News for 2007
Schools – AutoCAD Drawings Project for Cornwall County Council
Cad-Capture has completed a major project for Cornwall County Council (CCC). The council submitted an invitation to tender for its “Schools AutoCAD Drawings Project”. As Cad-Capture had previously digitised Land Terriers for Cornwall CC, a good working relationship was in place and therefore, asked to submit a proposal.
A total of four companies were selected for a tender response. Due to Cad-Capture’s significant expertise and experience, having undertaken projects for over 40 UK Local Authorities and processed in excess of 12,000,000 m2 of floor plans; Cad-Capture was in an ideal position to deliver an excellent service of the highest quality. Cad-Capture was successful in their bid to win the tender and as a result, rented a cottage in Cornwall and sent a team of Surveyors to stay and work there for the duration of the project.
The project involved providing full measured surveys and Intelligent CAD Files for Cornwall CC’s entire education property stock which was a total of 281 primary, secondary and special schools, totalling a GEA (Gross External Area) in excess of 580,000m2. Cad-Capture proposed its unique AssetCapture solution which offers a fast and reliable means of converting property portfolios into Intelligent CAD Files, effectively and accurately.
The solution also incorporated full measured surveys which are conducted in accordance with the RICS code of measuring practice. Cad-Capture’s expert and experienced team of surveyors used specialist laser equipment to measure Cornwall CC’s properties. Once a surveyor completed a property they then sent a survey pack back to Cad-Capture’s Headquarters in Blackburn for processing through Cad-Capture’s unique AMP.arx software which automatically turns the drawings into Intelligent CAD Files.
Cornwall CC was one of the first authorities to beta test the new web-based IPF AssetManager.NET software. Cad-Capture developed a new interface to seamlessly transfer data from drawings into the AssetManager.NET software in XML. This meant the software could be fully populated with all the spatial data automatically without re-keying. In addition, hyperlinks were automatically inserted into the Intelligent CAD Files so the user can click in a room and automatically view the details of the room in the IPF software.
The project was completed on time within 12 months and to the satisfaction of the customer. This was a relatively short period of time for a project of this size. Cad-Capture also provided excellent back-up and support, in particular with the IPF files making them more user friendly.
The completed project was a major success, so much so, that Cad-Capture were then awarded a contract to provide the same solution for Cornwall CC’s non-educational property stock e.g. Town Hall, Council Offices, Libraries etc.
In addition, Cad-Capture was awarded a maintenance contract to keep the drawings up-to-date. This will involve surveyors re-visiting Cornwall CC’s properties on a cyclical basis to check for any changes or amends that need to be made to existing drawings. Anette Morris (Project Manager – Asset Management System, Property Resources Group – Planning, Transportation and Estates) was delighted with the solution provided as it met CCC’s every need and the work was completed promptly, to an extremely high standard.
A Walkthrough Cheshire
Over the last 6 years, Cad-Capture and Cheshire County Council (Cheshire) have developed an excellent working partnership through the successful completion of several projects.
In December 1999, Cheshire issued a competitive tender to scan and digitise all of the educational and corporate properties in Cheshire. Cad-Capture was delighted to be awarded the contract in January 2000. The above project was a complete success and ended in December 2000, on time and more importantly, on budget.
Soon after the first project was complete, Cheshire continued to use Cad-Capture for a maintenance program and other services.
Over a rolling three year period, Cad-Capture’s team of surveyors have performed a “walkthrough” on Cheshire’s properties. A “walkthrough” is where a surveyor takes the existing floor plans of the buildings and compares them to the building itself, ensuring that there has been no changes and that the floor plan and building are in-line with each other. However, if there has been a change, then the surveyor will amend the plans as appropriate. This ensures that Cheshire’s floor plans are up-to-date and of the highest quality.
Furthermore, a pilot was undertaken for several high schools whereby Cad-Capture enhanced the drawings taking advantage of the latest release of AutoCAD and adhering to the latest DfES* Building Bulletin BB98/BB99 standard; including room colour shading, room suite curriculum analysis and net capacity assessments.
As well as the “walkthrough”, Cad-Capture provided a number of its enhancement services. Cheshire’s Property Management Service and Children’s Services department use separate systems to handle the Intelligent CAD Files for different reasons. The ATRIUMproperty System used by Property Management is a property management system is used for building records and maintenance whereas the Tribal Enterprise System used by Children’s Services deals with suitability and sufficiency. Cad-Capture ensures that the same Intelligent CAD Files work accurately and seamlessly with both systems.
Cheshire also has the ability to view the most up-to-date version of any of their property drawings via Cad-Capture’s secure internet server and has also incorporated the floor plans into their ‘Property Portal’ application which delivers property related information to all of the authorities Intranet users, including schools.
Julie Winstanley, Property Information Manager for Cheshire County Council said:
“Over the past six years Cheshire County Council has worked very successfully with Cad-Capture to develop an excellent product which has proved to be an invaluable part of the authority’s corporate property information”.
The Stafford manufacturing plant of Perkins Engines Company Limited (PE) recently seized the opportunity to improve the retrieval of information contained within engineering drawings that were stored on 18,350 aperture cards. Perkins Engines saw the opportunity to speed up response, increase efficiency and decrease costs, all by changing the way the information was stored from aperture card media to a more readily accessible form. This improvement was made all the more pressing because the Stafford site is currently experiencing phenomenal success and is busier than it has ever been.
Images of documents and drawings, previously scanned by Cad-Capture, had been instantly accessible from any point on the Caterpillar worldwide network for some time. When it became necessary to frequently access these particular aperture cards Perkins Engines staff at Stafford were quick to see the method of access would translate well to scanned image.
As Cad-Capture had reliably scanned hundreds of thousands of aperture cards for Perkins Engines, Peterborough and Shrewsbury sites some years earlier their Central Purchasing Group recommended contacting Cad-Capture once again to see if they could be of assistance.
Cad-Capture presented a total solution. The aperture cards were collected and scanned into a TIFF format that was compatible with the previous images supplied and would work well with their existing systems e.g. Teamcenter Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System. The resulting images were indexed by part number, issue number, sheet number and number of sheets. All indexed data was provided in an Excel workbook ready to import into the existing systems.
The images were also hyperlinked to the index data. This provided an additional structured yet inexpensive way of accessing the images. The images and index data were delivered back to Perkins Engines on DVD.
Adrian Crosby of Perkins Engines said, “Cad-Capture came in to investigate our requirements. They combined their extensive experience of scanning and indexing aperture cards with their extensive experience of working with Perkins Engines, our procedures and our systems. Cad-Capture proposed a service that once again proved to be efficient and effective. Despite us giving them some additional and unexpected work Cad-Capture still managed to complete the project to budget and plan. We are very pleased with the end result”.
Cad-Capture has scanned Amercare’s complete large format engineering drawing archive.
Over the years, Amercare has grown a very successful team of people that have worked in design, development, manufacture and marketing all from the one site in Thame, Oxfordshire. This site has now become too small for Amercare’s expanding business so the company is moving to new premises in order that its growth can continue.
During the process of planning the move, Amercare decided that this was an ideal opportunity to improve the management of its hard copy drawing archive by getting it scanned to PDF (Portable Document Format). The original drawings were hung in cabinets and contained much of the company’s intellectual property and value. These cabinets would have been difficult to move and bulky to store. The company felt that supporting this hard copy archive would be an unnecessary expense to propagate an inefficient and outdated way of working.
Having the drawings as PDF files has allowed the company to preserve the information in a none degradable format. It will facilitate improved management of the drawings including version control, distribution and disaster recovery. It will also save the costs associated with removal and space in the new building.
The PDF rendition of the drawings were indexed using the drawing number, sheet number and revision. This indexing will allow the drawings to be found and retrieved quickly and easily from Amercare’s electronic drawing store.
Amercare were very pleased with Cad-Capture’s service and the deliverable of the scanning project. When viewing the PDF files, Michael Bourne, who is responsible for drawing archive at Amercare, said, “The images are brilliant. Seeing them makes me wonder why we did not do this years ago!”.
Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) – Recipe for Success
Cad-Capture has implemented an Integrated Document Management and Workflow Solution, enabling Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA), a global producer of domestic appliances, to reduce operating costs and improve customer services by replacing an inefficient and expensive paper based system employed for archiving and retrieving documents associated with its Accounts Payable and Invoicing & Receipt operations based in Prescot, Merseyside.
Part of the Glen Dimplex Group, GDHA is the largest manufacturer of cooking products in the UK, commanding an impressive 20% share of the market, with established and well known brands including Stoves, Belling, New World and Lec.
With storage space at Prescot limited, GDHA was previously forced to regularly transport large quantities of paper documentation including, for example, orders, acknowledgements, invoices, despatch notes and proof of deliveries, to its site in Warrington for archiving.
Home to GDHA’s New World product brand, conditions at Warrington were not suited to the long-term storage of this documentation, placing evidence of business critical transactions at risk from deterioration and even destruction in the event of fire or other incident.
The cost of transportation between the two sites was exacerbated by the need to regularly collate documents in preparation for archiving, a time-consuming exercise deviating valuable resource from core responsibilities and impacting on operational efficiency.
In addition, because recovery from Warrington was often both time consuming and difficult with only the latest documentation available to hand in Prescot, GDHA’s ability to respond in a timely and efficient manner to queries relating to customer transactions older than 2-3 months was hampered.
Following a successful reference visit to Kerry Foods, Cad-Capture was selected from amongst strong competition due to its innovative and comprehensive solution to GDHA’s business problem. Cad-Capture proposed core Document Management and Workflow components from Open Text’s LiveLink ECM – eDOCS™ content management platform to deliver a flexible and scalable solution that, whilst meeting the immediate needs of Accounts Payable and Invoicing & Receipt operations, provides the foundation for a fully integrated, process centric environment for capturing and managing content across the enterprise, enabling GDHA to improve performance, reduce costs and enhance service delivery in other areas of its business.
Cad-Capture embarked on a comprehensive scoping and analysis exercise, working closely with GDHA to detail its requirements. Included in the scope of supply was an integrated document capture solution, utilising Kofax® Ascent Capture® and Kodak i250 A3/A4 colour scanners to enable a systematic and rigorous approach to be taken with regard to the capture, recognition, validation and release of paper documents to eDOCS™ – DM.
Integrated with GDHA’s Geac System 21 ERP database, dynamic ‘look-ups’ were configured to minimise human error and streamline process efficiency, with all documents relating to a specific transaction quickly and easily recovered via a single federated search. Gerry Reilly, BPR Manager at GDHA said “The solution proposed by Cad-Capture has enabled GDHA’s Accounts Payable and Invoicing & Receipt operations to dramatically improve the efficiency of its processes”.
Simon Watts, Managing Director of Cad-Capture said “We are delighted to be working with GDHA and look forward to further developments in the near future”.
Cad-Capture and NPS Property Consultants are enjoying a mutually beneficial partnership which is going from strength to strength.
The partnership began when NPS commissioned Cad-Capture to undertake full measured surveys and Intelligent CAD files for Middlesbrough schools in 2002. NPS had won a contract to provide condition surveys in Middlesbrough schools and saw the benefit of Cad-Capture’s Intelligent CAD files as part of Middlesbrough Borough Council’s asset management strategy.
The next major project was to capture over 100,000 large format drawings and maps, including floor plans and service schematics, associated with properties in the Norfolk area. Alongside the scanning, Cad-Capture provided its CaptureNet solution, a web-based retrieval, viewing and printing solution which allowed staff to access, mark-up and collaborate on drawings from the convenience of their desktop.
In 2005, Swindon Borough Council awarded a major contract to Cad-Capture known as Swindon Schools Asset Management Project (SSAMP). The surveys comprised measured surveys, condition surveys, sufficiency surveys, suitability surveys and disability access surveys. Cad-Capture undertook the measured surveys and provided Intelligent CAD files for Swindon Borough Council’s Technology Forge asset management system. The remaining surveys were provided by NPS in partnership with Cad-Capture. Cad-Capture was overall project manager responsible for all deliverables. As a result Swindon Borough Council has an up-to-date master asset register that is the envy of many Local Authorities.
More recently the partnership has continued to flourish and Cad-Capture is providing NPS with full measured surveys and Intelligent CAD files for Norfolk schools as part of Norfolk County Council’s asset management strategy.
LDV Pilot and Convoy Scanning
Cad-Capture has recently completed the scanning of all the drawings and engineering change documents produced during the design and manufacture of LDV’s Pilot and Convoy vans. The project was necessary to enable the potential transfer of the Pilot and Convoy vans to a third party. This intellectual property amounted to years’ worth of accumulated knowledge and experience which LDV felt much too valuable to lose. Scanning the drawings and the engineering change documentation has preserved this knowledge and experience for their future use. It has also made the information available at the click of the mouse, not only to the Birmingham plant but to the whole of the GAZ Group worldwide!
LDV embarked upon this project in Q3 2006. A number of service providers were approached to quote for the business; with Cad-Capture being successful. In total, Cad-Capture collected approximately 75,000 drawings and 50,000 engineering change documents from LDV’s Birmingham premises; these ranged in size from A4 up to a number of roll drawings which were 60 inches wide x 180 inches long. All were in varying states of repair and legibility.
In order to add further value to the project, Cad-Capture sourced packaging materials and after scanning, packed the hard copy drawings and documentation ready for shipping to the new owners. All of the containers were labelled with their content and a database was provided so that each and every document could be easily traced to its container.
Freeing up the space associated with the design and manufacture of the old Pilot and Convoy vans will give LDV further room to build on the success they are currently enjoying with its new award winning Maxus range of vans.
Mark Hounslow, LDV’s BOM/CAD Support Manager, said “The decision to select Cad-Capture was based upon its professionalism, price and obvious long standing experience in project managing projects such as ours. All in all, we were delighted by the service provided by Cad-Capture and now have in our possession three DVDs where once we had an entire drawing store of racks, cabinets and box folders.”
Equipped for the future…
Cad-Capture has recently completed a project for Dawson Foodservice Equipment (Dawson) in which thousands of technical field service documents were re-organised and re-formatted from PDF file format to DjVu file format.
Dawson is part of Ali Group, who designs, manufacture, market and service a broad line of commercial and institutional foodservice equipment. This equipment is used by major restaurant and hotel chains, independent restaurants, hospitals, schools, airports, correctional institutions, canteens, etc. Ali Group brands, for example: Comenda, Lainox, Mareno, Polaris and Rosinox, are well known for their excellence throughout the catering industry. Dawson operates in the UK, marketing, distributing and servicing these brands.
Dawson’s Service Department’s main objective is maximising the availability of its equipment in the field. The logistics associated with this are complex. To simplify this task, Dawson had recently invested in state of the art integrated PDA/mobile phones so that its service engineers can have all of the information that they need to do their jobs whilst working remotely on customer’s sites.
Dawson services over a thousand different models and manages tens of thousands of parts. Cad-Capture took all of Dawson’s many thousands of technical service documents, including installation and service manuals, wiring diagrams and exploded views and encoded them from large TIFF and PDF file formats, shipped on four CDs to the super compressed DjVu file format. All these documents have been re-organised and loaded onto each Service Engineer’s PDA/mobile phone. Efficient paging, zooming and panning make for easy navigation and reading of the documents. All the technical service documents, covering the whole range of equipment, are now instantly available to each and every engineer whenever and wherever they are working.
David Prior, Dawson’s Director of Technical Services said “The work Cad-Capture has done will revolutionise the way we work. In the past it has simply been impossible to carry all the documentations we need all of the time. Now these documents will be available any time, anywhere. This will make us so much more efficient. We will be able to fix machines quicker and it will reduce the number of return visits that are necessary. My team of engineers and I are really looking forward to having all this information available whenever we are away from base.”
Cad-Capture to exhibit at the AMP Network National Conference 2007
For the third year running, Cad-Capture will exhibit at this year’s Asset Management Planning Network National Conference. Organised by CIPFA, the event will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on Tuesday 27th November 2007.
The event will be presented to the largest network of Asset Management professionals within the UK Public Sector. The conference will introduce “Asset Management and Inspection – A Practical Guide” aimed at dissolving some of the mystique surrounding Asset Management Inspection and at the same time providing practical advice on how Authorities can move their processes forward.
With a combination of presentations and workshop sessions the conference will prove invaluable for both Asset Management Practitioners and those involved at any level of the Asset Management process. Cad-Capture will present its AssetCapture solution for converting property portfolios into Intelligent CAD Files and automatically populates the data with any Asset Management system.
Cad-Capture is proud to announce its approval by Constructionline, the UK’s register of pre-qualified local and national construction and construction-related contractors and consultants.
Constructionline is owned and endorsed by the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTI); Constructionline is a contributor to the Rethinking Construction initiative.
The concept of a single national database was initially proposed by the 1994 Latham Report on construction industry modernisation and efficiency, ‘Constructing the Team’. Since then Constructionline has grown and been updated to stay relevant to the needs of modern procurement.
Cad-Capture has a wealth of experience in the construction sector having successfully delivered projects to many local authorities, education establishments, companies and consultants. This has enabled Cad-Capture to earn approval in a number of Constructionline categories:
- BUILDING SURVEYING: Architectural and Building Plans, Building Surveying, Measured Surveys
- CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING: Surveying – Topographic, Measured Building, Precision
- COMPUTER GRAPHICS & MODELS: 2D Drawing, Computer Aided Design, Digitising, Scanning
- GENERIC SERVICES: Plan Drawings LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: Schools, Colleges and University grounds
Probably the largest Asset Management Project in UK!
During 2005, Cad-Capture undertook for Swindon Borough Council (SBC), what is probably one of the largest Asset Management projects ever in the UK, with a contract value in excess of ￡725,000. Following publication in OJEU and a competitive tendering process, Cad-Capture was awarded the contract by Swindon Borough Council for its ‘Swindon Schools Asset Management Project (SSAMP)’. The project was in preparation for the introduction of Single Education Plans in 2005. SBC was seeking to improve its Asset Management Plan information base. This asset planning process would ensure the high level of investment in schools was prioritised in a rigorous, fair and transparent manner, based on a full survey of the needs of all schools.
The plan aimed to be responsive to local priorities and to government policies and objectives. Effective capital investment in schools, which ensures they are in good repair, fully maintained and sufficient and suitable for modern learning and teaching needs, would support all other policies and strategies to raise educational achievement.
A total of 79 schools (65 Primary, 8 Secondary and 6 Special) were included in the project, with a total building GEA (Gross External Area) in excess of 215,000 m2 and a total site area in the region of 2,000,000 m2.
There were a number of surveys to be undertaken as part of the project including:
- Full measured building surveys and external site surveys
- Condition surveys
- M & E (plus the preparation of an Asset Register)
- Accessibility Audits
- Suitability Assessments
As a result of the full measured building surveys and external site surveys, SBC also required accurate and detailed floor and site plans in AutoCAD format together with accommodation schedules for all the schools.
During the tendering process, due to the complexity of the project and the number of surveys required, Cad-Capture decided to partner with NPS Property Consultants on the project. NPS is an industry specialist in the areas of Condition Surveys and Accessibility Audits.
Having successfully worked with NPS on other contracts and with Cad-Capture’s vast and proven experience in managing large scale data capture and conversion projects, it was felt that this partnership would be the best and most ideal way of fulfilling all the project requirements.
This approach, the vast experience of both Cad-Capture and NPS on other Asset Management projects and the Intelligent CAD Files? offered by Cad-Capture, were the main reasons SBC selected Cad-Capture (in partnership with NPS) for the ‘Swindon Schools Asset Management Project (SSAMP)’.
By carrying out the full measured surveys and producing the Intelligent CAD Files? first, and then using them as the basis for all the other surveys, ensured there was a consistency of room/space numbering on all the other survey data. It also meant accurate maintenance costs were arrived at by using precise spatial information exported from the Intelligent CAD Files?.
Another requirement of the project was that all the data collected during the surveys and the CAD files had to be capable of being loaded into SBC’s existing database.
As the project progressed, it became apparent that the existing database was not best suited for the storage and retrieval of the survey data and the viewing of the CAD files. Therefore, SBC decided to go out to tender for the supply of a dedicated Asset Management Software package. As a result of the tendering process a short list of two possible suppliers was drawn up. The two potential suppliers where then invited to present their solutions to the SSAMP Project Board.
Realising Cad-Capture’s experience in working with most of the industry leading suppliers of Asset Management Software, the SSAMP Project Board asked if Cad-Capture would attend the presentations and assist in its selection of a preferred supplier. The presentations and recommendations of both Cad-Capture and the SSAMP Project Board resulted in the selection of The Technology Forge’s (TF) Asset Management software package. It was felt that the TF solution offered the best way of storing and retrieving data and was ideally suited for the storage and viewing of Cad-Capture’s Intelligent CAD Files?.
During the following months, Cad-Capture worked closely with The Technology Forge and SBC to finalise the software customisation to ensure the Council got the best out of the software and data it would store. By the end of December 2005, all the surveys and Intelligent CAD Files? had been completed and all the data had been supplied to SBC.
This major contract was completed within budget. Due to the excellent work carried out by Cad-Capture on the main project, further enhancements of the Intelligent CAD Files? was commissioned by SBC and took place during early 2006, and included:
- Room Colour Shading
- AIM’s (Area Indicator Maps)
- Enhanced printing capability
- Multi-page PDF’s
- NIA (Net Internal Area analysis)
John Andrews, School Asset Management Planner (ScAMP), Swindon Borough Council, said: “Cad-Capture’s expertise, professionalism and can do attitude have been instrumental in the implementation of the Swindon Borough Council School’s Asset Management system.“
Cimmetry Systems, Canada
Cad-Capture, the leading document service provider to industry, announce a partnership with Cimmetry Systems, the global leader in Enterprise Visualization solutions for the Architectural, Engineering, Construction, Utilities, Manufacturing and Electronics markets, to supply AutoVue Software throughout the UK.
Somerset County Council, Somerset
Cad-Capture has had a long standing and harmonious relationship with Somerset County Council since supplying the council with a range of specialist document conversion services and Document Management (DM) Solution based on Open Text’s eDOCS – DM (formerly Hummingbird Enterprise).
Somerset County Council is now expanding its user base by an extra 130 licences of DM.
British Geological Survey, Edinburgh
Cad-Capture has provided the British Geological Survey with a Colortrac SmartLF Gx42e scanner, peripherals and training.
Slaughter & May, London
Slaughter and May, a leading international law firm, purchased Redax; an Appligent product for document redaction which permanently removes sensitive content from PDF documents.