Precision Engineering and Manufacture

Paper based change process had devolved into adhocracy and storing paper drawings were taking too much space.

A 50+ year old engineering and manufacturing company had been using paper based processes since they began. Many of their processes had turned into the best efforts of those involved. The Engineering Change process was documented but in most cases required special effort to complete. Depending upon the department and people the changes could be handled differently.

Over time they had accumulated an abundance of drawing cabinets. They were not tightly controlled and sometimes had multiple red-lined drawings for the same part revision.

Internal part numbering was a mix between supplier part numbers, customer part numbers and internally generated intelligent part numbers.

Some of the management team had been exposed to PLM before with mixed results.  They could not justify the large up front tools and consulting costs from most providers.  Aras’ Enterprise Open Source model provided a way to prove effectiveness before spending large sums of money.


The client was not comfortable designing a new change process until they gained some experience with the tools. So process documents were changed to reflect change management processes similar to the out of the box processes provided by Aras Innovator.

Paper drawings and documents were compared to electronic copies and migrated to Innovator’s Document management.  When multiple paper copies were found they were resolved.

The decision was made to migrate to a primarily dumb numbering scheme (start at ‘n’ and count up) then rely on classification and additional properties to find parts.  Old part numbers were mapped to new numbers, BOMs remade and verified.


There is now a standard engineering change process for Parts and Documents that is followed.

Innovator is the source of approved documents and drawings for essentially all engineering and manufacturing documentation.

Clearing out of the file cabinets of documentation made room for an 8 person conference room, room for 4 more engineering staff and additional space on the manufacturing floor.