Written by Harvey Ursaki, September 24, 2019
During my many years in the electrical engineering consulting industry, I’ve seen many knowledgeable engineers retire, taking with them vast amounts of knowledge and experience.
I was always disappointed to see them go, knowing that they were a great lost to their workmates and their company.
We all carry with us “toolboxes” that we use to help us do our jobs. An engineer’s own tool box might include spreadsheet templates that they’ve developed and perfected over the years, reference books, favorite Internet sites that keep us appraised of the latest in our areas of interest, calculators, charting materials, simulation programs, and even peer groups that will give us feedback on our ideas. Those toolboxes change over the years – we add more items, discard those that aren’t so effective.
Now there’s a way to capture all those toolboxes and to share it with others and not lose all those tools through extenuating circumstances like retirement! Combine that with the chaotic environment of the consulting world today, and Electrical Design Management (EDM) was conceived! Designed to help those responsible for electrical project designs take complete control over their projects by capturing and combining all those tools into an electronic toolbox, doing so with a web-based program!
Thankfully, creating a modern, secure and responsive website has become a lot easier in the last couple of years, in fact, with the right software, we can now sit at our computers and design a complete project with just a few clicks from our computers. To make things even simpler, EDM has short, handy-dandy modules to help you make the right choices for your electrical designs.
Let’s start with the technical advantages of a web-based program, including universal accessibility, ease in updating content, and hyperlink functions that permit cross-referencing to other resources. The technical advances help us search out and create our own knowledge bases. However, as is evident with computer-assisted instruction, potential advantages may not translate into significant improvements, as a lot of misinformation lies in wait, lurking on the web. With the widespread proliferation of all kinds of information on any one subject, sorting through and finding something of value grows more difficult.
Thus, the need to establish a web-based program that is able to provide better information gathering and sharing, easy data access and processing and prompt communication and feedback. The amount of paperwork and the throughput time of managing projects are significantly reduced while the effectiveness and the efficiency are substantially improved with the right software package.
The web-based program should have Data Management built in that integrates and manages all the information that defines a project, from design to construction, and to end-user support. The program also should be an integration tool connecting many different areas, which ensures that the right information in the right form is available to the right person at the right time. When properly implemented, it will result in faster work, fewer errors, less redundancy, and smoother workflow for an organization.
The web-based program must utilize the latest data storage technology. More and more companies have started leveraging the benefits of a “cloud” base data storage system. Contrary to file servers, the cloud allows enhanced mobility with access to files from any device, anywhere, facilitates collaboration between offices, helps to save storage space and can increase control over company files. All this without the maintenance cost and administrative hassle of traditional file servers.
However, many companies still have security concerns when it comes to moving data to the cloud and the proliferation of data breaches shows that hackers are increasingly after information stored in the cloud. These security concerns can be minimized as most data storage companies offers a highly secure yet easy-to-use way to store, sync and share files in the cloud. These companies provide end-to-end encryption; therefore, nothing leaves the user’s device unencrypted, and therefore, no one – no government, hackers– can look into the content of users’ files.
In summary with advances in web-based programing, the popular Computer-aided drafting and design programs of today will be replaced with a complete design, cad and manage package with all the updated features listed above and more!
Imagine a software program that can automate complicated electrical designs. Where one individual can design, produce a complete set of drawing, and manage a project on his computer any where he chooses to be!
Whether you’re an Electrical Engineer, Technologist, or an Electrician, you will find these new web-based software programs to be an invaluable tool in your electronic toolbox!
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