From research to drafting up reports, engineers spend a lot of time working with detailed datasets and documents.
Engineering drawings, in particular, play a large role in navigating a project. These structured schematics are central to accurately executing a design, providing a roadmap for coordinating every feature and dimension. A particular challenge is to quickly pull information from them. Thanks to the rise of new software and automation tools, however, those days will soon be long gone. By embracing cutting-edge CAD data extraction, engineers can accelerate their design workflows, brushing aside the struggles of antiquated manual methods.
An Engineer’s Role
The engineering discipline is focused on problem-solving, however, these problems aren’t always completely open-ended. While tasked with designing new systems and devices, they are often confronted with a plethora of constraints, from dimensions to budget limitations.
Mistakes are rarely tolerable as a single mismeasurement can ripple throughout a project. Engineering drawings play a crucial role in bringing order to this chaos, providing a structured format for delineating the relationships between features and components.
As a result, engineers are able to focus on constructing, analyzing, and interpreting these documents, leveraging the data and details they contain to help bring their designs to fruition.
What Data Extraction Looks Like
Current methods for extracting data rely on an engineer’s ability to meticulously page through massive stacks of engineering drawings, manually “counting stuff”, and transferring details to other formats by hand.
At any step in this process, from adding up the number of components to entering these quantities into a spreadsheet, there is the potential for errors to cascade. This risk forces engineers to spend time double-checking their work and/or the work of others.
What CAD Data Extraction Looks Like
Although legacy data extraction systems still remain in widespread use, the next generation of software-driven systems is quickly gaining industry-wide adoption. With unprecedented speed and efficiency, former methods are quickly becoming obsolete. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: First, an engineer (or any other capable software user) will scan an engineering drawing, creating an identical digital copy of the CAD document within just seconds. The user will have the option of organizing the document within a structured folder system, accessible through an intuitive visual dashboard, which will also display the processing status of each document.
Step 2: Once the document is uploaded, an advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine will locate text and numeric characters, extracting each figure and cataloging the data neatly in a local XML database.
Once the process is complete, all extracted data will be easily searchable through a simple, powerful interface, enabling every user in your organization to take advantage of this collective library of knowledge.
Benefits of CAD Data Extraction
This technology offers a powerful opportunity to transform the way engineers approach their work and can positively affect an organization as a whole. Some of the noteworthy advantages this platform can provide:
- Accelerated time to value. By streamlining the data entry and extraction process, engineers can more quickly complete design projects at any stage.
- Increased access to knowledge. In creating a searchable index of their entire document library, organizations can help more workers tap into valuable insights.
- Minimizing mistakes. By removing the most meticulous manual steps in the data extraction and transfer process, organizations can reduce the potential for human error.
- Free up engineering talent. Engineers equipped with CAD extraction software spend less time on data entry, and more time on high-value, creative problem-solving tasks.
- Integrate additional digital processes. Once data extraction has been digitized, CAD designs can be more easily integrated into an organization’s other software workflows.
The advent of CAD data extraction extends far beyond the simple streamlining of a singular engineering task. As a basis for the digitization of your team’s technical knowledge, CAD data extraction can serve as the foundation for transforming every element of how your organization operates.
Automated Data Extraction
The process of copying over data that has already been collected is a major inefficiency for many companies and a poor use of time for a talented team of engineers. For this very reason, CAD extraction software serves as a major leap forward in engineering efforts, unlocking significant improvements in productivity and accessibility throughout your organization.
The OCR offering comes equipped with a number of unique features, from the ability to recognize vertical and orthogonal text to an unmatched level extraction and search performance. Most importantly, the platform is highly customizable, allowing engineers to fine-tune the settings of each project to help streamline and automate any process imaginable.
Altogether, CADmax presents a major competitive advantage, automating manual input and leaving your engineers to unleash their creativity.