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NASA Ames Research Center Reduces Costs and Saves Engineering Time with Adept Document Management & Workflow. Synergis Software.

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Case Study

NASA Ames Research Center Reduces Costs and Saves Engineering Time with Adept Document Management & Workflow

Case Study

Investment Improves Access to Information at Wind Tunnel Facility

San Diego, CA, SolidWorks World, January 22, 2008 — NASA Ames Research Center’s Unitary Plan Wind Tunnels (UPWT) in Mountain View, California, leader in aeronautics and aerospace wind tunnel testing for NASA, industry, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and other government agencies, has deployed Synergis Software’s Adept document management & workflow software to improve efficiency and management of their design and engineering documents. With Adept, the Wind Tunnel Division saves money, reduces the time to find drawings, and gives engineers immediate access to data throughout the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel facility.

Adept Performs for High Pressure Project

Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley enables exploration through selected development, innovative technologies, and interdisciplinary scientific discovery. Bill Newby has been a contractor at Ames Research Center for 14 years and has been supporting the wind tunnels for the past 12 years, specializing in CAD/Solid Modeling and Configuration Management. Newby is employed by Jacobs Technology’s ATOM (Aerospace Testing, Operation and Maintenance) Group that performs wind tunnel testing for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, to name a few.

“As part of Engineering Support, the group maintains the wind tunnels and all the equipment that is part of the wind tunnels, including sting sets, motors, and shrouds,” explains Newby. “We also support modeling and design for test models. We test scaled-down models of jet fighters like the F-18; and research spacecraft like the Space Shuttle.” The Wind Tunnel Division uses SolidWorks, AutoCAD, CosmosWorks Professional and Surfcam for its engineering, design/drafting, and machining needs, and Adept to manage more than 12,000 drawings.

NASA Ames Research Center’s Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel is also saving time and money in another way. Adept has the ability to manage both AutoCAD and SolidWorks files. While the division’s legacy drawings are primarily AutoCAD, they also use SolidWorks and maintain a mixed design environment.

The ATOM group at Ames Research Center is currently using Adept to update and modernize the High Pressure Air System facility. The team already gathered all of the drawings for that facility from the branch that was managing them and brought them into Adept. Newby explains, “Now all those drawings are readily accessible and we can bring any one of them up on our desktop with as little time and effort as typing one key word or drawing number. It enables engineers and technicians who need to access new and existing drawings for the facility,” added Newby.

Convincing Management to Purchase Document Management

As anyone in business knows, convincing management to spend money during budget cuts can be a challenge. The key is to build an argument that clearly demonstrates the money that can be saved as a result of the purchase. Bill Newby did just that. He showed how much money they spent over the last five years and how much it cost them just to have their drawings and documents managed. He gave them the price breakdown of how much it would cost to set up Adept, including purchasing a server. Management was convinced that Bill could achieve his goals.

“Our main business objectives in implementing a data management system were time, cost and accessibility. We’re saving a lot of time. We can search for drawings now and pull them up in a matter of minutes or seconds,” said Newby.