Change / Release Process with 3D PDF
Product development is different in every company. Some companies have formal procedures; others work ad hoc. These differences make coordinating change/release processes between partner companies difficult. One problem involves proposing changes, understanding those changes, and communicating change orders. Another problem is in exchanging the associated data from different authoring systems, databases, and enterprise management system. A third problem is in disseminating approved changes to the 3D model geometry itself and associated parts lists, materials properties sheets, work instructions, annotations, and other PMI—source data in various native file formats in various information systems.
Suppliers have two choices. They can wholly support the change/release processes of their respective customers—while carrying on with their own processes. Alternatively, they can find some middle ground where they and their customers’ change/release processes intersect. This intersection is the technology for the efficient exchange of information. The technology has to be able to convert information in a format readable and available to all involved, captures all kinds of product data (from native CAD files to BOMs to annotations), offer a range of individualized access
security, and support bidirectional communication so that supplier-initiated changes automatically feed back to the corporate information system supporting the customer’s change/release processes.
The 3D PDF Solution
3D PDF technology supports cross-enterprise change/release processes. Intelligent PDF forms templates provide automation to support proposals for change, change orders, and change notifications. All the information relevant to evaluating and implementing change orders can be embedded in a single PDF container. All data—3D models, 2D drawings, parts lists, and much more—can be extracted from this container and automatically fed back into the respective back-end information systems. In this way, automation integrates the cross-enterprise change/release processes seamlessly into the internal engineering change management systems at each partner site.
3D PDF technology facilitates and speeds up the implementation and coordination of change/release order processing in cross-enterprise and multi-company collaborations.
- XML-based forms technology automates data import/export to/from 3D PDF documents and integrated back-end design, engineering, manufacturing, and enterprise management information systems.
- 3D models, 2D drawings, parts lists annotations, and any other data relevant to changes in product development/design/manufacture can be included in a 3D PDF container, which acts as a standard format readable by all participants.
- Recipients need only Adobe Reader to view data, add annotations, and use “red-lining” functions.
- Comments can be collated in a document and extracted to document the change/release for backend information systems.
- Using interactive 3D geometry in Adobe Reader facilitates understanding, evaluating, and coordinating proposed changes (e.g., highlighting the deviations between two model versions).
- Password protection ensures that only authorized persons have access to change/release orders, and digital signatures simplify authorizations across multiple companies. Optional security measures (DRM) can control the contents of the 3D PDF container throughout the change/release cycle.
- Standardization of cross-enterprise, multi-company change/release processes, which ultimately facilitates and speeds the coordination, discussion, and decision-making related to change/release in cross-enterprise and multi-company collaborations.
- Integration with internal change/release workflows, providing a high degree of automation in what would otherwise be manual change/release order processing.
- Seamless documentation of change/release orders.
- High level of access security to change/release information and authorizations.
- Faster implementation and coordination of change/release order processing in cross-enterprise and multi-company collaborations.