Structuring the Unstructured

Metadata and Tag Indexing to Intelligently Catalog a Facility’s Unstructured Engineering Documents and Drawings

Maintaining an intelligent repository of up-to-date engineering drawings and documents about facilities is usually not top of mind for manufacturing plants and refineries. Some of these plants are so old that during their time of construction, the technology to store the drawings online did not exist.

Even if plants and refineries had a centralized place for storing these complex documents, the documents were usually available only in the form of images, PDFs and scanned documents or in a non-electronic format like large paper documents or manual drawings, which can make finding the right plans or engineering documents at the right time a difficult proposition. Essentially all the hay is in a large haystack but companies may still be only looking for a needle. Without structured indexing and metadata for all the files in a repository, especially with plants that have complex engineering plans/drawings/designs, finding the right documents to conduct maintenance or operations or make plans for a renovation becomes a challenge.

Needle in a Haystack

Avineon, with its storied history of engineering services and data expertise, has the unique ability to review complex engineering documents across a company’s many facilities and plants, create and tag relevant metadata for each document, and architect a repository that efficiently catalogs all the documents.

A manufacturing company in the Middle East, reached out to Avineon for help with a similar challenge. Whenever they wanted to update or modify documents (both complex engineering plans and simple forms) about a given area of a plant for renovation or operational changes, the company was unsure what documents to update or where to find them. The company needed Avineon to create an Electronic Data Management System (EDMS) and a way to quickly find the right documents on demand. Avineon suggested metadata, an information index, which classifies documents based on their content and allows users to easily extract the target document from a large pool of digital drawings/documents.

Metadata Organized

Engineering experts from Avineon with strong technical knowledge, helped the client by creating the metadata and tag indexing for thousands of drawings/ documents, templates and Functional Design Specifications (FDS). All the document types and content, including details related to plant design, total area and maintenance areas were checked and matched for categorization. The information was grouped under specific tags, in a specific format and was uploaded in the company’s EDMS. The tags were mainly segregated depending on type and discipline and then linked to the respective documents, leading to easier retrieval of a document or information for the client by using options like simple query, full-text retrieval, drill-down, and navigation etc.

With proper metadata indexing and the right EDMS, the client was able to review any specific plant document even remotely. It essentially helped the client in converting a large amount of information (plant details, supplier data, reference documents, document tags, purchase orders and contract relationships) that was earlier unstructured, into documented files that can now be easily located. This ultimately helped them in better decision making and managing inconsistencies from what was really in the plant versus what was in the designs.

Overall, Avineon helped the client structure a mass of documents and files that were disparate and unstructured throughout the organization. With Avineon’s expertise in understanding engineering documentation and technical designs along with a deep understanding in creating a robust repository, the client was able to trust Avineon to carry out a strategy that proved efficient and cost effective across the client’s facilities and plants.