Delphi Automotive MicroStation expert ensures design file integrity using FileFixer.

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  • KOKOMO, INDIANA, USA — Do you have a Delphi XM satellite radio in your car? Or maybe you are one of the hundreds of thousands of motorists whose life has been saved by an air bag? If so, then you are already familiar with Delphi Corporation, a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of automobile electronics and safety devices.

    Bob Corwin, 24-year CAD veteran and FileFixer

    In this month’s MicroStation user showcase, MicroStation Today would like you to meet Bob Corwin. Bob is the CAD administrator at the Delphi Electronics and Safety facility in Kokomo, Indiana. “Kokomo” is not only the title of one of the catchiest songs in pop music history (Beach Boys), but it also the birthplace of the rubber tire, the aluminum casting process, stainless steel and the first push-button car radio (source: A CAD veteran of 24 years and an Axiom tools user for just over five, Bob has been using MicroStation since just after version 5.0 was released. Before that he was running Intergraph IGDS. [Editor’s note: definitely a veteran.]

    Amidst the automotive industry’s mandatory two-week summer shutdown — a time when ironically Bob’s Facilities Department has its busiest time of the year ensuring the facility is in top shape while everyone else is gone – he took some time to chat with MicroStation Today about his work, life and productivity tips.

    MicroStation Today: Tell us more about Delphi and its products?
    Bob: Delphi Electronics and Safety manufactures automotive parts. We make the sensor that determines whether the air bags need to deploy or not. We build the computers that control the cars and trucks sold by many of the automakers around the world. We build many of the radios that are in GM cars and trucks.

    Another pretty cool item we manufacture is the Passive Occupant Detection Sensor (PODS). PODS senses whether or not a person is sitting in a seat, and if so, how large the person is or if it is a child car seat. The PODS then adjusts the force at which the air bags deploys. It’s pretty cool.

    MST: Don’t you need to have an extremely sterile environment to manufacture high-end electronics?
    Bob: Yes. Our facility was at one time the largest of it’s kind. It has 60,000 square feet of Class 100 cleanrooms, which are cleaner than hospital operating rooms. (Note: Cleanrooms are contamination-free environments where high-tech manufacturing and assembly take place. The class number refers to the maximum number of particles bigger than one-half of a micron (a micron is equal to one millionth of a meter) that would be allowed in one cubic foot of cleanroom air. A Class 100 cleanroom, for example, would not contain more than 100 particles bigger than half a micron in a cubic foot of air).

    MST: How does MicroStation fit into all this high-end cleanliness?
    Bob: We use MicroStation to manage the equipment and furnishings in our three million square feet of office and manufacturing space. We also use MicroStation for our mechanical, electrical and communications systems, as well as to produce drawings for renovations and relocations within the facility. We then place that data back into a database, so we always know where all the systems are located.

    MST: How do Axiom tools fit in your workflow?
    Bob: At the end of a project, before the design files go back to the database (where they keep track of changes and modifications to the files), I always run FileFixer and Duplicate Element Remover on every file. I also use CellManager to assist me in maintaining our cell libraries, and when reference file attachment paths change, I use RefManager to update them.

    Sometimes we do presentations showing proposed changes to a facility. In these presentations, we block out and fill areas of the design file. To ensure elements don’t get lost behind these filled elements, I use SequenceEditor. I also use SpellCheckerPlus everyday.

    MST: Do Axiom tools save you time and money?
    Bob: Yes. Actually, Axiom tools have saved my bacon many times. Most times the problem involves getting AutoCAD files to work properly in our MicroStation environment. Other times, the problem involves spending many hours fixing several different drawings that have been manipulated by different designers. You can’t tell who or what caused a problem in a file, but when a file breaks, it has to be fixed. FileFixer always comes to the rescue. I used to use EdG to fix broken MicroStation files. It was slow and painful, even with 80 hours of training in EdG. FileFixer finds the problem and just fixes it. It’s a great product.

    Duplicate Element Remover is a great tool as well. Imagine a new user, a fence operation left on around several thousand square feet of equipment and utilities and the copy command gone amuck… duplicate elements are created everywhere! With the old pen plotters, this mistake wipes out a pen and a piece of paper quickly. We would have to manually remove all the duplicates. Without Duplicate Element Remover, the task is long and slow.

    MST: It sounds like you and Axiom tools keep your department in tip-top shape. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
    Bob: No problem. Thank you.

    More about Bob Corwin
    Bob enjoys playing golf and building furniture in his spare time. He is fan of NASCAR racing and has been married to “the same wonderful lady” for over 26 years. They have two children who are both in college.

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