Concurrent Engineering...who is doing it and how?

Chris.FabriChris.Fabri Deactivated Accounts Posts: 12 mod

We've seen a few different methods to have concurrent engineering with Adept over the years and we have several Customers that are looking for some best practices.
One method that we are not crazy about is using shared work areas. If you have one or two concurrent projects this might be ok but if you have 50 or 100 plus, you're going to run into some performance issues.
Please share your method if it works well for you.


  • BCranstonBCranston Moderator Posts: 44 mod

    I'm not a fan of shared work areas either. I train my users to divide ownership and use Check In/Keep Out as they make important updates. Then use the Adept Integration functions to update assemblies and related files to see the latest changes.

  • Chris.FabriChris.Fabri Deactivated Accounts Posts: 12 mod

    Thank you, Brian. Good info.

  • rmongeaurmongeau Moderator Posts: 10 mod

    Shared work areas are tough for us because we're in the 50-100+ active projects. The performance issues really aren't that bad as the engineers don't all have that many work areas added at one time. We have run into issues where an engineer will remove a work area which then makes it unavailable for another engineer to add if it wasn't created as a shared work area.

  • Mike.WilliamsMike.Williams Member Posts: 2

    I have more to share about this than many would be interested to read! Hah!

    We are about to head into a group meeting in which we will try to come up with ways we can move away from the shared work area environment we've worked in for many years.

    I will be back in here to share...

  • Mike.WilliamsMike.Williams Member Posts: 2

    Sorry, but this is going to be a long one! We have used shared work areas almost exclusively for many years (since we first installed Adept in '06).

    This is a facility where we have legacy drawings that go back as far as 1965 and some are under seemingly constant revision as part of project after project. Shared work areas, to us, have seemed like the most practical way to collaborate on these projects with several team members. It would be different if we were a contractor / consultant firm who only ever generates new drawings and documents.

    I've attempted to figure out a way to change our project Work Areas into project Libraries, but so far, have had a hard time coming up with a workflow that actually works for us.

    Here's a summary of our typical flow of work. Designers find the drawings they need to modify as part of their projects, mark them up and we sign them out to a shared work area where they remain signed out until construction is complete and project close-out can occur. At which time, as builts are applied and the drawings are signed back into their respective libraries and approved.

    • Work Areas are shared with a select group of people - Not everyone (but we've recently decided that they're shared with too many)
    • A bad habit we have is that there are always more projects that get started than finished. (Project close-outs don't happen 100% of the time, or at least not in a timely fashion...)
    • It's fairly rare for multiple projects to have a need to modify the same drawings. When that happens, our concurrent engineering procedure kicks in, which I will outline later in this post.

    I am keenly interested in hearing what other facilities do as far as work flow goes.

    NOW, regarding our concurrent engineering procedure, it started many years ago before any of us were really even aware of the term "concurrent engineering", so we just called the drawings that fell under this distinction, "MPD's" or Multi-Project Drawings.
    Here's a summary of what happens when someone goes to sign a drawing out to their project and find that it's already signed out (the procedure is a bit wordy and could likely be a little more efficient, but if followed, you can't go wrong). Assume that the unmodified original was at Rev 10.

    • Move the drawing from Project A work area to the MPD work area
    • Rename drawing filename with a prefix of "MPD-" to clearly indicate that it's in use by other projects
    • Copy the drawing file back to the Project A work area and add "Rev 12 - Reserved for Project B" to revision block
    • Copy the CONTENTS of the unmodified original drawing (last approved version) to the MPD version and add "Rev 11 - Reserved for Project A" and "Rev 12 - Reserved for Project B" to the revision block
    • Copy MPD version to the Project B work area
    • Copy the As Built modifications from Project B version to the MPD version
    • Sign MPD version back into library, approve it, then sign it back out to MPD work area
    • Repeat for all subsequent project close-outs

    I left out lots of little details, but I do understand that it's not the easiest procedure to grasp. I was recently told by a new hire that at their previous place of employment, they essentially made all of their changes in this way. I'm not even remotely interested in doing that if we can avoid it and I'm quite sure that we can avoid it.

    Anyway, I think that's enough for you to digest for now! :D

    Again, if you're in a facility with drawings that are years and years old and you continue to update them, I'm interested to hear how you avoid the use of shared work areas.


  • Nick.BogartNick.Bogart Moderator Posts: 17 mod

    Hi everyone. This topic is of great interest to me as well so I figured I'd reply here as my first post in this forum.
    The way I see it, there are a ton of different ways to handle "concurrent engineering." Every client of ours is different in how they define concurrent engineering and in how they envision what the "end result" would/should be.
    The short answer is, if it works for you, improve upon it. If something isn't working, think of a different way. I will try my best to summarize some of the the various methods I've used and have seen in the field.
    1. Unlinked Record contains Project-level information. Users create relationships between files that may or may not be approved for use on a particular project. So, if you search for project number, you'll find the project record and the the children will show all files in-use by the project.
    2. Maintain one MASTER version of all drawings. Users copy out and rename from the master and rename by adding unique identifier to to filename ("ProjectNumber_123.dwg"). Then, relationships are created between the copy and the master. Then a gatekeeper will monitor the release of each copy through the workflow and will incorporate the latest changes into the master as necessary.
    3. Use PublishWave to generate released drawings and configure PW to name the files according to Project and keep those files in an appropriate Project library. Then you have nothing but released docs in the project libraries.

    What I try to avoid at all costs is files sitting in work areas or workflows for extended periods of time. I recommend configuring workflows in as simple a way possible to get those files to IN status as easily as possible. Use reroute to adjust workflows without having to move the files to another library.

    P.S. Shared Work Areas can work but is never advisable because none of the approvals or feedback is tracked and stored.

    Just my two cents...

    Nick Bogart
    Synergis Adept - Application Consultant

  • atoloevaatoloeva Member Posts: 51 ✭✭

    Hello All, this topic is one of the hot topics that we have internally.

    I have some questions:

    1. How are you transferring the information from the copied document to the master drawing? Are you renaming the copy with the same file name as the master and then use "Acquire check-out"? I see a potential risk with this option as some of the relationships might be lost.

    or, are you checking-out the master, open the work area in the Windows Explorer and replace it with the copied file, then check in?

    2. Are you archiving the copied file, After you transfer the information from the copy to the master? How are you handling the copies when they are no longer valid and in use.

    3. PublishWave - are you generating PDF format of the released drawings?

    Thank you

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