Working less… and getting away with it — BASF Española’s CAD administrator shares his secrets.

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TARRAGONA, SPAIN — This month, MicroStation Today will whisk you away from your workstation and take you to the Mediterranean paradise of Tarragona, Spain to introduce you to Francisco Laboria-Valles, CAD administrator for BASF Española. An avid fisherman, traveler and movie aficionado, Francisco appreciates anything that allows him more time for his hobbies. Below he shares some of his secrets on how he manages to work fewer hours and get away with it! [Editor’s note: this interview was conducted in Spanish and translated into English. We recommend reading this piece with an Antonio Banderas-esque Spanish accent in mind, as it will give you more of a realistic feel.]

Hard at work: BASF Española’s CAD administrator, Francisco Laboria-Valles.

“I am the administrator for the entire CAD network for BASF Española. This post includes tasks like fixing design file problems for designers and managing the information and integrity of our project database.

“The Axiom tool we use most frequently is RefMerge. This tool is vital to properly translate MicroStation design files to other formats (like AutoCAD and PDF). Before we had this tool, merging a design file and its reference files into one file took lots of effort. Before, the process went like this: 1) open the file, 2) make note of all used levels, 3) de-select all used levels, 4) create a fence on a new level encompassing all the elements, 5) copy the fence contents and paste them into the new level and 6) unlink all reference files. This process is bearable on one file, but on multiple files, which requires you open each file and go through the process, it can be a tedious task. With RefMerge, I just select the list of files I want to merge and let it run.

RefMerge indeed increases my productivity, but it’s nothing compared to what I can do with FileFixer. I am sure I don’t have to tell FileFixer owners how useful it is, because they know. Just wait until you find yourself face to face with a corrupt design file and its corrupt backup copies. Then you will see first-hand why FileFixer is great.

“Another situation in which I find FileFixer useful is when we translate AutoCAD 2000 files into MicroStation design files. Usually, there is corruption in the files after translation. FileFixer has fixed every single instance of that corruption.

“Lastly, I would like to add that when my boss, Mr. Pío Manuel Peroy, asked me to try out Axiom tools I was a bit skeptical of their worth and opposed their purchase. But now Axiom tools help me in my work in a way I could have never imagined. I would like to thank my boss for giving me such a gift. I may look busy in my picture, but the truth is that with Axiom tools, I work less each day.”

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