ANDRITZ HYDRO, the world’s leading supplier of hydro turbines, has done a lot of engineering over the years. So much so, they’ve amassed some 3,000,000+ engineering drawings to reckon with—some on parchment and others on microfiche. Efficiently managing digitized versions of important documents like these would be task enough for any digital asset management system, but ANDRITZ HYDRO’s requirements went further:
No document search may take more than two seconds.
Turning to Canto Cumulus, ANDRITZ HYDRO found a solution that not only meets the company’s speed requirements, it exceeds them—easily—returning search results in less than a second. This is good news for a company whose ever expanding archive is today only a fraction of the size it’s expected become.
The development of a hydro turbine results in a veritable tsunami of data that must be collected and managed. No part of a turbine assembly goes undocumented, from the room-sized blades, down to the screws that keep it all together.
Then there’s the documentation needed for operation and maintenance, all of which ANDRITZ HYDRO is required by law to maintain for 80 years.
It leaves the employees of ANDRITZ HYDRO virtually treading an ocean of information.
Before Cumulus, ANDRITZ HYDRO relied on microfiche for data storage and retrieval. Though a much better option than hard-copy libraries—especially considering the millions of documents in play—searching microfiche archives was tedious and time consuming. And with more than 25,000 turbine installations worldwide—some more than 50 years old!—information requests could come from anywhere at any time.
The time had come for ANDRITZ HYDRO to turn the tide on its data storage process—and not a moment too soon.
By the year 2000, the digitization of ANDRITZ HYDRO’s microfiche archive was underway, but the weight of the new digital data was starting to take its toll. The company’s computers became bogged down with file management duties they were never designed to do, as Michael Schulyok, manager of CAD and computer science at ANDRITZ HYDRO, explains.
“When we opened folders to find files, we sat for up to five minutes in front of the PC and nothing moved!”
Finding a document requires a mere mouse click, not an information request.
“With Cumulus it takes, at most, half a second and the stuff is there.”
Manufacturing, maintenance and repair projects stay on schedule, because everyone knows where to find what they need—even when the documents they need are many decades old.
Schulyok admits Cumulus is likely to evolve a bit in the company’s next 160 years, but he knows one thing for sure: no matter what, Cumulus 9, 10, 11 and beyond are never going to keep ANDRITZ HYDRO employees waiting more than a fraction of a second.
Anyone who’s tried to manage hundreds of thousands of files on a PC knows Schulyok’s pain.
Like any group of talented engineers would do, ANDRITZ HYDRO tested and analyzed many DAM systems to determine which could best manage the company’s growing archives for the coming decades.
Schulyok knew what he needed their DAM system to do, and he soon found out how many so-called “DAM solutions” weren’t up to the task.
“Most systems could manage ten to twenty thousand files, but then things became difficult.”
Twenty thousand files is some 2.98 million files less than ANDRITZ HYDRO knew it needed to ultimately manage, so the search continued until Cumulus was the last candidate standing.
The impressive speed of the Cumulus search architecture appealed to the engineering sensibilities at ANDRITZ HYDRO, but license-free access for an unlimited number of Web users sealed the deal.
“Unlimited Web access without additional license costs finally convinced us. Other systems charge a small fortune for such functionality.”
Schulyok was able to install Cumulus himself, saving ANDRITZ HYDRO money that would have gone into the pockets of the installation teams of other DAM systems.
He saved himself some time too, because Cumulus lets new users start managing files right out of the box—no multi-month debates on how metadata should be organized, and no lengthy certification classes just to become productive.
“The Cumulus manuals are excellent. After three days, I had the system under control completely.”
Today, all technicians, engineers, designers and workshop staff use Cumulus at ANDRITZ HYDRO.