Own system allows full control over technical documentation

2009-12-14 Press release

At the department Geometric office, technical information is coordinated and distributed throughout the company. The department's tasks involves receiving documentation from customers that has been created in some kind of CAD system and converting it into useable file formats. They also archive the files, log them and make sure they are accessible via the intranet at all of Finnveden’s sites.

“Geometric Office is the first port of call that takes in, deals with and forwards drawings to the planning engineers at the production units,”explains Paula Härder, Technical documentation coordinator. “We receive drawings from Sweden and Germany, but also elsewhere in Europe. Most of the CAD files are produced in Catia or SolidWorks. What we have to do is convert them into a format that is readable and adapted to our needs.”
And the documents and drawings certainly mount up over the course of a year. 
“The files we receive come from around 40 to 60 different companies. All in all there are about 16 to 20 thousand CAD drawings a year. That’s quite a lot of files and gigabytes to deal with,” says Paula.
She continues: “The files reach us in various ways, such as by e-mail and on CD, or via EDI – an older technology that still works well. The drawings vary greatly. We occasionally come across a new file format, but we can convert most with our CAD tools.”
SharePoint Server technology 
“The system where we gather technical documentation is called TechDoc,” says Ola Thornell, Process- and System specialist. “We have developed our own archive system, which is essentially a massive filing cabinet where we keep all our files. One of the main advantages of SharePoint is that the information about the file is already integrated in the CAD drawings when they come in, whereas before it was saved in a separate Excel file.”
Easily accessible platform 
Another benefit of SharePoint is that the files are indexed, which speeds up the search process. The more information you have about a file, the easier it is to find. Anyone with access to a computer and the intranet can now search for documents and drawings themselves – whether they work in planning or purchasing, or just want to check whether there’s an older version of a drawing in the system.
“With the new platform, we can find files faster while also simplifying version management. The components we make are often complex, and when drawings are modified it’s absolutely vital to keep an eye on the correct versions to ensure the products and the quality are exactly what the customer expects. We are also required to do this as we are certified to ISO 9001 and TS 16849, a quality standard evolved by the automotive industry,” Ola concludes.