Case Studies: Rockwell
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," Darr said.

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.