Concurrent Engineering as the Focus

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"Under the current system, concurrent engineering is highly productive since changes made by one party are immediately reflected on the drawings in use concurrently elsewhere."

Stian Enger, Aker Solutions

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About Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions ASA is a leading global provider of engineering and construction services, technology products, and integrated solutions in the energy, maritime, and marine-resources industries, with aggregated annual revenues of over .8-billion. The company employs 26,000 people in 30 countries, and has roots dating from the 1700s. Aker Solutions is divided into four business areas, all of which act globally. One of these, Subsea, utilizes an extensive SAP solution, including SAP’s direct CAD interfaces.
To manage its worldwide engineering data, Aker Solutions utilizes SAP PLM. They currently store both 3D models and drawings in a unique global database, regardless of whether the items were generated by their AutoCAD or SolidWorks CAD systems. Every Subsea engineer worldwide can search the SAP drawing database, access to which is controlled by an advanced “access rights” concept. Through additional software solutions from CIDEON, Aker Solutions was able to migrate legacy files and information quickly and easily. Today, CIDEON automates critical document processes like the creation of viewing formats.
With CIDEON support, Aker Solutions was able to finish the migration of its legacy files and install a new general template. Local roll-out was completed a half year later with global roll-out the following year. Today, all Aker Solutions locations – in Norway, the UK, the United States, Brazil, Angola, Malaysia, India, and Singapore – are working with SAP PLM and CIDEON’s supporting solutions.
After the successful Go-Live, CIDEON’s Rico Tabor interviewed Aker Solutions’s project leader and others about the SAP solution and the Aker Solutions installation.
He spoke with Peter Svelander, Supply Chain and PLM Team Advisor in Aker Business Service, Aker Solutions’ IT organization; Jan Eine, CAD Manager; and Stian Enger, Global Process Owner, SAP PLM, in Aker Solutions, each of whom has been intimately involved with both Aker Solutions’s SAP solution and CIDEON’s installation.
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What is “subsea operations”?

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Jan: Subsea Operations delivers a complete range of subsea solutions to the oil and gas industry, from concept through manufacturing, fabrication, and commissioning. Before we adopted CIDEON’s SAP solution, we used folders and an in-house system we had developed to manage our many thousands of CAD images. Individuals signed out drawings they needed and signed them back in when they finished. When we were accessing files only from offices here in Norway, we sent IT an email to obtain access authorization. We knew we needed something more robust when we began requiring simultaneous multiuser global access; it was very clear that access limited to one person at a time would hinder global productivity.
We knew we needed a managed system that would achieve several things for us:
First, we needed a system that provided quick, easy, simultaneous access to drawing and model files by multiple authorized individuals, to enable concurrent engineering on the same project and same assemblies;
Second, we understood that geography could not be an impediment; people in the United States and elsewhere had to realize file access that was as fast, thorough, and productive as people in Norway or anywhere else worldwide;
Third, the document review and approval process had to be seamless and expeditious regardless of worksite location; and
Fourth, we needed a robust system for change management. At the same time, we needed a system to manage product data / product lifecycle while working well with SAP, which we were implementing.
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Customization and Implementation

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Did Aker Solutions require any customization?
Peter: We knew that the standard SAP PLM SolidWorks integration from CIDEON was able to provide us with the basic business processes we wanted. We also specified some additional development which was delivered from CIDEON during project implementation. Using the solution in a live environment, we have identified various areas where changes have been needed to improve our work. Most of the improvements have been delivered as customer add-ins from CIDEON. The tight connection between CIDEON development and its consultants has been very productive for us.

In implementing the CIDEON solution, what was your initial focus?
Peter: The main focus initially and since launch has been SolidWorks, and there has been other work ongoing with AutoCAD.

How do you use those programs and could you describe the legacy file import process?
Jan: We use SolidWorks for all mechanical drawing and we use AutoCAD for process and instrumentation diagrams and for layout drawings, though the vast majority of our work is through SolidWorks. We had a huge set of legacy drawings and models stored on various file servers and local PDM systems. One of our major concerns was the need to convert all files and bring them over to SAP. It was impossible for us to migrate all the files to SAP in one go, therefore the process has been partly manual, converting files on an as-needed basis, and partly automated using the Import PDM program delivered by CIDEON. The ability to do managed mass uploads on demand is very important to us. With CIDEON’s solution we are free to migrate step by step only what is really needed. We have successfully converted approximately 40,000 CAD files using the CIDEON tool.


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Products used for Aker Solutions:

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Phone: (484) 532-7800


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