Engineering data management (EDM) is a generic term for a wide variety of functions. In general, it is the process of managing engineering documents throughout their life cycle, from inception through creation, review, storage, and distribution all the way to archiving or destruction. Depending on specific requirements, document management is different for every customer.
Before computer technology became widely available, a document was generally defined as a piece of paper: a memo, a letter, a transmittal note, a drawing, or an invoice. The paper presented information—usually text and graphics—for the purpose of communication. In EDM, a document is seen as containing numerous types of information: text and graphics as well as data, spreadsheets, CAD drawings, images, video, and voice. Documents are vessels for information.
There are two specific ways in which documents are used:
- Documents present information.
- Documents develop information. For example, a marketing manager writes a proposal for a product, and the engineering manager reviews it and adds information. A CAD designer adds detailed specifications, and the manufacturing manager uses this information to build a viable product. Documents are also at the heart of business processes. They are the means of accomplishing an organization’s goals and objectives.
Using documents in both of these ways is part of the EDM process, which can also:
- Provide access to archived documents
- Control the production of new documents
- Modify existing documents
Meridian helps you manage your documents and their revisions and allows you to share them with others. Meridian helps you with:
- Document management: Document management is built into Meridian with the design team in mind and allows many types of documents to be managed in different ways. A document is defined by its business purpose instead of its file extension. This means that although your project may contain, for example, a .dwg file (an AutoCAD drawing), it can also contain many different types of drawing files. Meridian allows you to manage all of these different drawing types in their own unique way related to the business meaning of the drawing.
- Revision management: Extensive document revision management includes a lock feature that prevents users other than the editor from working on locked documents. Several possible revision scenarios may exist, depending on how your system has been configured.
- Approval and change management: Documents may go through any of several possible workflows based either on the document type or the change type. This supports change management so that you can adhere to the business process and quality procedures.
Alternatively, you can manage many documents together using project folders.