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Autodesk Vault: The importance of efficient data management for designers – 4 May 2018

Data Management is something designers don’t want to think about. Even whispers of the word ‘data management’ in a design office are enough to signal darting eyes, ‘eers ‘and ‘ummms’ and the occasional dash for cover. Why should designers worry about data management anyway? Isn’t that a job for IT?

The design process itself generates a multitude of data, that’s constantly evolving, changing and adapting. Design as a process, is built around the concept of evaluating ideas, refining designs and making changes. It is all these changes and consequently swarms of files, that often makes data management the bane of designers lives. What’s more, the product data that’s generated has intrinsic value to the organisation, well beyond the end of the design phase, and all too often designers fail to grasp hold of the importance and value, of effective data management in their teams.

While the consequences of poor data management may not seem important at first, mismanagement of critical product data, can have both a direct and indirect effect on the project and design. Complications in organising and exporting data between individuals and teams can have a severe impact on productivity and efficiency. Failure to establish a reliable and transparent system will result in extreme difficulty ensuring the integrity of data and documentation. This can have detrimental effects on the outcome and decision making process’s that influence the current design, and future designs projects.

With effective implementation of a data management and documentation systems, design organizations will be able to provide traceability, accountability and repeatability of their design data. Productivity is increased, work-flows are optimised, costly errors and unnecessary reworks are avoided. Some design managers at this point will respond with ‘well we will just stick it on a hard drive and just back it up frequently’- This is fraught with issues. One of which is its easy for team members to accidently move, and delete files. How do you know who is working on what file? Which revision?

Fortunately for designers, Autodesk have Data Management locked down. Autodesk ‘Vault’ data management software, helps designers and engineers organise design data, manage documentation, track revisions and other development processes all in a single, central, secure location, accessible to all team members.

Here are my Top 10 reasons why Autodesk Vault is invaluable to your design organisation:

1. Integration/Interoperability

Autodesk Vault integrates with the Autodesk Collection seamlessly, meaning you can use it with any CAD Autodesk product! This makes it easy to manage data associated with your digital prototype from concept design, right through to manufacturing. The Vault itself is an add on within existing Autodesk programmes so accessing that data and checking out files to work on is simple, intuitive and requires no file translations. This ensures data accuracy is maintained throughout the project and saves time.

2. Effective Communication

Design is centralised around effective collaboration between parties involved in the project. In Vault, team members can work on CAD files, without overwriting each other’s data due to multiuser functionality. Because files are checked in and checked out, everyone on the team knows who is working on what and when. This improves the allocation of resources and the effectiveness of design decisions.

3. Finding Data Is Easy

Vault packs in a number of advanced search features and filter parameters, which make finding specific files a much quicker and easier task.

4. Revision Management/History

With Vault, design revisions are automatically logged and displayed in a single location. Files are securely released and tracked throughout the design cycle, making sure that team members only access the correct and latest version of the file.

5. User Friendly Administration

Autodesk Vault provides a series of tools to aid in the managing of the Vault server. The interface of these are simple and easy to use, enabling designers to make quick changes when necessary.

6. Copy & Reuse Data

There is no need to spend hours manually duplicating models in CAD. Vault allows users to create a complete digital copy of parts and assemblies, including all related files and documentation, to either replace or copy. Easy.

7. Share Data across the organisation

Vault Collaboration and Vault Professional software, enable designers to share engineering design data with other people outside the design team, such as machinists. This is all achieved through an included web client. Recipients can then suggest changes and mark up designs and send these back to the design team. You can further extend the capabilities with the free Autodesk Viewer, which is also mobile compatible.

8. Multi-site functionality

Vault Collaboration and Vault Professional, can be used to synchronise design data across multiple sites, vastly improving design intent and communication of projects with distributed teams. Vault Professional can easily facilitate multiple users in different locations across the globe, working on the same file, and prevents them from overwriting each other. 

9. Automated change processes

Autodesk Vault Professional software gives design teams the choice of standard or configurable processes for release and engineering change order management, helping them avoid mistakes.

10. Exchange Data with Enterprise Business Systems  

Vault Professional, allows users to Coexist and Exchange Data with Enterprise Business Systems. Included are powerful tools to manage Bill of Materials (BOMs) and options for earlier collaboration, by exchanging data with manufacturing business systems.

With Autodesk Vault as a complete Data Management System, your organisation will be able to reduce new product development costs, bring products to market faster, and optimise engineering workflows. Most importantly, Vault allows you to utilise that valuable design data to enhance team collaboration and design decision making, with minimal effort and maximum results.

Autodesk Vault: The importance of efficient data management for designers

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