The importance of managing change in engineering
In the industry of the future and Industry 4.0, the virtual world of information and the real world of facilities, machines and infrastructures are increasingly interconnected. Buildings and infrastructures are no longer simply bricks and mortar. They are made up of more and more equipment, electronics, connected devices, software and so forth. Building and operating infrastructures containing these new technologies not only makes managing them more complex, it intensifies their cycles and changes—now more numerous and more frequent.
Infrastructures evolve extensively during their lifecycles, from the proposal stages through construction, operation and dismantling. In engineering and construction, it is about “moving” and evolving: innovations, reservations, replacements, modifications…. The actors impacted by this are many, with highly different profiles.
Handling each stage, capitalising on information from one phase to another, requires mastering a comprehensive and ever-evolving knowledge of the actual state of the project. The benefits for head contractors and infrastructure managers are therefore much vaster that a virtual archive room, which gives only a “snapshot” of the data. To make the factory “intelligent” you need a dynamic and all-encompassing view of every industrial site, all their components and interconnections.
Tracking changes and analysing their impacts then becomes an essential priority to guarantee data traceability through each stage, over the entire lifecycle of infrastructures.
Software designed to manage changes and analyse impacts
To master the evolutions and changes that impact facilities and infrastructures, you need to manage all data, information and all their interconnections over the entire lifecycle. All data concerning projects, facilities and infrastructures are linked together. Any change at any one level can impact the others in several ways. The links are varied, encompassing structure, specifications, descriptions, documentation, external references, decision-making, use cases and more.
The complexity and magnitude of change management calls for specific software to assist users in analysing impacts and defining courses of action when confronted with modifications and changes.
Our PLM software includes all the functions of an EDMS but goes well beyond, integrating a configuration management tool that links all data together, to trace the reasons, the impacts and consequences of changes, and to ensure their traceability throughout the project. This means knowing the “Who, What, Why and How” behind every modification.
Our PLM solution to ensure impact studies and change management
With its configuration management tool, the think project! France software tracks the changes in all infrastructures, with their different organisational charts and nomenclatures, and all modifications made to them. The tool enables you to follow and effect technical changes and track them at all times by leveraging:
- a complete history and tracking of modifications and evolutions in configurations and data throughout the project’s lifetime
- change management processes to treat changes and follow them from simulation to application, through impact studies and tracking their propagated effects
- a follow-up of reservations and non-compliance cases, and the changes to be made across the board (reporting, qualification, analysis, corrective actions, resolution, etc.)
- View changes in real time in industrial sites, infrastructures and ongoing projects
- Analyse impacts of all changes from upstream, devise optimal scenarios to deploy
- Ensure that every action impacts the data, the business role views and services involved