Over the years, engineers and designers have embraced new technologies such as CAD/ CAM systems to develop products and ideas that have changed the way we live. As CAD systems evolve, some of these technologies become outdated, but the data produced can still have a relevance and may need to be accessed for possibly many years to come.
So when the technology becomes outdated, how do you preserve its data output and carry it forward?
Theorem’s Process Automation services offer tailored and automated legacy migration solutions that enable you to seamlessly transfer legacy data to your new system, whilst helping to manage the execution of data migration tasks, automating repetitive tasks and utilising available hardware and software resources.
Many organisations have to support obsolete design and manufacturing systems to keep old legacy data just in case it needs to be reworked or reviewed. This is a huge drain of resources and is compounded by old storage formats (some of which are obsolete or no longer supported by the original vendors). In some cases vendors of hardware and software are no longer in business. There are legal implications here for conformance if data is not migrated in a structured and auditable manner.
Every organisation that has used CAD systems through several iterations of the software will need to migrate legacy data to a newer system. This requirement may involve the need to move both Bill of Materials (BOM) and CAD data, or they may be required as two separate phases of the same project. Whilst the CAD data will be held in a legacy CAD repository, the BOM data may be in a variety of forms including spreadsheets, databases or a legacy PDM system. When new systems are commissioned, many data migrations fail due to lack of planning, poor strategy, weak methodology, and poor testing. It is critical that all data migration projects are checked and tested thoroughly using advanced automation processes to eliminate the risk of data incompatibility.
Any data system that contains important data for compliance, retrieval and distribution up and down the supply chain needs long-term support. Problems lead to make-shift solutions, additional overtime and poor morale when simple actions keep going wrong. The solution is effective data migration management. The trigger may be a new system implementation, or it may be required due to the cumulative build-up of data compatibility issues. So moving to the next generation of design and PLM solutions is absolutely the logical way forward, but how do you get your legacy data into new systems? The risk of not migrating and then having to write off years of legacy data and start again is not an option, even setting aside the legal implications of lost data.
Data migration pays for itself when you start to take into account the costs of maintaining expensive hardware and software that is no longer supported by the vendors, and you help your engineering team access and manage their legacy data by implementing a professionally managed data migration exercise. So what are the solutions to improving engineering productivity whilst reducing costs?
The first solution to effective data migration management is to employ an expert team who can deliver the right results quickly. The project will always require meticulous planning, analysis of current issues, recognition of old platforms, having the capability to access data from these old platforms and migration without loss of data or corruption. This approach requires a robust methodology and the adoption of best practices, followed by rigorous testing before and following going live. This level of specialised expertise rarely resides in-house.
Then, secondly, develop a ‘statement of work’, define end-goals, model the process and develop a robust testing regime that document the requirements, analyses source systems and legacy data, examines business processes, and assesses the requirements of data management, hardware, software, and internal resources. Once this has taken effect a work plan can be published including risk management and resource planning strategies.
Different data types that can be migrated
- 3D CAD Geometry
- 3D Product Structure
- 3D CAD PMI
- 2D Data
- Visualization Data
- BOMS and manufacturing data.
Theorem can consult, audit and report on the best practices and options for legacy migration and make independent recommendations to meet specific requirements and timescales. In addition it will be done cost effectively and by experts in the process of moving legacy data.
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