Teamcenter is almost here

Rich Stanek

Rich Stanek, Teamcenter program sponsor, wrote this week’s column.

The saying goes that good things come to those who wait; well, the wait is almost over. The laboratory is moving towards a common Engineering Data Management System (EDMS) called Teamcenter. It captures elements of the approved Fermilab engineering process, as described in our Engineering Manual, and the associated documents it generates. Teamcenter will move into production this year.

Teamcenter will be a major advancement for Fermilab as it will allow a more consistent and organized approach to engineering data management. With this tool, the days of storing important engineering documents on individual hard drives or on hard-to-access share volumes are over. Documents, computer-aided design (CAD) models and drawings, specifications and engineering analysis can all be stored in a central repository searchable by our entire technical staff. The embedded work flow capabilities will allow more efficient review of documents as well as electronic signoff. Automatic notification will let people know when there has been a modification to a document or CAD file. This will be a major change in the way we do business but it has the potential to dramatically increase our productivity. The goal is to have all types of engineering data available to our staff and collaborators.

Teamcenter is a multi-year implementation that will begin with a few pilot projects and then incorporate project engineering data in a sequential fashion. This first phase will concentrate on mechanical CAD and general engineering documentation. Over time, additional functionality will be added and CAD for other engineering disciplines, such as electrical and civil, will be incorporated. To help make the transition, training tools are being developed and formal training will be available.

Making the transition to a laboratory-wide EDMS is an incredibly challenging task requiring the efforts of many key individuals to assure we make wise choices in configuration. The teamwork exhibited by the Computing Sector experts, led by Tony Metz, Rich Karuhn and Bob Andree, the technical staff on our Core Team, our many contributors from the design groups and the Siemens Services team has been exceptional.

I wish to offer my thanks to all who have contributed and to everyone who will use the system in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration it promotes. As we launch into exploration at a new science frontier, we also unveil a new tool to help us do our jobs even better.