Common practices make the design work more effective


Anyone who has made CAD designing knows how unnecessary routines slow the work and take away time from the most important task – the creative process. And how frustrating it is to know that certainly someone has already thought about that and perhaps has even come up with a solution – but where to find it?

Pentti Suoniemi, CADS main user of Sweco’s Tampere branch is used to being asked for advice how to bypass the routine tasks. He is happy to share his knowledge, but the basic instructions can be replaced with a much more efficient method. “Toni Hirvonen from Kymdata visited us, and we tuned my workstation into top CADS condition. Numerous settings, database locations, symbol libraries and much more. When everything was properly set up we copied the settings file under the installation program on the network disc, and the work was done. In this way, the settings will be available at all CADS workstations,” Suoniemi demonstrates. “When I put it like this, it sounds childishly simple but in surprisingly many design companies this is not the practice.”

The benefits are visible from the start

So, what is then achieved with this? Toni Hirvonen reminds us how easy it is to get stuck in your own habits if there is no better model available. “I have done it this way before,” is heard from behind the desk, “and then we suddenly have dozens of different ways to design an electrical board,” Hirvonen describes everyday life in a random design office. “Although the creation of a uniform design practice would be really simple.”
When CADS installation installs a copy of the main user’s settings, the designer will have available a design environment with model projects and drawings as well. And if someone has created a custom toolbar for designing a circuit diagram, this will be made available for everyone as well. “Designers have immediately accepted this practice. The benefits are so obvious,” says Pentti Suoniemi. ”When everyone draws with the same settings it is easy to modify a drawing someone else has created.”

What kind of a business will benefit the most?

According to Pentti Suoniemi, each even a slightly large company should harmonise their design practice in the same way as Sweco has done. Toni Hirvonen agrees. “I learned the benefits of operating model in a project we did with Valmet. Ever since I have shared this with every company where I have performed CADS installations. The company size has no significance, only the fact that they design using the pro-installation. Whether a company employs 3 or 30 designers, the need for common practices is the same. It’s your mind-set and a jointly built solution that are decisive factors,” Toni Hirvonen acknowledges.