Original Date: 02/28/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Electronic Documentation Preparation
Crane Army Ammunition Activity has become a more aggressive and agile organization because of its evolution to electronic documentation. By using personal computers, scanners, and e-mail, adjustments to technical documentation can be integrated into procedures in hours versus weeks.
Moving from a paper-based environment to an electronic documentation system has been an evolutionary process for Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA). Short documentation turnaround in an ammunition production facility has always been important, but prior to 1992, industrial engineering standard operating procedures were handwritten. Industrial engineering technicians used pencil and paper to prepare these procedures, requiring extensive clerical support to convert their data into final form.
The important issue was one of non-technical personnel finalizing technical documents, leaving room for subjective interpretation and potential error in documents that required no substantive alteration. Additionally, changes and corrections that are a normal occurrence in ordnance manufacturing were burdensome. Multiple routing by hand consumed at least four to six weeks, and filing was difficult because engineering drawings had to be copied to reduce their size. The end result was that with 2,750 documents in the active file, four to five people were involved in processing a single document. The investment was heavy, and results were costly and inefficient.
Since the early 1990s, CAAA has become a more aggressive and agile organization because of its evolution to electronic documentation. Today, industrial engineering technicians prepare their own documents on personal computers, transforming work procedures from statements of work. With scanners, the integrity of drawings is maintained since they are no longer copied and reduced making them clearer and easier to work with. The impact of electronic documentation is that today, technical personnel prepare technical documentation with little need for administrative assistance. Because of e-mail, multiple routing now takes hours rather than days that were consumed in a paper-intensive process. With the increase in today’s safety and environmental changes, these adjustments can be integrated into procedures in hours versus weeks.
A very important efficiency is the filing that is now accomplished by maintaining an electronic copy on the server. Anyone can review a procedure at the touch of his or her fingers. This has been a ten-year investment for the organization, but a total process that once took 90 to120 days, consuming the time of many people, now takes between three and four weeks, with increased effectiveness. CAAA is looking forward to its next phase of electronic documentation transitioning from a server-based system to a web-based information environment.
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