In my previous blog post Trying to be Lean? Are you looking in the right place? I talked about the amount of time you spend creating different representations or formats of information (PDF, Excel, xml, tsv, csv, Navisworks, STEP, SAT, DWF, DXF, images (PNG, JPG), native DWG, 4D simulation, cnc, etc.) required to build and construct today’s vessels. This includes the numerous reports, 3D models and drawings needed to be generated for purchasing, planning, production, weight management, fabrication, CNC machines, FEA analysis, subcontractors and the list goes on and on.
I also talked about one of Lean’s eight deadly wastes: Waiting. The worst type of waiting is when you cannot proceed with a specific task because the required information is not available. This is a common occurrence within today’s workplace, especially with all the additional information your organization is generating.
In this post I want to answer the question:
How can you minimize the amount of time it takes to generate all this information in a representation or format consumable by all the stakeholders as well as eliminate waiting on this information?
With the just released EnterprisePlatform PublisherLT product you can now manage, control and automate the generation of information in any required representation. This will optimize the generation of required deliverables from your engineering team and will also allow other stakeholders who require information from ShipConstructor to generate their information when they need it without interrupting the engineering team. This reduces waiting and with less interruptions your engineering team can accomplish much more.
Goals of the EnterprisePlatform PublisherLT
There is no doubt there is a lot of information required to build ships and other marine structures. The challenge is to get the information in a consumable representation for other stakeholders or end systems.
There is a massive amount of data in the MIM that can be leveraged throughout the organization. The challenge is the data you need is not always in the representation you require. For example there are no PDF’s within the MIM but it is well known this type of output or representation can be generated very easily. There is also no BOM stored in an XLS format but this representation can also be created and linked to the MIM as shown here.
The main goal of the EnterprisePlatform PublisherLT is to allow you to not worry about how to generate these types of information as well as not spend your precious time generating these outputs.
These generated outputs can be consumed by stakeholders in any department as well as other systems such as PDM, PLM and ERP.
The number of hours wasted when someone needs to interrupt another team member either on the same team or a different department is huge. This wasted time is usually tracked as “overhead” which makes it very hard for some to quantify. However, it will be a substantial portion of the hours accounted as overhead.
We wanted to have a system where anyone in the organization in any department (purchasing, planning, engineering, production, production, management, shop floor, inspectors, etc.) can access the information they need in a consumable format when they want it. There is no need to call and interrupt anyone to get a piece of information which is essential to complete their current task.
This empowers each person to have the capability to always get the most up-to-date information in a format they can use when needed. No waiting and no interruptions.
One key objective we had with PublisherLT is to make it as non-disruptive as possible. Disruptions can come in many forms:
- Changes to work flows and processes
- New or modified business goals
- Additional or different stakeholders
- New or different types of information required
- Training of new staff
- Change in department responsibilities
- New system or tools implemented in companies marine environment
- Interruptions from stakeholders which require specific information ASAP
The idea is that many of these disruptions should not be disruptions. For example if a draftsman or engineer has completed their task (i.e. ECO) they should not have to be concerned how their information will be used downstream. If a specific BOM needs to be generated for purchasing or a report with CG’s and weight information or deliverables to support an ERP or PLM system, the user should not need to be burdened with remembering and generating all the information. Especially as there will continually be more and more departments and stakeholders which require more and more information.
The PublisherLT allows the user to be focused on their primary task without worrying about what information they need to generate, who needs it, where do I put it and has anything changed since the last time I did this.
This Non-Disruptive goal allows any stakeholder to generate all the information required by themselves or multiple other stakeholder by selecting a single operation (explained below).
This operation can be managed and changed by your administrator without the end user being disrupted. For example if there is a new ERP tool which is being implemented and requires a bill of materials, the operation can be changed to accommodate the requirements of the new system. When the user completes their task they select the same operation they always do and all the information including the additional BOM is generated. The user did not even have to know what additional information was required or who requires it as well as where to store the information; it was all preconfigured by the administrator.
How does it work?
The EnterprisePlatform PublisherLT is a separate application that runs beside ShipConstructor. This means there is no need to run ShipConstructor to open PublisherLT. PublisherLT has its own Graphical User Interface (GUI) allowing users to interact in a simple and intuitive way. There is absolutely no requirement for the user to know how to use ShipConstructor. This allows any team to be able to run PublisherLT which will empower them to be able to generate the information they need when they need it.
The PublisherLT only requires two inputs:
- Criteria: This will determine what are the source items (Drawings, Parts, Systems, Assemblies, Spools) you want to use as your source items. This can be filtered by anything. For example you can get all parts which were modified by Denis in the last two day and all the production drawings he updated in the last week. A simpler example that will be more common would be to select all parts, spools and drawings which are part of my work package.
- Operations: Operations are a collection of user defined actions to execute on the input criteria. Examples could be to create a PDF, Navisworks model, PCF, STEP, PNG, exported version of a BOM or virtually any other type of output. Operations can also create disconnected transient drawings (DWG) of the selected criteria. This can be used for various reasons when you require a 3D CAD model of the project to distribute.
Operations are per user or department allowing only the operations which apply to the user to be available. This will reduce the amount of noise by only listing the operations that makes sense for the user. These operations can be managed by a designated person or team allowing the end user to not have to manage and create the required operations. These operations can also be changed and propagated to users to allow a more streamlined workflow and require the end users to not be disrupted when additional or different types of information is required.
I did not want to get into too much detail about how the PublisherLT accomplishes all this mainly because I would have to write a novel. I will be writing many posts in the future on how you can use PublisherLT to generate any representation of information (PDF, Excel, xml, tsv, csv, Navisworks, STEP, SAT, DWF, DXF, images (PNG, JPG), native DWG, 4D simulation, CNC, etc.) using any criteria (assembly, spools, compartments & zones, part types, revisions, work packages, etc.). The possibilities are virtually endless.
In the meantime if you are curious about the product you can refer to
High level overview
Webinar created last year.
Removing waste is a great way to be leaner. The amount of time your teams spends on generating information which is consumable by other stakeholders and tools is significant. By having a tool to automate the generation of this information can allow your team to concentrate on tasks which requires and utilizes their skill.
Also by having a tool that empowers each stakeholder to generate the information they need when they need it, will eliminate the amount of time waiting.
If you or anyone on your team requires any information from ShipConstructor it will be a no brainer to use the EnterprisePlatform PublisherLT.
I am so confident that every single client can benefit from PublisherLT I will put my (or SSI’s 🙂 ) money on it. There is nothing to lose and so much time to gain.