Progressing Forward with Vault
The company’s owner is a proponent of using up-to-date software to keep the company progressing forward and found that the Autodesk trend toward doing that aligned better with Sigma Thermal goals, particularly in the use of Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD P&ID, and Autodesk Inventor. Until 2016, Sigma Thermal was using Synergis Adept. Users found that the Autodesk Inventor integration was slow when using Adept, especially checking larger drawings in and out. Efficiency was suffering. In addition, because Sigma Thermal is ISO9000 certified, everyone in the company – not just IT personnel, designers and engineering – needed access to project files, corporate information, procedures and the employee handbook.
It was important to Sigma Thermal to have a system where different departments can access and view files. That system also needed to house and keeps historical data about files that have been sent to customers. During discovery meetings with Applied Software specialists, Sigma Thermal personnel refined their goals and bounced ideas off one another. Using a team approach, Sigma Thermal mapped out the non-negotiable needs they had. “We planned out what we needed and why,” said Operations Coordinator Audrey Collett. That was followed by an additional “wish list.” As part of the team, Applied Software provided feedback about whether the things Sigma Thermal wanted were feasible and attainable. As Collett explained, “They were very upfront about whether something would work. I don’t always need to hear the word ‘yes.’ I need some reality. Our communication with Applied was realistic, and I appreciated it.”
Applied Software set up a testing environment that was key for ensuring limited down time of Sigma Thermal systems, which would affect productivity. The group implementation effort, including Applied team members, minimized downtime by working nights, weekends and even holidays. “They went the extra mile,” Collett said. Customizations were created in Autodesk Vault for the data transfer/ migration process, complete with documentation. “It was a heck of a migration,” Collett explained. “It took four days altogether.” When Autodesk Vault went live at Sigma Thermal, there were two people from Applied onsite to field questions. “After the implementation, we had a ton of support. They made themselves available as much as possible,” she added. Collett received follow-up training on data management and maintaining user settings. She then trained the other end users, always with access to Applied Software Autodesk Vault support if needed.
“Now we’re in a maintenance phase,” she said. “For admin, setting up workflows and properties work very well. It’s well organized. There’s a great interface. Our customizations are great too.” Collett elaborated, “I like the workflow and the ability to go in as an admin and create user-defined properties specific to each file. It’s important for us to have a systematic way to put files in and categorize them.” Applied Software “did a good job meeting those needs. They were very professional and helpful.” “I personally really enjoyed working with the [Applied Software] team that helped us migrate and push forward,” Collett said. “They set us up to succeed.”
In partnership with Applied Software, Sigma Thermal was successful in implementing Autodesk Vault project data management software to meet its non-negotiable needs, in addition to some wish list items.
- Product Design & Manufacturing Collection
- Configuration & Deployment
- MEP Engineering