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Increasing work efficiency thanks to PDM at ICE Industrial Services

Zdeněk
Krejčí
18.1.2024
Wrote about us

Look at how we implemented the Autodesk Vault solution into ICE Industrial Services, connected it to the information system, and optimized the company's product lifecycle processes.

Learn about the benefits this implementation brought to the company and how it increased efficiency in design, procurement, and production logistics.

Basic Information

Client: ICE Industrial Services, a.s. ICE Industrial Services develops, designs, programs, and installs automated machines and lines for the world's most significant companies.

Our Task: Analyze current company processes, propose a more optimal solution, and implement the PDM system Autodesk Vault with integration into the ERP system.

Result: Creation of a central repository, introduction of automation of routine tasks, and automatic connection to the information system.

Implementation: 2020

About the Project

For the operation of most modern companies, teamwork and data sharing within the company are essential. This is also true for ICE Industrial Services, a.s. – one of the fastest-growing automation companies in the Czech Republic and probably in Europe. For this company, our company ADEON implemented the Autodesk Vault Workgroup system precisely tailored to their needs. This maximized work efficiency, eliminated the risks of knowledge loss, and centralized design data.

About the Company

ICE Industrial Services, a.s., building its name on teamwork, honest dealings, professionalism, and flexibility, develops, designs, programs, and installs automated machines and lines for the world's most significant companies. Starting as a successful start-up in January 2013 with four employees, the company now has a team of 160 people.

In 2014, its majority owner became Strojmetal Aluminium Forging, s.r.o., one of the world's most significant producers of aluminum chassis parts.

They offer their solutions as turnkey deliveries, sub-projects, or hourly services. They focus on the design and production of new machines and modernization of existing equipment, especially for the automotive, engineering, metallurgy, woodworking industries, and other sectors. ICE's projects include various robotizations, automated, single-purpose, testing, and special machines, as well as entire assembly, forging, or robotic lines.

Data Management with Autodesk Vault

The PDM system for data management fundamentally allows a team of people to work without overwriting each other's files and to quickly search for necessary data in the entire database, track file versions, and enable efficient data copying. This program runs on a server (including virtual) and depending on the chosen version of this program, Vault is divided into Vault Basic (free with Inventor) and the more advanced Workgroup and Professional. In addition to these versions, Vault Office is also used, primarily intended for all but designers. More advanced versions of this program can control versions, revisions, numbering, items, generate parts lists, bulk printing, material lists, communicate with the information system, the internet browser, and also manage the data lifecycle.

Deployment Plan

A key milestone in company history is the decision to start with the more advanced Vault (Workgroup/Professional) program. It's the beginning of the journey to greater productivity, guaranteed file order, and a lot of saved time. At the very beginning, the company always receives a detailed offer (preliminary analysis) including return on investment, and it's up to them whether to choose the path of innovation. This is followed by a detailed analysis of company processes, or several sessions with selected representatives of people in the company who will work with the design data. Once we accurately analyze your needs, we can start programming Vault add-ons that help automate routine activities. At the same time, the configuration and installation of the server begin. As soon as possible, testing is initiated, where process flows are fine-tuned.

Analysis

Once the ICE management approved the deployment of Vault Workgroup, ADEON began a detailed analysis of company processes. Along with the introduction of Vault, an ERP system was being implemented. This proved to be an advantage because we were able to work closely with their implementation team and align both systems. We were also interested in all the movement of design data in the company. This was followed by interviews with department heads to find out how they work with data. Consultation with each department head is essential for Vault to properly secure the final distribution of documents and design information.

ADEON supplemented the functionality of Autodesk Vault with program modifications. Their goal was to facilitate and make users' work more efficient, eliminating activities that can be automated. The result is optimized communication of information between Inventor, Vault, and the ERP system. An essential part of these program modifications is the development of control mechanisms to protect data from non-standard work practices.

The most crucial part of the analysis is to correctly define the key requirements for the future system, which in our case were:

  • Create a centrally managed repository
  • Synchronize design data
  • Introduce managed revisions
  • Connect with the information system
  • Automate routine tasks

Implementation and Result

The first step of the implementation process is the installation of Vault on the company's server and customizing the software precisely. Different user groups are set up, documentation is categorized and classified, its life cycles, and other requirements from the previous analysis are defined. A very important step is gradual testing and implementation of programmed applications and services, testing, and fine-tuning their functionality. The better the testing phase, the smoother the company's launch of live operation. Even so, minor problems may be discovered only after several months of routine operation. Over time, changes occur in company processes. Therefore, our implementers ensure long-term support of the implemented solution.

"If we retrospectively evaluate two similar projects created without Vault and with Vault, after the deployment of PDM solution from ADEON, the work efficiency in design, procurement, and production logistics increased by about 30%."

Zdeněk Krejčí Senior Design Engineer, ICE Industrial Services, a.s.

Original article can be found here