Managing Technical Documents in Quality Digest

by : Thomas Cutler

In the current issue of Quality Digest, manufacturing journalist, Thomas R. Cutler profiles Elmo Solutions in a feature article titled, Managing Technical Documents : Less is more. The article can be read in its entirety at

According to Ricardo Talbot, chief science officer for Elmo Solutions, "The biggest distinction in effective search tools that create and manage engineering documents is the capability to index, retrieve and display a wide range of CAD [computer-aided design] and imaging documents from AutoCAD, other Autodesk-flavored applications, Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks."

It's economically viable to deploy CAD and product lifecycle management (PLM) document retrieval tools because, according to Talbot, "Our original intent was to develop and market a full-fledged technical document management [TDM] system with sophisticated document retrieval and viewing features, revision control, approval control, workflow, really the whole enchilada. However, when we surveyed our potential customers, we discovered that 90 percent of them would be perfectly happy with a lightweight TDM solution that would really focus on retrieval and viewing of engineering documents, as long as it was easy to use.

With small and large engineer-to-order manufacturers there is often a core business surrounding reverse-engineering CAD and other document formats to produce visualization solutions. Technology solutions are able to turn a general purpose document management system into a full-fledged technical document management system.

Elmo Solutions Inc. ( is the leader in managing CAD/PLM metadata, and provides unique software products such as Elmo Search, the enterprise search engine software for CAD/PLM and other documents; Elmo Link, a CAD companion software application that provides a live, bidirectional, "hot" link between CAD/PLM and MRP/ERP applications; and Elmo BoM, a standalone application that allows batch extraction of the metadata found in CAD/PLM documents in a single operation.

The scope of these technologies reveals that even a lightweight document management solution, limited to indexing and retrieval, results in cost-effective lean process improvements. Several TDM technologies are designed for managing CAD and engineering drawings along with associated product documents such as office documents, e-mails, PDFs and photographs. Many technologies provide unique architectures that store all electronic files in a native format, allowing engineers to view drawings without the installed CAD application, and letting anyone share and access documents from anywhere in the world via Internet Explorer.

Elmo Solutions, the leader in extraction and processing of PDM metadata, announces the immediate availability of its Elmo Search software. Elmo Search is the world's only affordable, enterprise search product designed to meet the distinct needs of CAD Managers, R&D Managers, IT managers, end-users and senior managers. Elmo Search enables searching within AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Word, Excel, PDF files, emails, and many more document types. It is designed to increases employee efficiency and productivity by delivering highly accurate search results, in just a fraction of the time required by other technical document management (TDM) solutions. It also allows the creation of separate groups of documents, or "collections", each targeted at specific groups of interests within the enterprise, while complying with existing file security permissions. Elmo Search also constantly monitors document changes in a document collection, automatically indexing new and updated documents on-the-fly within seconds.