FAQ's - General Queries about RoBOTic Document Controller Assistant

  1. What is RoBOTic Document Control Assistant ?
  2. What can a RoBOTic Document Control Assistant (RDCA) do?
  3. What can RoBOTic Document Control Assistant NOT do?
  4. How will RDCA know which data/documents/drawings to process?
  5. What are pre-requisites for the working of RoBOTic Document Control Assistant ?
  6. Can RDCA send reminders?
  7. What file formats can RDCA Process?
  8. What will happens - if the file formats of my documents - are different than those are currently being processed by RDCA?
  9. What languages can RDCA understand?
  10. What happens if RDCA is NOT able to process the documents?
  11. What are the various methods via which the RDCA can communicate with his human document controllers?
  12. We use extranet solutions - as BIW, Aconex etc - can RDCA upload the files into the same after updating the organisational record management software?
  13. Can RDCA download the files uploaded in the extranet softwares as BIW,Aconex etc?
  14. Can we configure all the output formats that are generated by RDCA as per our requirements?
  15. If there is an error that is done by the RoBOTic Document Controller - who will be responsible?
  16. Our project standards keep on changing - will RDCA be able to keep up with the pace of changes?
  17. Training & Post Implementation Support?
  18. Is there any training required by my clients?
  19. What skill sets are required for administering RDCA?
  20. Is there any programming required in reconfiguring RDCA?
  21. How can the person attain the skills required for RDCA?

1. What is RoBOTic Document Control Assistant ?
RoBOTic Document Control Assistant (RDCA) is a software program that assist the Human Document Controllers in
  1. Performing the quality checks on the incoming and out-going deliverables as per the project requirements.
  2. Generating the coversheets for the documents and putting the decision stamps on the drawings as per the requirements of the projects. 
  3. Creating the transmittals for all out-going documents and updating the Master Document Lists.
  4. Receiving the documents for all incoming documents and updating the master document lists and sending the acknowledgements. 
  5. Providing the automated scheduled MIS Reports to Projects & Expediting teams. 

In essence, its a software program that is configured to comply with the instructions related to the project documentation requirements.


2. What can a RoBOTic Document Control Assistant (RDCA) do?
  1. Management of incoming documents - Process the incoming emails to identify if emails contain the decision from Owner or EPCM or if emails are submissions from sub-vendors for review & commenting by the Contractor.

Quality checks

Will validate the Numbering systems, Revisions, Title, decision code in the documents & drawings – when received from vendors or Owners by looking at the information which is inside the attachment.

  • Will validate the Numbering systems, Revisions, Title, decision code in the documents & drawings – when received from vendors or Owners by looking at the information which is inside the attachment.
  • Validate the information contained in the DTN and the files that are enclosed therein and ensure that information provided in both is reconciled.
  • Receiving Incoming transmittals – Updating the master document lists & forwarding it to concerned people.
  • Sending Acknowledgement to Senders - Create an acknowledgment for the receipt of the documents and send email notifications to the concerned people.

2.  Management of out-going documents – Documents on which the decision has been given by the organization or which are the submissions of the organisations to        the EPCM’s/Owners etc

  • Quality Checks including coversheet generation
  • Coversheet generation of the deliverables as per specified formats for the document
  • Putting the review stamp at the place of least overlap for the drawings.
  • Title Block Validation of the drawing based on the information provided in the tBits meta data for the said records.
  • Document Transmittal Note creation as per the project formats including sending emails.
  • Master Document List updation with required information as per project standards.

 3.  MIS Report Creation & Automatic Circulation - Creating the reports and circulating the same to the respective agencies automatically – lookAhead, Overdue,           Activity, DTN Pending Confirmation of Receipt, Delay Analysis etc.

 4.  Information to Expediters – making the required reports available to the expediters for them to follow-up & expedite deliverables.


3. What can RoBOTic Document Control Assistant NOT do?
  1. Creation & Finalization of Project Master Document List / Supplier Document Schedule (SDS). 
  2. Reconciliations between the reports sent by Vendors & those of Owners.
  3. Technical Review of the documents: The technical review of the documents will have to be done by concerned engineers.
  4. All aspects associated with Human Interaction as on telephone / writing emails containing issues and/or responses to the issues raised by emails. RDCA can only give the required data as well as automatically emails the required reports to internal and external stakeholders. 
  5. Error resolution for all attachments that RoBOTic Document Controller could not process as they failed to comply with standards as specified to the RoBOTic Document Control Assistant . RDCA will send the emails to the concerned document controllers for them to look at the records which it failed to process – along with the reasons for failure. 

4. How will RDCA know which data/documents/drawings to process?
The starting point of RDCA to get into action is receipt of information by RDCA. The receipt of information event can be an email that has been sent to the document control team or a specific email ID, uploading a file into other applications and/or folders, uploading of files in some other applications as FTP Servers, Web-based applications etc. Based on the receipt of information, the document controller can commence the processing of the data the files that has been sent to it and/or downloaded from FTP servers / web-applications etc, performing the quality checks on the information and taking the appropriate decisions. If the RoBOTic Document Controller is unable to process the information - due to various reasons - including the non-compliance with the project standards and/or completeness of information, then it will forward the case to human document controller for it to process.
5. What are pre-requisites for the working of RoBOTic Document Control Assistant ?
The RoBOTic Document Controller is a sophisticated computer software involving the various emerging technologies in the domain of computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition and artificial intelligence & decision making. In the engineering drawings & documents for a project, we routinely deal with digital data, that has a lot of patterns that are associated with it. Further - these patterns and associated information is consistent across the project and are known at the starting of the project itself. The various patterns - which are expected by the RoBOTic Document Control Assistant comprises of existence of
  • Title Blocks for drawings containing the information about document number, Revision, Project Name, Drawing Title etc. It is assumed that the Title Blocks will be consistent for the various page sizes that are being used in the project. 
  • Coversheets for documents containing the information as document number, Revision, Project Name, Drawing Title etc.. It is assumed that the Title Blocks will be consistent for the various page sizes that are being used in the project. 
  • Decision Stamps on the files containing the decision codes that has been given by the reviewing agency. 
  • Optionally - Existence of the Document Transmittal Notes for the drawings/documents being interchanged that may contain information about the purpose of submission of the files, reference numbers and date via which it is being submitted. 

6. Can RDCA send reminders?
Yes - depending upon the programmed frequency, the RoBOTic Document Controller can send reminders and/or perform other business rules - as escalations etc.


7. What file formats can RDCA Process?
The de facto format for the engineering drawings and documents when they are in the phase of submission and approval is Portable Document Format (PDF). Even in the PDF - there are PDF’s created from the native applications as MS Word - which are text PDF’s and in which the text is selectable, Another format of the PDF’s are IMAGE PDF’s - which is usually after the scanning of the documents. RDCA can handle both Text as well as image based PDF Formats. As PDF is the most widely format - as of now - the RDCA is fully capable of processing the PDF format. For other formats - they will be included in future. Its easy to extend the application to other formats as those formats are only to be internally printed into PDF files for proceeding further.
8. What will happens - if the file formats of my documents - are different than those are currently being processed by RDCA?
RDCA - as of now - handles the PDF File Formats. As of Nov 2012 - we don’t support other file formats. For other formats - they will be included shortly in future. Its easy to extend the application to other formats as those formats are only to be internally printed into PDF files for proceeding further. It is planned to support more than 300 widely used Engineering Formats by end of January 2013.
9. What languages can RDCA understand?
RDCA understands as of now - English Langage only. It is further planned to increase the language capability of RDCA to about more than 120 widely used languages by January 2013.
10. What happens if RDCA is NOT able to process the documents?
If RDCA is not able to process the documents, then it will through the error and will prompt the human document controller to review and take decision. In addition to throwing an error, the reasons are also specified to aid the human document controller.
11. What are the various methods via which the RDCA can communicate with his human document controllers?
For any email or deliverable received by the RDCA, there will be a record that will be created in the RDCA for RDCA to track. If there is any error that happens in the processing of the deliverables, then the said error will be updated in the said record for the human document controller to act. Using the options available in the RDCA web-application, the human document controller can give instructions for resolving the issues if any using predefined options or may perform the transaction himself. In addition to updating the records in the application, the email notifications are also sent to the human document controller for them to act on the specified records.
12. We use extranet solutions - as BIW, Aconex etc - can RDCA upload the files into the same after updating the organisational record management software?
YES - provided that you have API Access available from the respective vendors. Please look into the website of the specific application provider to see if they provide the API for an application as RDCA to fetch / put information in their respective systems. Please further note - some participants as Aconex - charge for the API Access to be provided and you will have to take this up directly with them, negotiate and close. tBits provides its API’s FREE of any charge to the customers & developers.
13. Can RDCA download the files uploaded in the extranet softwares as BIW,Aconex etc?
YES - provided that you have API Access available from the respective vendors. Please look into the website of the specific application provider to see if they provide the API for an application as RDCA to fetch / put information in their respective systems. Please further note - some participants as Aconex - charge for the API Access to be provided and you will have to take this up directly with them, negotiate and close. tBits provides its API’s FREE of any charge to the customers & developers.
14. Can we configure all the output formats that are generated by RDCA as per our requirements?
YES - all the output formats in tBits are completely configurable. When we say output formats - we imply 

 

  1. MIS Report formats 
  2. Document Transmittal Note Formats 
  3. Cover Sheet Formats 
  4. Acknowledgement Letter Formats 
  5. Email Notification Formats.

 


15. If there is an error that is done by the RoBOTic Document Controller - who will be responsible?
Lets assume that there is a human document controller assistant. Even if the human document controller assistant does a mistake, as his manager - the senior document controller is responsible for the mistake done. Similarly - if there is a mistake done by the RoBOTic Document Control Assistant , its not only his mistake but is also the responsibility of all seniors to ensure that application is configured where the errors are minimised. As such - during the configuration, a very conservative approach is defined in the RoBOTic Document Controller and only if all parameters are passed - the RDCA will perform the transaction. In all other cases - it will make the matter up to the human senior document controller for them to look into the matters. Hence, RDCA is simply a tool to decrease the quality checks and transactions related work that a human document controller has to do - improving the productivity of the human document controllers and ensuring they have time to contribute to the project in terms of expediting and assisting the other project team members.
16. Our project standards keep on changing - will RDCA be able to keep up with the pace of changes?
YES - the reconfiguration or configuration of the RDCA is very easy and can be done at any point of time. Will there be any loss of data - if RDCA is unable to perform the transactions as inward or outward management. No - your complete data is safe - RDCA makes a copy of the data received via the emails and/or other methods and works on the same. The data that you have received - remains safe and continues to remain in the format as received from the sender.
17. Training & Post Implementation Support?

 

  1. Once I have decided to goahead with the RoBOTic Document Control Assistant , what training will be required by my engineering team? If you continue to use your existing Document Control Application – then nothing. If you decide to shift to tBits CollabWrite Document Control Software – then there will be a 2 hours training sessions that will be required by you engineering team members. 
  2. What are the training requirements expected from my Document Control Department? Your document control department – from the perspective of managing the exceptions – will require a 4 hours training. Depending upon the level of information technology proficiency – the training can be less or more than the above specified duration. If the document controllers are proficient in emails, Web-applications, Excel and computer operations – then about 4 hours training will be sufficient. 
  3.   Is there any training required by my clients? NO – for clients – its business as usual – they receive the documents etc in their email boxes and they respond by sending the emails to the specified project mailbox – which is associated with the RoBOTic Document Control Assistant . Administration of RDCA 

19. What skill sets are required for administering RDCA?
The administrator of the RDCA is expected to be proficient in Regular Expressions. More about Regular expressions can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_expression 
20. Is there any programming required in reconfiguring RDCA?
No Programing is required. 

21. How can the person attain the skills required for RDCA?
A. On google you will find several resources related to the regular expressions, some of them are below: http://gnosis.cx/publish/programming/regular_expressions.html