Case Study: Management of Company Data with SmarTeam

About Senior Aerospace BWT
Senior Aerospace BWT engineerSenior Aerospace BWT is part of Senior plc; the international manufacturing group operating in 11 countries, manufacturing and marketing components and systems for principal OEMs in the worldwide aerospace, automotive and specialised industrial markets. Its policy of major investment in product development, materials research, manufacturing process and integrated business systems, combined with the capabilities of other Senior plc companies means Senior Aerospace BWT is firmly placed to retain and expand its market position. Senior Aerospace BWT is recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of ultra-lightweight low pressure air distribution systems and fuselage insulation systems. It provides systems for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft across all market sectors, for both commercial and military applications. Senior Aerospace BWT’s system solutions, both modular and aircraft specific, optimise weight, cost, pressure loss, installation time and efficient use of the available space envelope.

Legacy Systems
Companies working in the aerospace industry are subject to strict guidelines laid down by its regulators; as a result Senior Aerospace BWT must adhere to high standards of documentation and maintain a full data audit trail. Over the years Senior Aerospace BWT had developed a number of in-house databases to manage the multitude of documents created during the design, manufacture and maintenance of its products. These documents range from engineering drawings, product documents and material specifications through to correspondence documents for transmittal of approved documentation. However, these disparate systems had a considerable ongoing control and maintenance overhead. Moreover, retrieving information was time consuming and often required the skills of several people, each conversant with one of the systems involved.

The Solution
Senior Aerospace BWT asked Intrinsys to provide a consolidated solution to these problems, based around the use of ENOVIA SmarTeam. Intrinsys South Africa began by taking a consultative approach; a detailed examination of the existing databases was followed by interactive workshops with key members of staff in order to fully define the requirements for SmarTeam. With the customer’s requirements distilled into a detailed specification for the new system, the Intrinsys team set about configuring SmarTeam in line with the specification. Using a pre-configured Intrinsys template allowed a rapid deployment of the software which was further enhanced by the creation of several new database classes to manage customer specific data. At the same time, the SmarTeam user interface was optimised to fit the customer’s requirements and promote ease of use. Senior Aerospace BWT receives many drawings from its customers; these are often new revisions of existing drawings but are not necessarily the next sequential revision. To simplify the process of adding these drawings to SmarTeam, Intrinsys created specific customisation allowing the drawings to be added at a user defined revision level. 

David Dollan, Engineering and Quality Director at Senior Aerospace BWT, comments “Intrinsys made important changes to SmarTeam; configuring the system to reflect the processes operated by Senior Aerospace BWT. We were particularly impressed with the workshop days allocated to designing the system.” Finally, using a set of custom tools, data was extracted from the existing databases and migrated seamlessly into the new SmarTeam system whilst being validated at each stage by Senior Aerospace BWT. The mission-critical nature of the data being migrated into SmarTeam necessitated a flexible approach to the final system rollout. As such the new SmarTeam system was used in parallel with the legacy databases for a period of time in order to ensure that the data was always accessible during the course of the deployment.

Benefits
Senior Aerospace BWT wished to have a single point of access for all the data generated during the design, manufacture and maintenance of their products. Replacing the original disparate systems with a single, consolidated SMARTEAM system has increased efficiency by improving ease of access to the data required by users on a daily basis whilst dramatically reducing the administration overhead synonymous with multiple systems. Providing a means for employees to access the documents  and data that they require via a single internal system has reduced the time spent searching for information. Moreover SmarTeam allows users to create logical structures that define relationships between different document types, a drawing and its transmittal note for example; this method simplifies the retrieval of linked documents considerably. SmarTeam also allows the consumers of the information produced in the design office to access the data directly in an electronic format rather than wasting time by requesting hard copy prints from design office staff. The increased access control offered by SmarTeam has ensured that users only have permission to access data relevant to their roles. A good example of this is that production staff can now only view the latest released revision of a drawing, therefore reducing the potential for scrap and rework caused by manufacturing products to an incorrect drawing. Concludes David Dollan, “I am confident that SmarTeam will assist the company in reducing process times by providing released engineering data to a wider range of colleagues.”