Vault Data Standard is a subscription only add-in for Vault Workgroup and Professional that allows custom scripts to ensure the standardisation of documents created in Inventor, AutoCAD and Vault. Notice the use of documents, not parts, assemblies or drawings but all documents.
We engineers are a funny bunch, some like standardisation; it removes us from the mundane tasks like part naming and numbering, project folder creation, presentation creation etc.… It’s all just there, done, complete, only needing the engineering data plugging in. This allows us to focus on the engineering tasks like, how do we make this stronger but lighter? Where can I remove cost but increase quality? This type of engineer often misses the need for a company branding and its impact on a customer, opting for a blank sheet of paper with lots of text based information. After all data is king, is it not?
Others know a better way, free thinkers that prefer to customise and personalise every aspect of their design input, templates are just a guideline, my title block/presentation layout looks much better, why can’t we have this specific for our site rather than to the global standard? This type of engineer often misses the need for standard part numbers and descriptors for linking into ERP’s or how much of a headache it is to explain away the ever so slight differences in title blocks during a quality audit.
We need both of these types of people to succeed, the ones that focus on engineering data above all else and the ones that promote change and improvements to the standards.
What we don’t need is five types of standard presentation templates, three standard drawing borders and no standard project structure.
Vault Data Standard uses simple script to define behavior for everyone.
This can be as simple as taking the next in line part/assembly number, or create a project file that is a standard layout, or it can be complex adding configurable and customisable tabs in the data sheets addressing specific needs such as dynamic pick list, specific complex file naming or additional business logic. Vault data standard can also enforce property completion to ensure that all the correct data is input to documents at the right time.
This add-in automates the mundane and reduces differences from person to person.
This allows the “nuts and bolts” and “free thinking” engineers to work in their own way then brings the data together making standardisation a background task that happens naturally rather than an extra task that needs to be completed, checked and enforced by multiple people.
Using this application at one of my previous employeers we could have eliminated most of the non-conformances highlighted in an ISO9001 audit. This would have saved 8 engineers around 20 hours each of historical rectification work, that’s 160 hours engineering time that could have been used to complete projects rather than fixing past issues.
On quick calculation if the business had £2.5m of live projects on the table, this equates to around £1299 per hour of un-realised profit, that’s £207,840 wasted fixing standardisation issues.
“Hindsight is 20/20” they say, in this case it’s much more than that. This number could have funded the department for around 12 months, and paid for the cost of implementation within a week.