You wouldn’t think hardwood flooring, rubber hoses, golf balls, compact disks, furniture, printed circuit boards and eyeglasses have much in common. But they do. They all use resins and other specialty chemicals custom manufactured by Sartomer Company, Inc. (www.sartomer.com). The company’s customers are other formulators or manufacturers. For instance, Sartomer’s resins are used in coatings for fiber optics cables and household construction products.
The development of these resins is a complex process and required a more sophisticated file management system than Microsoft Explorer. Tom Wheeler, Project Engineering Manager at Sartomer explains. “The primary driver was that different people were modifying the same drawing simultaneously. It became extremely time consuming to track changes and to identify the most current version. Furthermore, we didn├â┬şt have any kind of organized central repositories. Document files were hard to find and we had no common method for sharing documents across the organization.”
Sartomer knew it needed a more robust system that could manage its 2D engineering documents and related office documents associated with its projects.
Evaluating More Powerful Document Management Solutions
Sartomer evaluated three document management systems. Several factors led Sartomer to select Adept document management & workflow, explained Wheeler.
“What led us to Adept became an obvious choice. One of the other systems was not created to handle drawings and did not manage reference drawings. The other system we evaluated was much more complicated and seemed very hard to use. Adept seemed simple to use and had the necessary features we needed. Adept was also the least expensive choice.”
Knowing Who Has What File When
By implementing Adept, Sartomer now had the ability to check documents in and out, and to determine who was modifying a document within the organization. Adept allows you to keep documents more secure. I now know who has control of the document as well as its status,├â┬« added Wheeler.
“Another major benefit was the powerful built-in Viewer. It allowed us to share documents with people who did not have a CAD station or CAD software. This enabled them to view drawings they wouldn’t otherwise be able to display on screen. As a result, it has been appreciated by everyone from Engineering to IT,” explained Wheeler.
According to Wheeler, Engineering is performed by Project and Process engineering groups, all of which are corporate groups. “The plant sites are using Adept to access their documents. They have been trained on Adept and are very happy with the system. While all Sartomer plants have Adept, it is the Virginia and West Chester plants that have become heavy users,” noted Wheeler.
Implementing Document Management in No Time
Learning Adept was quick for everyone. Sartomer hired Synergis Software to perform the installation and train administrators and users, which took about one week. During the first month of use, Sartomer loaded all its engineering documents into the system and designed the Adept Data├é┬áCards, which includes database fields to search for and track documents. As far as the Company’s AutoCAD drawings, Adept automatically extracts information from the DWG file. As they are loaded into Adept, Adept populates the database fields in the Data├é┬áCard. Next, Sartomer rolled Adept out to its various plant sites and provided training in one day.
Document Control Benefits Everyone
With any change in the way people work, there can be resistance. However, Wheeler claims the move to Adept has received very positive acceptance. Wheeler says, “Everyone recognized there was a need for document control. Adept provided the necessary control and is easy to use. The people who were responsible for maintaining that control have become advocates of the system. Knowing that critical information is available and easily accessible is a huge benefit.”
Future Plans to Meet OSHA Requirements
Wheeler’s vision extends beyond the current implementation of Adept. “The next goal I see for Adept is to aid our engineers in meeting our OSHA requirements. Since we are a process company, we have to manage our maintenance documents, including maintenance calibration, specification sheets, and manuals in accordance with OSHA regulations. This means we have to maintain current process information for OSHA and it has to be at everybody’s fingertips if OSHA drops by to review them.”
At end of a project, the company currently generates paper documents that include all the maintenance documents, manuals, calibration sheets and specification sheets of the original installation. “Adept works very well for this purpose. The software manages all document types, not just engineering documents,” concluded Wheeler.