Granta Design has introduced a significant enhancement to the GRANTA MI materials information management system to give engineering enterprises complete control over how they collect and apply materials knowledge – and remove a major barrier to digitising this information across their organisation.
GRANTA MI:Workflow enables companies to manage not only materials information, but also the processes required to ensure that information is requested, collected, approved, and released in a controlled, secure, traceable manner. Granta explains that this key enhancement has been developed using feedback from many major engineering organisations worldwide currently using GRANTA MI.
According to Granta, organisations may set up workflows, for example, to ensure that information flows through the system based on an agreed set of steps, and appropriately qualified persons sign off each step. As materials information management becomes more widely adopted, access to this information is going beyond materials teams to engineers and designers as well as purchasing, manufacturing, and environmental groups. This makes it even more important to control who carries out each task, and when. MI:Workflow enables you to do this through a simple user interface of forms and task-based activities.
MI:Workflow is designed to enable users to implement to-do lists, email notifications, approval sequences, moderation queues, and other actions restricted to specified users. It offers a clear user experience for those who consume or contribute to a materials database – they only perform actions relevant to them. Underpinning the system is a powerful Workflow Designer tool and a flexible engine which ensures workflow rules are adhered to, including a Forms Engine for creating tailored user experiences. A key feature of the system is the resulting audit trail – a record of exactly who performed which step of the process and when.
Granta says that a typical application is processing material test requests, allowing engineers to request test programs, lab managers to schedule and prioritise tasks, and a management chain to sign-off and release the resulting design data to a wider community. Users can see the workflows they are allowed to initiate, review, and approve, depending on their role, and they receive email notifications to take action or to confirm success. Another two-step workflow would allow users to enter comments or ‘lessons learnt’ about a material, with a simple drag-and-drop of files and images, which can be moderated before being published. Enabling such controlled sequences removes a key barrier to capturing and linking materials information in order to establish a single, consistent, traceable ‘gold source’ of corporate materials data.
MI:Workflow will be available in GRANTA MI Version 10, to be released shortly, and demonstrated at a web seminar on 15 December 2016.
Dan Williams, Product Manager for GRANTA MI, said, “MI:Workflow is one of the most significant enhancements to the GRANTA MI platform we’ve ever made. By adding this important capability to GRANTA MI, we’re allowing our customers complete control over how they handle the collection and use of materials knowledge in their organisations – and removing perhaps the last remaining barrier to the digitisation of materials across all aspects of a business.”
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