Eight reasons why consolidating software improves engineering processes

Consolidating software can provide companies benefits such as better data quality, increased efficiency, and lower overall costs for a project.
By Aucotec October 21, 2017

It’s common across industries for each engineering department to have their own unique tools. While this may work for intradepartmental processes, it can make interdepartmental communication and knowledge exchange a challenge. Tool consolidation and simplification is a fine goal in itself. It reduces complexity and costs. Replacing two or five or ten different engineering platforms with just one has many other advantages. These eight reasons, in particular, are worth considering.

1. Better data quality

The quality of engineering data is closely tied to its consistency. Not only does data need to be accurate, but it needs to be accurate everywhere, at all times. More tools means it is less likely your data will be consistent across all of them. Someone will forget to update a database, or make a data entry mistake, or even start working on the wrong version of a project if they returned from sick leave. With a single tool that automatically updates documentation across an entire project, none of these situations will come to pass. The data—and all of the diagrams and reports generated using those data—will always be consistent.

2. Fewer errors

Engineers are human and make mistakes. But mistakes due to inconsistent data and documentation are 100% preventable by using a single tool rather than several.

3. Support over the life of a project

A project doesn’t end when the final design pdfs are delivered. Depending on the project, there’s still commissioning, installation, manufacturing, and/or maintenance. A single tool supports and provides insight throughout all of these steps.

4. Faster work and lower costs

A single tool not only allows simultaneous editing, but also prevents rework due to versioning mistakes and data quality problems. This cuts engineering time, reducing costs and getting deliverables to your customers faster.

5. Multidisciplinary collaboration

When all project teams work within the same platform, it’s easier for them to collaborate. This prevents miscommunication and facilitates better teamwork.

6. Standardization

One of the best ways to reduce project lead time, cut costs, and minimize errors is through standardization. With a single tool, users can design standard modules and then reuse them for different projects. 

7. Efficiency and optimization

With multiple tools, engineers have to export data out of one system and import it into another. That’s not time well spent. With a single tool, all of the data is in one place, which enhances the process’ efficiency. 

8. Easy to learn, easy to use

Finally, having a single tool reduces training time because engineers have to learn only one platform that they will use throughout an entire project.

Consolidating engineering software can help companies tackle many of the biggest problems facing engineering organizations today. In doing so, the software becomes much more than a tool. It becomes a solution.

This article originally appeared on Aucotec’s blog. Aucotec is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.