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IT CAD Admin?

TerryMcFall
1-Newbie

IT CAD Admin?

Question: Does your company rely exclusively on the IT department to admin CAD software, especially ProE?

If so, how many ProE users are managed?

Thanks for anything you can offer.

-Ter

Terrence (Terry) McFall
CAD Systems Administrator

Varian Medical Systems
911 Hansen Way
Palo Alto, CA 94304
650-424-6039 desk
650-799-0179 cell

6 REPLIES 6

This topic has been previously discussed frequently on the exploder.
I recommend you use the search functions to find these threads.
You will find some companies have CAD supported from IT, while others have engineering staff handle it. Sometimes, it's a hybrid. In our case, we started with a support team (including myself)in engineering. Later that team was merged into IT.
Based upon those prior threads, and my own experience, it really doesn't matter which department manages CAD.
What is important is the type of admin people and support policies.
As a rule, you don't want an an ordinarycomputer scienceperson administering Pro/E, Intralink, etc.
These types of applications require an admin that understands:
1) CAD software doesn't work like other desktop software.
There are lots of non-standard quirks and work-arounds that require knowledge of the use of the application.
Most IT people do not know how to use the applications they manage.
2) Engineers/Designers are expensive (and often demanding) people.
You don't want to keep them waiting, or do anything that limits their productivity.
Therefore, it is usually best if theCAD admin has a background in design/engineering and actually uses/used the software.

Gerry Champoux Williams International
Lead Engineer 2280 E. West Maple Road
Information Technology Walled Lake, MI 48390
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I agree with Gerry's statements. The CAD admin can be in either IT or Engineering, but needs to be experienced in the software and the engineering users.

As far as numbers go, I remember seeing a survey / poll a couple of years ago. It varied quite a bit from company to company of course, but I remember the average ratio being around 1 admin for every 30-35 users.

- marc

I have never had less then 65 usersin any company Ihave worked forin my life and as many as 300 but now I have 148. Companies that had less then 25 users generally did not have an Admin like me. The software was managed by IT and the functionality was managed by the users.

This how I responded to Terry:

IT, for my company,is responsible for the servers and the installation of apps on them, i.e.; replica servers, license servers, data servers, etc. IT also sets up the workstations and the network. I back up the IT functions in case there is no one available to handle the problems. I manage the user base, the data base, all engineering applications and the installation of same, i.e.; Pro/E, Ansys, Altium, all NC, PDMLink, CFDesign, autocadd, Solid works, application training, upgrades, evaluate new applications, write training material, create standards and much more. I have a user base of over 148 in China, Texas, Mexico and Ohio. I work 12hr/day and on call 24/7. I am tied to a blackberry and a laptop. I am way underpaid and have yet to not work while away on vacation or a long weekend. Cause I can not take all my vacation I loose it every year.(new company policy started 2 years ago.) There is a good side to this...I really do love what
I do and feel at the end of each day that I have done a good job and accomplished much. You must be honest with yourself and understand one thing. The CAD administrator is not a position that management particularly cares for or places in high regard. They view it as strictly overhead and more often than not it is one of those positions cut during hard times. Management often requires that the admin reduce the amount of time spent administrating the system to 5 or 10% and devote the balance to creating geometry and drawings. That never works but they do it anyhow.

I work for our R&D Technical Applications group. We just got moved into the IT infrastructure, but IT still does not really recognize us as IT. I support between 50 and 70 engineers - about 55 right now.

I deal with all the CAD installations. IT images the workstations and servers but I install the CAD software and PDM systems. We are working to try and get IT to run install scripts on new machines and for updates but have not gotten that working yet.

I have spent some time creating models to help engineering, but they want me to spend more time learning Pro/Toolkit so I can add some functionality.

Having had to deal with this many times over the years, I'd VERY much rather have a skilled Pro/E guy learn to admin Pro/E and whateverlink than a skilledIT dork try and administer the CAD systems. In general, IT guys have absolutely no clue (and refuse to learn) as to the needs of the CAD users.

Hey Rex, this is Frank, from Moen and NASA. shoot me an e-mail.

In Reply to Rex Snider:
I have never had less then 65 usersin any company Ihave worked forin my life and as many as 300 but now I have 148. Companies that had less then 25 users generally did not have an Admin like me. The software was managed by IT and the functionality was managed by the users.

This how I responded to Terry:

IT, for my company,is responsible for the servers and the installation of apps on them, i.e.; replica servers, license servers, data servers, etc. IT also sets up the workstations and the network. I back up the IT functions in case there is no one available to handle the problems. I manage the user base, the data base, all engineering applications and the installation of same, i.e.; Pro/E, Ansys, Altium, all NC, PDMLink, CFDesign, autocadd, Solid works, application training, upgrades, evaluate new applications, write training material, create standards and much more. I have a user base of over 148 in China, Texas, Mexico and Ohio. I work 12hr/day and on call 24/7. I am tied to a blackberry and a laptop. I am way underpaid and have yet to not work while away on vacation or a long weekend. Cause I can not take all my vacation I loose it every year.(new company policy started 2 years ago.) There is a good side to this...I really do love what
I do and feel at the end of each day that I have done a good job and accomplished much. You must be honest with yourself and understand one thing. The CAD administrator is not a position that management particularly cares for or places in high regard. They view it as strictly overhead and more often than not it is one of those positions cut during hard times. Management often requires that the admin reduce the amount of time spent administrating the system to 5 or 10% and devote the balance to creating geometry and drawings. That never works but they do it anyhow.

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