CAD.
Use a Value Added Reseller (VAR) or a Consultant
Consultants can offer a company a
broad range of expertise that comes from working with other similar companies. VARs have
broad expertise with products and can provide needs analysis, implementation and training
services. Look for VARs that have specific experience with the paper-enabling issues. A
consultant can help with needs analysis, training, selection process and implementation.
Ask for reference accounts with needs similar to yours.
Include the User
Include your user community
through the various phases of implementing this technology. This will improve the
acceptance of the technology and the overall payback to your company.
Select Proven Suppliers and Products
Todays software market is
covered by too many products that are fragile and offer poor support. Your selection and
relationship with a manufacturer is critical and goes beyond the product. Look for
companies with a historical and ongoing investment in the technology, worldwide
operations, proven customer satisfaction and good training programs to ensure optimal use
and payback of your investment.
Evaluate the Software
The software should provide a
full compliment of conversion approaches. Each and every drawing will have an optimal
payback approach and the resulting systems should incorporate hybrid raster and vector
editing for the simple changes, selective conversion for moderate changes and full
two-dimensional parametrics and three-dimensional modeling for the higher valued drawings.
Also look for ease of use, compatibility with other software and
hardware and support of standard formats. These features will ensure compatibility now and
in the future. The software features should benefit a list of key requirements scaled on
their value to your organization to help in the evaluation process. This needs to include
careful attention to file formats that you need and that the software supports.
To begin evaluating the GTX products for your needs start with the
"Comparison of the GTXRaster CAD® Series and the GTXImage CAD® Series Products":
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