Element Six Mines for Better Design, Data Management

Industrial diamond supplier introduces collaboration software to its research facilities

Industrial diamond supplier introduces collaboration software to its research facilities

Sindelfingen, Germany — May 27, 2005 — Element Six, a supplier of superabrasives and industrial diamond materials, has announced that it extended its CoCreate product portfolio with the OneSpace technology to facilitate design and data management globally.

CoCreate Software GmbH is a provider of flexible computer-aided design (CAD) and collaborative product lifecycle management (PLM) software.

Element Six, formerly known as De Beers and founded by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, operates internationally with processing and manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom. In addition it operates the Diamond Research Laboratory in South Africa as well as numerous sales and distribution offices worldwide.

"We develop our products globally and know that this requires effective management of every phase of the process to succeed in the long term," said Patrick Seeber, Group Information manager, Element Six. "For example, we often review designs, make decisions quickly, communicate and keep track of those changes worldwide. So when our partner [Concurrent Systems Inc. Ltd, based in Berkshire/United Kingdom] introduced us to global collaboration, we were intrigued."

Element Six project teams already use OneSpace Designer Modeling and Model Manager, CoCreate's 3D CAD and data management tools.

The company can hold design reviews in OneSpace.net's meeting center where they discuss, inspect and change drawings and models. Team members anywhere can view models and other data with the tool's application-sharing function, built to handle large graphic files without bogging down.

Because of the geographic distance separating project team members, Element Six expects considerable cost savings from this global setup and CoCreate's OneSpace.net collaboration tool — not only will they use their licenses to obtain faster support from their partner, but they will also save on business travel and experience fewer communication mishaps.

Prior to enlisting the CoCreate OneSpace collaboration technology, the group used traditional methods such as fax, e-mail, FTP servers and business travel to access and review drawings and models within their project teams. "With these methods, we could not develop as fast as we wanted," said Dennis Brown, Design manager, South Africa. "Once designs changed, we had to go through certain established processes to ensure all subsequent material was updated, replicate the global database and ensure all team members could reach the changed version," said Brown.

Element Six can now set up global projects to manage documents, drawings and models; and other information can be stored and retrieved online. All team members can access project data at any time from any location via the Internet. This guarantees that the team works on the same version of a file.

"We look forward to benefiting from CoCreate's collaboration tool by reducing lead times and overall project costs," said Seeber.