Full 3D documentation
The Aquafab (VEOLIA) example
Context and need
Aquafab is a subsidiary of the global leader VEOLIA Water Solutions & Technologies (VWS). Aquafab is in charge of the customer services for several ranges of VWS water treatment units and components, including spare parts, maintenance documentation and training.
As VWS products are manufactured and sold all over the world, Aquafab has to face a number of typical issues regarding production rationalization, translation, updating and distribution of a large volume of heterogeneous hardcopy documentation which is not always made reliable.
In 2009, Aquafab launched an ambitious project that consisted in converting all after-sale information to XML and VRML-3D formats for the purpose of standardizing data and optimizing production costs and quality.
A 3D process fully under control
4Dconcept, consulted for their know-how in 3D documentation engineering, specified the catalogue user interface characteristics in a first step, and then developed processes that were used to generated 3D views suited to efficient smooth browsing.
In accordance with the Bills of Material, the processes were automated as much as practicable: data integrity check, VRML export, hot spots, 2D/3D links. Some stages, such as overall scripts or exploded views, stayed partially manual in order to remain centered on end user needs.
The system was however designed to allow the automatic use of R&D data for updates.
Very significant space saving and imporved reliability
The project steps included a "proof of concept" that consisted in preparing a complete 3D spare parts catalogue. The catalogue covered several ranges of products and was compiled from the existing 3D data in the Design office format (Inventor).
The application is available online and also operates on CD-ROM, in which case, parts are ordered by exporting a spreadsheet-type file.