Configuration management systems in engineering
In industrial sites and public utilities, documents and all infrastructure elements must not only be stored, but their changes and run-time applicability have to be managed over time and compared to other factors.
A “horizontal” management approach is severely limited in construction and engineering, where projects are interconnected in many ways. The data must be stored and structured, but also linked together to facilitate analysis and consolidation. Data is essentially information, but interconnections give them another dimension (quantity, effective dates of the link, etc.), which brings them alive and makes them intelligent.
Switching from a horizontal view to a dynamic structure linking the components of infrastructures and data hierarchies opens up another dimension of data management.
Our software meets these challenges using configuration management functions that represent data hierarchies through a mechanism of links with their own specific features.
Documentation configuration management
To manage an infrastructure, you need not only to manage all documents, but also the document files and appropriate documentation at a given moment. Queries must be answered in one click: “Which facilities is this calculation used for?”, “What are the external references to this drawing?”, “How can I measure all the impacts before making any changes to this report?, “How can you compare deliverable files with their initial specifications?”.
Documentation configuration software performs this task by linking all documents to their useful context, providing evolutionary knowledge directly linked to the “status” of the project. In engineering projects this corresponds mainly to facilities and infrastructures, but also to all other elements of the project (suppliers, infrastructures, requirements, etc.). By enabling the links to carry information, a document can be valid today or no longer applicable, or one or the other in a few months.
thinkproject France makes this possible with its documentation configuration management functions:
- Presenting complex document files from different provider viewpoints without duplicating the information or the same documents common to two files
- Managing documentation applicable at a given moment, in particular conditions
- Offering an appropriate viewing of documents and information according to a user’s specific “provider view”
- Managing the references between drawings and related documents
- Analysing and transposing the impacts of changes, defining the cases of a document’s uses and where applicable
- Comparing documentation on a given date or against the programmed configuration, to follow its progress
Bills Of Materials management
The increasing numbers of facilities and machinery in construction and engineering projects calls for tracking huge volumes of data of different origins (electronic and mechanical parts, sub-assemblies, software, etc.).
BOM (bills of materials) as well as documents must now be configured into hierarchical tree structures and nomenclatures to manage today’s infrastructures.
The BOM configuration tool in our PLM solution structures all components and equipment into hierarchies representing the various provider viewpoints, during the entire project and to the finest levels necessary. BOM configuration functions enable you to :
- View BOM configurations and equipment at all stages of their lifecycles (“As Specified”, “As Designed”, “as Planned”, “As Built”, “As Installed”, “As Maintained “)
- Identify impacts of changes from different viewpoints (technical, documentary…) and track histories and causes
- Compare two pieces of equipment (in two different versions, like As Planned and As Installed, etc.)
- Make configuration status replicas or baselines for a snapshot of a given configuration
- Put up configurations to generate a file with the same structure, containing all information, which can be viewed and browsed even offline.
- Search for a component part based on the piece of equipment that contains it
Links contain a large quantity of information.