No stop signs, no traffic lights. Not even a roundabout.
That was how file management used to feel for Bernie Voges, Senior Protection Engineer for Hoosier Energy.
But thanks to Adept Software, Hoosier finally found a way to police those files and provide some direction.
In April, Voges was one of three guest panelists as Synergis Software, developer of Adept engineering data and document management solutions, hosted a webinar with close to 400 people in attendance.
Voges, along with Paul Melzen of Eversource Energy and Blake Donley of Great River Energy, helped share some of the ways Adept has become a traffic cop for their utilities. Synergis’ Scott Lamond moderated the session, which lasted a little over 90 minutes.
One incident illustrated the need at Hoosier Energy.
“The field guys work off paper, but we had two different drawings with the same version number,” Voges recalled. “One contractor on a project ripped out some conduit that wasn’t on his paper. Another contractor came in and installed the conduit according to his paper, then the other guy came back and saw stuff was still there and ripped it out again.
“Eventually, they realized it was the same version number but with different information. We had to contact engineering and say, ‘There’s a discrepancy we need to fix.’”
Relatively speaking, that was a harmless mistake.
“With relays and stuff, one wrong wire and you have a substation blackout or worse, people or equipment hurt or damaged,” Voges said.
Further investigation revealed that nearly 30% of Hoosier’s files were duplicates, highlighting the need for some better controls.
“It’s one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know,” Voges said. “It was eye-opening for us to figure out our system was in pretty big disarray.”
Enter the Adept software, which now helps manage over 225,000 documents ranging from drawings/prints to 2D-3D designs to PDF/TIFF formats to factory test reports and calculation sheets.
“The files we keep in Adept are living documents that have a life cycle which needs to be updated on a routine basis,” Voges said.
He went on to add that it has been well worth the investment to have an automated drawing management system serve as an internal traffic cop.
“It sort of keeps the chaos under control.”