An engineering-document management (EDM) system lets Delphi Inc., Warren, Ohio, use one standard database to track engineering drawings in three formats. Automotive part supplier Delphi selected Adept EDM from Synergis Technologies Inc., Quakertown, Pa., partly because it does not encrypt stored files, as did a previous system. Adept secures data without renaming, scrambling, or moving the file location.
It also supports AutoCAD's external referencing feature. And Delphi's workflow preference remains unchanged.
"The old system was to manage AutoCAD drawings by Autodesk WorkCenter, store paper drawings in drawers, and keep some scanned drawings in raster files on a DOS system," says Rich Gunter, Delphi senior facilities engineer. Civil, electrical, and mechanical groups each had their own set of standards, specifications, and blocks for creating a new drawing. This made it difficult to manage work-in-progress drawings as they changed. "And to make matters worse, engineers often did not document design changes on drawings, so you were never sure you were working with the most updated file," adds Gunter. Another challenge was getting project information out of files maintained by individuals and into a centralized project library that would give others access.
To make use of EDM, Delphi converted its physical drawings to electronic format for better tracking. "We scanned drawings into a drawing-number generator to assign names," says Gunter.
"Now that we have a stable database, we want to improve it by having engineers add information for more efficient searches."