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Engineering Information Management (EIM) - Not Just For Engineering

Matt Lane

If you work in a process industry such as steel, chemicals, pulp & paper, food processing, pharmaceutical, utilities or other similar industries, one of the best ways to improve your facility’s performance is with the implementation of a state-of-the-art engineering information management (EIM) system.  However, contrary to its name, EIM systems have organizational impacts far beyond engineering.

In general, EIM systems are designed to allow plant facilities to easily manage, share and control all drawings and other documents and their related metadata that relate to your facility’s assets, equipment, processes, operations and projects.  Hagerman & Company offers three main solutions in this area: Autodesk Vault, Synergis Adept and Accruent (formerly BlueCielo) Meridian.

Besides engineering, other areas and departments within a typical organization that can benefit from having a good EIM system can include:

  • Maintenance personnel can quickly easily find the correct drawings and documents on a 24/7 basis so that they can perform their work quickly and thus minimize plant and equipment downtime

  • Operations staff can find the correct current information so that they can perform their work safely and according to the latest procedures

  • Purchasing can be ensured of finding the correct revision of drawings so that when they sent to vendors your plant receives back the correct replacement parts and equipment

  • Capital Projects team members can perform online reviews, markups and approvals of critical new engineering and construction developed internally or received from outside vendors

  • Safety and Compliance can better ensure that all staff is following proper procedures using the right information to reduce accidents and improve regulatory compliance

A good EIM system will also help facilities:

  • Reduce the quantity of and costs associated with engineering change orders which typically eat up a huge amount of overall project costs

  • Spur better collaboration with outside engineering and construction firms and equipment suppliers

  • Store and preserve the critical knowledge of experienced staff members who are nearing retirement age

Far too often, we find customers who do not have a secure and accurate store of knowledge managed within an engineering information management system and struggle with inefficiencies, risks, excess costs, project delays, etc. as a result.  If you believe your facility could benefit from a new system or improvements within your current system, we are here to help!