Rockwell, North American Aircraft uses KONFIG® CM to manage B-1B aircraft technical manuals
When the Technical Publications Organization of North America Aircraft needed a state-of-the-art document
management system to manage hunderds of thousands of pages of technical data, they looked to Auto-trol
Technology Corporation. This task can be overwhelming when one considers the need to track the production
process of graphics and text for numerous programs. Auto-trol was able to respond to their needs - and
exceed them - with its KONFIG® CM (formally CENTRA 2000®) product.
North American Aircraft Division's (NAAD) Technical Publications Organization, located in Palmdale,
California, was trying to move their illustrations and technical documents from a secured mainframe
environment into a client-server environment. The client-server system offered a more open architecture.
However, at the same time NAAD needed this system to allow the technical manual writers and illustrators to
reliably archive, retrieve and secure B-1B and C-130 data. KONFIG® CM supported NAAD's needs - and more.
With its roots in the NASA space program, KONFIG® CM was created to manage the complex relationships of
technical information. The creators of the KONFIG® CM package left NASA to form CENTRA 2000, Inc., which became a subsiduary of Auto-trol.
"With the old system, when our technical illustrators would complete a project, they would have
to manually interact with the file server in order to store and track data," said David Darr,
Technical Publications, Team Leader of Automation and Publications. But since the illustrators were already
working on Auto-trol's Tech Illustrator (TI) software,
integration between TI and KONFIG® CM solved the problem immediately. "KONFIG® CM integration
capabilities gave the illustrators a check in and check out system and a way to move, retrieve and store
data. The whole process was menu-driven, just point and click. All document management could be done in
the TI graphics program," Darr said.
NAAD's Technical Publications chose KONFIG® CM products because of its user-friendliness, open
architecture and integration capability.
Auto-trol's service was found to be equally impressive. Their "Quick-Start Service" had
the illustrators working on the system in a couple of months.
NAAD was impressed by Auto-trol's immediate response to questions and a bug-free and seamless
integration of KONFIG® CM with the TI graphics program.
"This is a very professional, customer service orientated company. Essentially, we have combined
our resources and worked as a team to ensure program success. This meant we took full reponsibility for our
customer/supplier relationship and solved probems together, even if the problem pointed out to be a
non-Auto-Trol application. In other words, if we had a problem, we both had the problem. They're willing
to do what it takes, even assist in integrating other non Auto-trol applications, to get the job done,"
NAAD implemented KONFIG® CM to manage its B-1B publications and soon will pit it to work managing
publications for the C-130 Gunship. Technical Publications is taking the process even further, integtating
KONFIG® CM with an Auto-trol provided viewing and redlining package called MYRIAD from
Informative Graphics. If a document is called up on a computer, KONFIG® CM can tell the user if there are
graphics involved and MYRIAD can then view and be used to redline the document, if desired. Darr said.
"We haven't finished exploring all the ways we plan to use KONFIG® CM."
Future plans include implementing KONFIG® CM's Workflow Module with a new file server and putting
the system through a stress test. After proving it can handle the thousands of tasks planned during the
test, the KONFIG® CM system will become part of the workflow process.
"We are in the process of evaluating performance improvements resuting from implementing this
system. Preliminary data indicates that these tools, along with associated process changes, will result
in significant savings," Darr said.