Integrated solutions for document processing in PLM systems (part 2 of 5)

by Dr. Uwe Fetzer

With Document Output Center and Document Distribution Platform for Teamcenter from Siemens PLM SEAL Systems offers integrated, modular solutions for the preparation and use of documents, metadata and structures within the PLM system. Extensive lists of documents can be automated, converted, stamped, printed or electronically distributed, which means a customized fit for organizational processes. Extensive lists of documents can be automated, converted, stamped, printed or electronically distributed, which means a customized fit for organizational processes. How this could be done we will explain in this five-part series in our blog.

Part 2 of 5: Job definition and process integration in Teamcenter – Workflow controlled or interactive

All data and all rules that define process flow are configured within Teamcenter.  That means that the user never needs to leave his or her normal work environment.

This kind of job definition includes things like the process and the search methodology, as well as the identification and gathering of document structures.  The question as to which items should be subject to additional processing is contingent on Teamcenter criteria or attributes, and is determined by the data set type, the item number, the status of the object, relationships, etc. A “DOC4T” job is, in and of itself, a Teamcenter object.  It can be revised and called up time and time again.  This means that comprehensive mechanisms related to access rights and user-specific visibility are available.

Furthermore, all parameters that may be required for any additional processing are stored in this kind of job itself.  Stamp definitions, output devices, target formatting, and attributes that are to be extracted are just a few examples of those kinds of parameters.  In order to avoid having to enter this kind of data repeatedly, pre-configured templates can be stored.  The advantage to this approach is that project-specific filter and collection processes can be called up by simply pressing a button. Depending on the customer-specific use-case, templates can be created that are then made available to the entire corporation or only to specific user groups.

After that, a template-based order processes a variety of additional items. Typical examples are: bills of material, product structures, data sets, attributes, workflow details and directories.

The actual processing can be triggered manually, interactively or based on workflow. The decisive factor here for the automation is the integration of the SEAL Systems processes through the workflow handler with the company-specific workflows.  Once this is set up, pre-defined processes begin automatically, which has the advantage that they will consistently lead to the desired results.  This is an absolutely crucial factor, especially in heavily regulated environments such as aeronautics, astronautics, medical technology, and defense.

Once the process begins, the selected files and the metadata will be extracted, given to the conversion or output service and then processed in an asynchronous manner.  The results can be used in several ways: if needed, conversions can be transported back to Teamcenter. If the output is physical (paper), batch processing can be routed through a print server.  If digital distribution is used, files can be saved in a storage directory.

Learn more about our further information about our PLM solutions.

 

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