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Problems of introduction CAD in the organisations performing design works
Let's define the beginning of process of introduction of CAD in the organisations performing design works.

At first it is necessary to estimate, how much the enterprise is ready to introduction of CAD. The first necessary condition of success – interest of a management. The project should have a supporter among the directors, possessing sufficient powers and resources for its start and the further realisation.

The second necessary condition – allocation of a command for introduction of CAD, possessing a sufficient level of authority. If to heads of design divisions cooperation with an introduction command process will inevitably be braked is not made a duty or will not go at all. Powers should be fixed officially, as no means always it is enough informal, not fixed arrangements really to change something in the company.

There was at you at the enterprise a head who supports idea of automation of designing? It is published confirming it is the document – the order on introduction of CAD? People and time for work are allocated on it? Only having answered “yes” on all these questions it is possible to get down to business.

Let's consider the analysis of a current condition of automation of performance of design works.

It is necessary to begin with the analysis of a current condition of automation of designing at the enterprise. It can be made or, or to involve for work the professional company-adviser in the field of CAD.

The first – describe structure of the design departments, solved problems and number of experts. Having analysed this data, it is possible to make preliminary recommendations about the software which will be used in the course of designing at your enterprise.

The second – analyse qualification of your experts. If they worked only on kuhlmann to begin with it is necessary to train in their elements of computer literacy. It would Seem, it is obvious, but sometimes reaches funny things. For example, on training with the program of architectural designing Architectural Desktop the enterprise directs to work experts who were not familiar before with the computer. And the teacher is compelled to explain to them how to manipulate the mouse and to work with “The conductor”. For time taken away on a course the group, maybe, also will reach elements AutoCAD, and here to Architectural Desktop already hardly.

If your experts have already mastered the computer, we, nevertheless, persistently recommend to you to test them on knowledge at least base packages, such as AutoCAD. Very often people consider that are able to work, and in practice do not know even the basic possibilities of the software. As a result the designer makes weight of superfluous actions instead of pressing one button and to take advantage of the standard function specially put in a product. I will result an improbable example: the engineer, without knowing that in AutoCAD it is possible to draw in scale 1:1 and to use sheet space, before each computer construction recalculated the sizes in scale on the calculator!

Similar examples set. Therefore, if you are not satisfied by labour productivity in design divisions, begin with testing and training of experts. Only as a result of these simple and inexpensive actions the overall performance can repeatedly increase. To hold testing it is possible in the centers specialising on training in the field of CAD.

Except computer literacy for successful introduction of CAD presence at experts of firm knowledge in a subject domain is necessary. Here again there are sad examples – when at training work with a settlement package should explain to engineers of a technique of calculations, instead of to learn to use the program. In the end of article some recommendations about an exit from the given position from experience of our customers are resulted.

Proceeding from all aforesaid, try to estimate, whether your experts are ready to use of professional packages or it is necessary to begin with introduction of more simple technologies and training of people. Only if you are assured of qualification of your employees in a subject domain and have considered in the budget expenses on training of computer literacy and to base products, it is possible to plan transition to specialised decisions. Result of the analysis at this stage are the specified specification on the software and the budget on personnel training.

The third – describe and analyse available software – an operating system used on everyone workstation, DBMS, CAD.

First, it is necessary to consider compatibility of versions introduced of CAD, an operating system and databases. Secondly, it is necessary to find out, how it is possible to save on purchase of the new software. For example, at an exchange of out-of-date versions of programs it is possible to receive the essential discount. Besides, many software suppliers give concessionary terms for users of competitive software products. The full information on it the professional companies closely working with suppliers possess. Thirdly, it is necessary to provide continuity and compatibility of the available and planned software. Already at this stage think, as transfer of in electronic form turned out drawings, databases and templates will be carried out. Here there is a weight of nuances – do not refuse the help of experts!

Result of this stage – recommendations about purchase of operating systems, CAD, DBMS, the further specification of the specification under programs of the automated designing.

The fourth – consider requirements for hardware maintenance: the computer technics and the large-format equipment for the press, scanning and copying. Computers of sufficient capacity, with modern operating systems be required. In the presence of great volume of the paper documentation which will be used in the future projects, the large-format scanner and the corresponding software can be necessary. Also it is necessary to estimate volume of the press and copying of the design documentation – it is possible, it is necessary to reflect on acquisition of an engineering complex.

By results of this stage the specification on hardware maintenance is made.

The fifth – if you pass to the automated designing, obligatory step, if not at once eventually, the organisation of electronic archive is. It also will demand hardware, program and human resources.

The sixth – the modern software is often completed with libraries and bases of elements. Software suppliers not always support these bases in an actual and full condition. Probably, you should do it independently, at least, for specific problems which dare at your enterprise. For support of these bases it is required to allocate and train people.

The seventh – a local network in the organisation performing design works. The information exchange occurring between participants of process of designing, makes high enough demands to a network infrastructure. Do not forget to compare carefully the requirement of an introduced complex and possibility of an available network.

So, as a result of the analysis you have a package of documents with recommendations about a computer infrastructure, the software, training of experts. These expenses are necessary for success of the project of introduction of CAD. Besides, it is necessary to plan expenses which the design organisation the company in the course of introduction, and to consider changes which will occur in the organisation performing design works.

Let's consider transition to the automated performance of design works.

Transition to the automated designing will demand design or full reorganisation design and serving departments and changes in company work as a whole.

First, there will be new functions: administration of software; conducting electronic archive, libraries and databases; service of an engineering complex; a vectoring of the scanned drawings.

Secondly, the part of old functions will leave. The majority of routine operations will be faster carried out, terms of performance of works will decrease, the order of delivery of tasks and coordination can be changed, and the liberated employees will be involved in other works. Data exchange procedure between experts will exchange – all changes will be accessible in electronic form to each participant of the project in a mode of real time. At introduction of 3D-designing necessity regarding coordination will disappear.

Thirdly, in each organisation there is own corporate culture, there are informal relations. Introduction of systems of the automated designing will inevitably cause their change.

Fourthly, there will be a double loading on people: introduction of new modes of work and performance of current projects. Therefore productivity of design department at the initial stage of introduction of CAD will necessarily decrease. Acceleration will appear only by the introduction end when employees will pass from test operation to the industrial.

All described moments lead to occurrence of a classical obstacle: to resistance to changes from outside experts. It is absolutely normal reaction. After all people can oppose new, whatever good it was. In the beginning of the project counteraction is inevitable. But after the lapse of half a year or year you the return will be observed. Some of those employees who opposed to introduction of CAD earlier, will come for work before only to occupy the licence. Moreover, there will be conflicts of that someone has left for a dinner and not “has released” the licence. It is a real situation about which our customers who have introduced the diversified software tell. But for overcoming of initial resistance of experts you should make efforts. Separate recommendations are resulted in the end of article.

Without the described moments the company risks ahead of time to be disappointed in system of the automated designing. Having faced such problems, the management can count introduction unsuccessful, lower hands and cancel project continuation. It is very widespread error which in no event cannot be admitted. That it was not necessary to protect the project from the premature termination, it is necessary to enter to its beginning criteria of an estimation of a course of introduction.

Let's consider estimations of a course of introduction of the software for performance of design works.

First of all, formulate the introduction purposes, terms, control points. Necessarily generate criterion of achievement of the purpose. For a reference mark it is possible to accept, for example, that situation which exists by the current moment, and to fix it documentary. We will assume, you notice that design work of some type becomes within three months. Subsequently you will have possibility to compare dates of performance of this typical work before introduction of CAD. Criterion creation – process creative also depends on specificity of your activity, but without it it is impossible to start the project.

One more important point consists that for those who is not included in process, not clearly, than the introduction group is engaged. Therefore document that you do, prepare reports for all interested persons. At any moment you should be ready to report about the done work.

Many experts who are not understanding occurring changes, can be afraid of them and sabotage the project. Therefore it is necessary to tell, explain, calm people, i.e. to be engaged in certain degree in educational activity. Thus do not forget to explain that the effect from introduction of CAD starts to be shown only more close to the termination of process of automation.

Now, when you are ready to software purchase, it is necessary to adhere the software specification to a present situation and to consider all points on which it is possible to save.

Let's consider optimisation of specifications (network versions of the software for performance of design works).

Necessarily use such possibility, as network versions. If in department over one problem works ten persons, it is absolutely unessential to buy ten licences. Someone will be on business trip, someone will be ill, someone will leave on meeting, means, simultaneously will use the program no more than 80% of department. Besides, there is no product which on 100% solves problems of separately taken designer. In this connection the number of licences can quite be less, than quantity of experts. If in department there is a local network you have the right to establish the software on each computer, but simultaneously to use only the bought quantity of licences.

Exclude from the specification duplicating decisions. Now in the market it is presented various software, and for the decision of the same problem there are some different programs. Try to understand independently or by means of professionals, and do not get some products for the decision of one problem.

Avoid superfluous functionality. Choose the software for the decision of your concrete problem. Offers in the market – the weight, also happens so that one function is necessary to you only, and to you offer a product, at which their ten. For other nine you pay a spare cash! The companies staking only on volume of your purchases, so-called “engines of boxes” will try to offer you the most expensive products. On the contrary, the professionals preferring long-term cooperation with the customer and interested in successful introduction of CAD in the organisation, performing design works, will try to exclude for you duplication and superfluous functionality.

If at you complex introduction various is supposed software, it is not necessary to buy, train experts and to introduce all products simultaneously. After all in this case work of design division simply will rise. Plan grade levels, introductions and, accordingly, payment stages. Thus, you can level a monetary stream and loading of experts.

Once again we pay your attention – try to begin training with base products. For example, if you get any appendix for AutoCAD at first train people AutoCAD. If they do not know base programs, is useless to study appendices. Money and time will be spent in vain, and experts will be disappointed.

Whenever possible use all financial privileges which are given to you by manufacturers of the software. Nonprofessional sellers often do not know about certain possibilities: multidiscounts, current special offers, possibilities of free updating of versions, preferential exchanges, possibilities of a subscription to the software. The professional companies work with manufacturers directly, are in a course of all offers and will necessarily inform on it to the clients. Besides, the organisations which are professionally engaged in introduction of CAD, have own possibilities, favourable to the client, such, as the conclusion of contracts of strategic partnership or corporate contracts.

Except expenses directly on acquisition hardware both the software and training of experts, to you is necessary to provide in advance expenses on services aftermarket service and support of your system.

Let's consider service of the software for performance of design works.

Discuss with your supplier, you can receive what services and whether they enter into cost of got products. It can be consultations for choice program and hardware decisions under your problems; compatibility of software products among themselves; compatibility of program and hardware maintenance; price optimisation of the decision; and also the notice on the future possibilities of a preferential exchange software and transfer of free updatings of programs.

Discuss quality of training which the supplier and qualification of teachers can give you. Fix in the contract of a condition of maintenance service:
- that means by itself the term “technical support” its maintenance in guarantee and the postguarantee period;
- efficiency of answers;
- a phone number, an e-mail address on which you can communicate in case of occurrence of problems, a name of the expert to which you can address;
- forms of technical support: by phone, by e-mail, departure of experts in the organisations performing design works, consultations at office of the supplier;
- what services will be free;
- cost of other services, a payment order.

Stipulate all it in advance, to the payment of invoice, differently subsequently at the reference behind the help to the supplier you can face refusal. For you reaction of the head when you will come to it with the request will be even more unpleasant to allocate the finance for technical support, without having specified in advance it in expenses on system introduction.

Except preselling consultations and actually technical support to you adaptation can be demanded software. Today on sale there is set CAD both Russian, and the western manufacturers. Russian, of course, consider our specificity: standards on registration of the design documentation, settlement norms etc., but even they can correspond not always to requirements of the organisation performing design works. For example, at designing at you any specific elements which are not brought in standard databases, or non-standard templates of documents are used. If the amount of works on filling of databases, creation of new templates is big, to you can suggest to pay them separately.

Possibly, in your organisation performing design works, work earlier bought CAD, it is frequent on different platforms. For integration new and available software programming or creation of difficult options can be demanded. Probably, you also need to integrate new CAD with already existing systems of type CAM, PDM, ERP, etc. These problems, as a rule, dare suppliers at additional expense.

It can appear also that in your organisation performing design works, sharply there is a problem for which decision the software, neither Russian, nor foreign is not issued, and you are ready to order working out of such product. The professional companies can give this service only that too will demand certain expenses.

Consider in the budget all listed moments before to protect it before a management.

Let's consider management of the personnel in the organisation performing design works.

And now the promised section “from experience of our clients” about work with the personnel during introduction of CAD.

One of problems which can become on an introduction way – absence of qualified personnel. Several years ago the situation was simply catastrophic. Did not suffice not only experts with skills of the automated designing, capable to work on the computer, but also it is simple designers with good education. There was a big age rupture: in the design organisations worked or very much older persons, or youth from institute. The most active and at the same time skilled employees of middle age have left the design organisations during economic crises. Now this rupture is gradually reduced. The interesting tendency was outlined: to find highly paid work experts independently study and receive certificates on knowledge different software.

From recommendations from our clients: necessarily train the experts, protect them, let's leave. Conduct patronage of high schools, invite to practice of students, prepare them for work in your organisation performing design works. Develop preceptorship institute, stimulate skilled employees to train youth. Some companies even pay training of talented young men in high schools, that further for contract conditions to employ them.

Necessarily allocate working hours for development of CAD. It is desirable to fix it documentary, for example, the order that two hours per day the expert is obliged to master CAD, and at this time nobody can give to it of other tasks.

Supervise, as your employees work: watch, that they used new technologies, do not allow to come back to old methods. For this purpose each participant of the project of introduction of CAD should understand that it personally from it will receive, and not to be afraid of decrease in the salary, deterioration of working conditions or dismissal. Necessarily discuss these questions and remove fears. After all silent sabotage is capable to brake considerably introduction process, and the result will appear later, than is planned.

If the collective part there can be some opposition between other employees and participants of the project is involved in introduction of CAD only. The head should show to other collective the disposition to the people working over introduction of CAD and by that to underline importance of this process. Necessarily motivate participants of the project, for example, financially or possibility of improvement of professional skill, reception of certificates. Encourage employees to write articles, give the chance to them to act, go on seminars, to communicate and be recognised among colleagues from other organisations performing design works. It will stimulate other experts to participation in introduction of new technologies.

Criteria of successful introduction of CAD should be defined right at the beginning. As a rule, criteria of success of the plan of introduction is degree of realisation of the major design and business problems, including:
- Improvement of information interchange with the customer and contractors.
- Reduction of expenses of time for designing and preparation of the design documentation.
- Reduction of expenses of time for check of the project and drawings.
- Increase of efficiency of data exchange between structural divisions of the organisation.
- Elimination of superfluous processes of processing and restoration of the design data.
- Representation of results of work in necessary formats.
- Increase of competitiveness of the organisation thanks to faultless quality of production.
- Management of the brought changes and their tracing.
- Increase in quantity of offered design variants.
- Minimising of quantity of design errors and errors in the documentation.
- Higher presentation of representation on drawings of design plans.
- The designing considering real market conditions and budgets of building.

So, time, patience and the finance for work with the personnel be required to you. Consider in the project budget also these expenses.

And in summary: despite financial and time expenses introduction of processes of automation of manufacture will pay off handsomely if you are attentive at a partner choice. Before to pay to somebody, you should be assured that your relations will not end at the moment of the payment of invoice and the supplier will not disappear, having left you in private with your problems.

1. Konvisar E. Pitfalls of implementing CAD
2. Introduction of CAD []
3. Introduction of process of 3D-modelling

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 03/23/2010

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