Lean Supply Edition
May 2009

Information InDepth

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New Visualization Technologies Streamline Lean Business Processes and Boost Collaboration

New combinations of technologies for displaying and managing 2D engineering drawings and 3D models are helping manufacturers streamline their business processes and reduce overhead for repair and service contracts.

Known as visualization technologies, the products foster closer collaboration among engineers and repair technicians by enabling them to share configurations, designs, and color-coded visualized models without incurring the time delays and shipping expenses that arise from mailing paper-based documents across geographical regions and time zones, says Andy Binsley, Oracle’s senior director of asset lifecycle management and manufacturing product strategy.

“Oracle has combined multiple technologies so companies have one solution for displaying, sharing, and securely storing these electronic files,” he adds.

One of the latest offerings is Oracle AutoVue, which lets designers collaborate with one another as well as with service and repair technicians on multiple types of files, including 2D engineering drawings, 3D models, and circuit board schematics, and traditional Microsoft Word and PDF files.

In addition to translating various document formats, Oracle AutoVue helps organizations manage iterative versions of designs. “If different groups of engineers all need to work on copies of the same file, AutoVue eliminates the challenge of making sure everyone is accessing the latest version of the file, enhancing the service process,” Binsely says.

Flexibility in viewing documents is important for field technicians, he adds, because it gives them ready access to engineering diagrams and schematics. Using portable computers equipped with AutoVue, service people can consult original engineering materials to quickly identify and fix problems in a virtual world.

“Service staff have 3D visualizations that are interactive, so technicians can rotate a 3D model of the product, for example, or drill down into it to better understand the individual parts and the top assembly to improve the maintenance process,” Binsley says.

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