Fermilab technical staff pool engineering resources with Teamcenter

Julie Kurnat, TD, reviews an engineering drawing in Teamcenter. Photo courtesy of Tony Metz

Things are better when they’re shared, the saying goes. That’s the spirit of cooperation behind Fermilab’s Teamcenter.

Teamcenter gives technical staff across the laboratory a central place to share all things engineering. With a single system, employees can access with just a few mouse clicks the lab’s substantial repository of engineering data, documents and drawings.

“Teamcenter provides the technical staff with information in a quick and reliable way,” said Rich Stanek, Teamcenter program sponsor. “Everyone can see original engineering data and track it as it’s updated.”

Teamcenter is gaining traction. Prior to Teamcenter coming online in January 2012, nearly all of the laboratory’s engineering data was stored in various data silos or where it was most practical for employees to access it—on their own hard drives or local networks.

Now approximately 30 Fermilab employees use Teamcenter daily. In addition, 15 users outside Fermilab have been trained to use Teamcenter for collaborative projects such as PXIE and the proposed LBNE.

“To realize its full potential, we would like every engineer and design employee at Fermilab to begin using it,” Stanek said. “With more participants, we can do comprehensive, concurrent engineering across divisions and departments and take advantage of common designs.”

Teamcenter’s holdings include 4,000 CAD models and a standard-parts library of 30,000 components. It has capabilities for cross-referencing notes and commenting documents and component drawings. It also features a migration tool for those who want to move their older data from local disks to Teamcenter.

Future plans include making it easier for users to access Teamcenter and adding a capability for storing engineering requirements.

Like every good computing tool, Teamcenter comes with thorough technical support, including written instructions, training videos and a team of Fermilab staff members who are ready to answer questions.

“If anyone needs assistance, we can help them get started with Teamcenter,” said Tony Metz, Teamcenter program manager. “We want to help make the transition as smooth as possible and get people comfortable using the system.”

To begin using Teamcenter, employees complete a two-day basic training course. Courses are offered monthly and can be viewed on Fermilab’s TRAIN database. Group courses are also available.

Learn more about Teamcenter at its website. Those who would like help using Teamcenter or who have questions about it may submit a Service Desk ticket, which will be routed to Bob Andree or Tony Metz.

Leah Hesla