Your team-based manufacturing design processes could be improved if your team has any of these challenges:
- Following industry and company standards;
- Browsing through various data repositories trying to locate prototype revisions;
- Fixing broken links between assemblies and components resulting from copying, renaming or moving files;
- Taking time to manually print large batches of drawings one by one;
- Maintaining spreadsheets of files consumed by top level and subassemblies;
- Using the wrong drawings for production.
Although automation tools like Autodesk Vault can be your digital manufacturing pain reliever, it can be so much more effective when you make the best use of its features.
For one annual fee, you can get access to unlimited remote technical support for Vault, including server monitoring and an annual Vault server upgrade. A deal like this is hard to come by, so contact Applied Software, Graitec Group today to claim your benefits and preventatives.
If you are already using Vault in your digital workflow, the next step is to take a look at your processes. Here’s to avoiding disasters, and 4 other things you should know about Vault in manufacturing.
Imagine your worst-case scenario for data loss, then plan for it. Document your plan so anyone can follow it if the “worst case” happens when you’re not in the office. Keep your plan up to date to stay ahead of changes to server environments. The Autodesk article on Vault disaster recovery explains a variety of restore scenarios. Just reviewing it will inspire you to develop a plan right away. Regularly review the process of restoring by practicing with a non-production Vault Server – the recommendation is to do this monthly.
We’ve all experienced the “OH NO” moment when something wipes out files that are essential to our work. So, administrators should take the time in advance to avoid those misfortunes. The backup can be created and restored from the Autodesk Data Management Server (ADMS) console, which automates both processes. The ADMS will track the number of days since the last backup, the number of incremental backups since the last full backup and whether the server is eligible for an incremental restore. A good method for automating the backup is to create a batch file that can be executed on a schedule using Windows Task Scheduler. For proactive administration, you can even script for log file creation and notification.
To manage files and avoid duplicate file names, turn on “Enforce Unique File Names” in the Vault client pull down menu: Tools -> Administration -> Vault Settings. For other best practices for administrators, see the Autodesk Knowledge Network for “Administration – Files.”
Leave “Disable Check In of Design Files” selected. This prevents users from dragging and dropping CAD files into the Vault. You can ensure all data is uploaded to the Vault using Vault add-ins for client applications to check new files into Vault. For example, you can add files to Vault using the Inventor Vault add-in. Using AutoLoader, up to 5,000 CAD files can be safely bulk uploaded at a time. In order to use AutoLoader, the “Enforce Unique File Names” needs to be unchecked. To learn more, see “Autoloader.”
To ensure that the SQL database is optimized for performance, an administrator should run the scheduled maintenance plan every week when everyone is logged out. Since a corrupted backup is not a backup at all, always confirm afterward that the maintenance was successful. Maintenance plans will check database and transaction log files for optimal size, as well as checking for database inconsistencies. For detailed information about maintenance plans, access the Autodesk Knowledge Network article, “Server Maintenance Part 6: Create SQL Maintenance Plan.”
Vault can alleviate your team-based design challenges and the tedious tasks in digital manufacturing workflows. Learn more about Vault in the Applied Software blog article “7 enhancements to 2D PDFs in Vault.”
If you’re not using Vault yet or would like to talk to an industry expert about using it more efficiently in your digital manufacturing processes, contact Applied Software, Graitec Group today.