Caltex Oil South Africa has made a quantum leap in implementing a new document management system (DMS) throughout its three engineering divisions at the Cape Town refinery. The DMS project, undertaken by SAP DMS specialist, Engineering Informatics, was completed in a record-breaking six months.
The project, part of the refinery's Y2K initiative, saw Caltex evaluate a number of different DMS systems. As Caltex had already implemented a SAP business solution that included a document management system module, the decision to implement the SAP DMS was a logical progression. In addition to being Y2K compliant, an initial evaluation process proved that the SAP DMS module would be able to meet the demanding requirements at the refinery.
According to Abie Spies, Director of Engineering Informatics and Project Manager on the Caltex project, migrating from one system to another is a mammoth task. "The Caltex project posed a particular challenge," says Spies. "Approximately 70 000 drawings, documents and diagrams, which form the basis of practically all drawing office and engineering department work, had to be transferred from various legacy systems to the SAP DMS," he explains.
"In just six months, Engineering Informatics and the Caltex team analysed the requirements, designed and configured a single, new system for Caltex, wrote the software necessary for enhancements and to carry out all the data transfer and trained all refinery staff on the new system," Spies says.
Simultaneous to its SAP DMS upgrade, the refinery undertook a number of software upgrades. This process, which resulted in a completely new operating environment for users at Caltex, saw a change from AutoCAD 12 to 14, Windows 3.1 to 95 and an upgrade from 486 to Pentium computers.
In addition to implementing this phase of the project, Engineering Informatics was required to add new users to the system, manage data transfers and also ensure that SAP system changes, other profile changes and equipment listings took place. Together with the refinery's project management team, Engineering Informatics managed the migration from a number of individual networks to one central network. Three divisions (mechanical, electrical and instrumentation) operated three different legacy data systems which required a conversion into a central SAP system.
Engineering Informatics ran regular tests to ensure the smooth transition to the SAP DMS. Working to a six month deadline, Engineering Informatics successfully configured the SAP DMS, as well as converted all relevant data, enabling the refinery to 'go-live' before the end of the year.
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