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zissou (Mechanical) (OP)
10 Apr 06 8:30
Does anyone have a good starting point for developing a "checkers' checklist" for reviewing and/or approving new/revised drawings?

Thanks.
MadMango (Mechanical)
10 Apr 06 11:31
See FAQ1103-1039

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."
Steven K. Roberts, Technomad
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

Helpful Member!  tunalover (Mechanical)
11 Apr 06 19:49
MadMango-
Your response is fine if a checker is only concerned with "crossing the Ts and dotting the Is."  One would think that a checker should be more concerned about the DESIGN of the product than with the DELINEATION of the product.  After all, a crappy design can be beautifully drawn.

Tunalover

Helpful Member!  ewh (Aerospace)
12 Apr 06 8:37
I agree that there is much more to a checking list than what MadMango recommended, but is is a good starting point, which is what the op asked for.
wes616 (Aerospace)
12 Apr 06 9:41
If you can, get a copy of Boeing Drafting Standard, BDS-1018. It is a pretty thourough checklist (however much of it's list is specifically geared toward Aircraft industry specific design requirements.

Quote:

One would think that a checker should be more concerned about the DESIGN of the product than with the DELINEATION of the product.

If we are talking about the difference between good and bad design, this is not the responsibility of a checker. It is the responsibility of the engineering project manager / project engineer / lead engineer / design engineer to be responsible for the performance of the product. A checker (unless you only make a very few products) should really be more of a breadth of knowledge than a depth of knowledge. This breadth is usually in the form of, "lets assume that the design engineer has created a part that will function properly and meet all requirements... how best do I describe this part in order to get it manufactured and inspected."

If you are looking for a checker to determine if a product will meet its performance requirements, then there are bigger issues in the system.

Wes C.
------------------------------
When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions...

ctopher (Mechanical)
12 Apr 06 11:23
I agree with the others.
Wes, that is a great spec, but very hard to get...unless you work as an engineer on commercial aircraft.

Chris
Systems Analyst, I.S.
SolidWorks/PDMWorks 05
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home site (updated 06-21-05)
FAQ559-1100
FAQ559-716

ajack1 (Automotive)
12 Apr 06 15:42
Do companies really employ checkers that do not care if the product will actually work but only check that the drawing is “pretty”?

I trust you to design whatever that will work fine but doubt that you have the knowledge to draw the lines correct. Seems like an odd system to me.
MadMango (Mechanical)
12 Apr 06 15:56
We have a checker, they check for:
drafting standards (line type, fonts, etc)
MRP BoM and solid models match each other(but not for completeness/correctness)

The host of other requirements fall upon the ME, Designers and Project Manager:
overall design
mechanical requirements
manufacturability
component GD&T
tolerance stack-ups
material and finish selection
routings
other

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."
Steven K. Roberts, Technomad
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

ctopher (Mechanical)
12 Apr 06 16:06
YES. My last job had a psycho woman as a "checker". She actually sent a dwg back to me and told me "It's not pretty enough". I put it back on her desk and told her "I'll make it pretty for you if you show me the spec that says to do it!". She signed it and let it go.

Chris
Systems Analyst, I.S.
SolidWorks/PDMWorks 05
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home site (updated 06-21-05)
FAQ559-1100
FAQ559-716

ewh (Aerospace)
12 Apr 06 16:26
Different checking standards for different companies.  They are tailor made for the most part.  The most effective checker that I have known checked for (among other things):

drafting standards
tolerancing standards
material and finish standards
manufacturability

It was not his job to tell the engineer what material or finish to use, just that the material and finish were suitable and available.  He did not specify what tolerances to use, just that they be used properly.  He was not an engineer, and his function was not to design the product, but to ensure that the proper methods were used to document the product that was designed.
ajack1 (Automotive)
12 Apr 06 17:41
I must say I find it amazing that companies pay people good money just to tell someone that the fonts or linetypes are wrong, especially when as ctopher says when questioned about why they are rejecting something they actually have no idea.

Still it must help keep the companies tax bill down right up to the point they go pop.
ewh (Aerospace)
12 Apr 06 17:59
  I don't think that you understand the nature of checking.  If the drafters/designers/engineers would only LEARN and USE what the proper rules are (see the standards listed by MAdMango), checkers would not be necessary.  And not all checkers are created equal.  It is good to question their authority and make them show you in the standards why they are right.
  Are you one of those people that feel it is perfectly fine to dimension with thick phantom lines and cut sections using thin centerlines?  By your post, it seems that you really don't care.
  A proper drawing has a language of its own, and to prevent any misunderstanding as to what is really being defined, there are conventions to follow.  Those conventions are in the standards.  If you feel that parts of them are silly and don't effect the final product, good for you.  But where do you draw the line?  How can you specify that you are following the standards if you cherry pick what parts you want to follow and ignore the rest?
ajack1 (Automotive)
12 Apr 06 18:33
Ewh, I do understand the nature of checking, I have over thirty years of experience as a draughtsman, designer, engineer, and strangely enough those terms have different meanings in the UK to the USA. I own a small contract design company so presentation is very important to me if my company is to stay in business.

Frankly someone who thinks it is okay to dimension using thick phantom lines would be looking for another job from day one, I expect certain standards from qualified employees.

Could I afford to employ someone to check this and nothing else? No I couldn’t.

I still find it amazing that any company can, especially as when questioned why they have no idea why, as in the post by ctopher.
Helpful Member!  RubenGman (Mechanical)
12 Apr 06 21:17
Ajack1,

I was a checker and designer for the better part of the eighties and nineties.   The company I worked for made Class 8 trucks (Big Rigs) and employed over 80 engineers and a dozen or so drafters.   It was my job to enforce those company standards that were relevant in order to ensure compliance.  The company would produce an avarage of 190 drawings per week.  In an assembly-line working environment, you can't afford to have one of those drawings go unchecked against company standards (not to mention ANSI Y14.5) due to the potential for thousands of scraped parts.  It's much cheaper to employe a checker than it is to throw parts of that magnitude away.  When too many people do too many things differently eventually someone in authority asks "...can we standardize what we're doing here?".
ajack1 (Automotive)
13 Apr 06 3:19
I do not doubt the importance of checking that the drawing will not produce scrap, but for me that is down to design, tolerance and the fact that it is drawn/ modelled to ISO (in my case) standards.

Does any drawing produce scrap because the font size is wrong?
tunalover (Mechanical)
13 Apr 06 8:14
My philosophy is like this.  All professions involve varying degrees of salesmanship and self-promotion.  If I had to choose from two designs that have equal merits I would quickly choose the one with the best drawing package.  First impressions are important.  If a junior engineer or designer designs and drafts a part and puts forward a drawing for my review that does not meet industry standards and widely-known drafting practices, my first impression is that the person (regardless of the merits of the design) may have done a poor job.  I'm more likely to check every aspect of the design.  The design may turn out fine but that person did not get off on the right foot.

A well drawn part makes a good impression and says to me that this guy likes to cross his T's and dot his I's.  I know it's not entirely rational but that's the way it is!

In the engineering profession, drafting is a language.  Those who best speak this language are more likely to succeed.

Tunalover

zissou (Mechanical) (OP)
13 Apr 06 9:20
I agree totally with Tuna...

The "show" is as important as the "content".  If you can't communicate you design and do it well, then you might have a tough few years in this career.  

I am also a fan of taking the time and effort to produce drawings that are as "pretty" as possible.  Draftsmen are cousins to artists in many ways and need to have a bit of personality in their work.  Were I work, there are three, maybe four, people producing "drawings" of differing degrees of professionalism.  Usually I can tell who produced the drawings at first glance.  

Does anyone have any hints were to find BDS-1018?

Thanks.
ewh (Aerospace)
13 Apr 06 9:36
ajack1.
  Point taken.  In your situation, you have the ability to choose employees whom you can trust to do a proper job.
  In larger companies, this isn't always the case.  Often people will be brought in with little practical experience and a desire to improve (read cheaper).  Checkers then take the place of teachers or mentors as far as proper standards are concerned.
  One of the reasons we see so many poor drawings in industry today is because companies, large and small, are squeezing their budgets, and checkers are then seen as non-value-added.  People are now expected to check their own work before it is released, so silly mistakes get thru and seem to multiply.  It is very difficult to check your own work without putting it aside for a period of time before attempting it.  You become blind to your own mistakes.
  ctopher's situation isn't (I hope) the norm in industry.  That type of checker IS non-value-added.  Whenever I disagreed with a checker, I asked them to show me why they are right.  Much more often than not, I was wrong, but I understood why.  This went a long way in establishing good habits and learning the "language".
MadMango (Mechanical)
13 Apr 06 11:05
ajack1, use the wrong font and a 5 can look like a 6, 8 or 9 (and vice versa).

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."
Steven K. Roberts, Technomad
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

ctopher (Mechanical)
13 Apr 06 11:28
All good points.
ewh,
IMO, I think (I'm afraid) it is becoming the norm.
tunalover & ewh, a star for you!

Chris
Systems Analyst, I.S.
SolidWorks/PDMWorks 05
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home site (updated 06-21-05)
FAQ559-1100
FAQ559-716

ajack1 (Automotive)
13 Apr 06 13:03
I think we are actually agreeing here and it is summed up by the comment from ewh

“ If the drafters/designers/engineers would only LEARN and USE what the proper rules are (see the standards listed by MadMango), checkers would not be necessary.”

This is my whole point, whilst what Mad Mango says is also true that the wrong type of text can be misread, I would expect any half reasonable designer not to use that, does anyone use wingdings at work? winky smile

Still whilst companies employ people that cannot do their job and people who reject drawings for no good reason, again referring to the post by ctopher then life looks rosy for us small contract houses that can produce better quality for less money. I am still not sure that is good for the industry as a whole.
ctopher (Mechanical)
13 Apr 06 13:16
I think we will always need some type of checking. Us designers, drafters & engineers can't check our own work. We need a second second set of eyes to look over our work. We all make mistakes. This doesn't mean we need to employ a "checker", just have someone each of our work.
“ If the drafters/designers/engineers would only LEARN and USE what the proper rules are..." I 100% agree with this.

Chris
Systems Analyst, I.S.
SolidWorks/PDMWorks 05
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home site (updated 06-21-05)
FAQ559-1100
FAQ559-716

zissou (Mechanical) (OP)
13 Apr 06 13:33
I agree with all points made.  All good information and great discussion.

I'm thinking about recommending a "peer review" process.  As we are a small and chronically late/behind company, I think that in lieu of employing someone to specifically check drawings, we could pass the drawings to another draftsman/designer/engineer to check the drawing for errors, manufacturability, conformance, etc...

wes616 (Aerospace)
13 Apr 06 14:36
At my company, a big part of the mistakes that are made are due to hurried productions schedules, and limited manpower resources...I probablly have 40% less time per design than I would like to have... so checking has become a part of our getting it right process. I was told, that when I started here, that on average, I should expect at minimum 2 sets of redlines per drawing I release, 1 from the drafting checker, and one from the stress department. I think I usually get 3 or so sets of redlines.

A peer review is the best way to check functionality. Other places I have worked that didn't have dedicated checkers, when a drawing was assigned to one engineer, another was assigned to be checker.

Wes C.
------------------------------
When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions...

ewh (Aerospace)
13 Apr 06 15:00
Peer checking is a good method given the restraints we are seeing today.  The drawback is depending on your coworkers to know enough to recognize the mistakes.  If you have coworkers who regularly make stupid drawing mistakes, how can you trust them to catch any you may make?
pennpiper (Mechanical)
13 Apr 06 15:18
To some extent checking criteria depends on the type of drawing being checked and the industry focus.  

Where I came from, work wise that is was the Process Plant engineering and Design field.  We did things like refinery, chemical plants and power plants.  The drawings that my group did were the finished piping plans and the piping isometrics.   
Our checking criteria did consider proper line weights, line styles, drafting symbols and demensioning.
However, our drawings were a composite of the proper input fron all the many source documents.  These included (but not limited to) process P&ID drawings, structural drawings, equipment drawings, vessel drawings, electrical drawings and instrument drawings.
The main thing about this kind of composite drawing effort was "does the finished product reflect the accurate interpratation of all the input documentation?"
The checker was required to compare a "certified" copy of the source document against the finished piping drawing to insure that there was a correct transfer of requirements.
So I say it is fine to check drafting conventions but also check for content, source and purpose.
wes616 (Aerospace)
13 Apr 06 18:09
ewh,

Agreed. Peer checking is usually produces a very poor quality drawing, because peers are generally just a busy as you are, and don't want to be bogged down with the minutae of checking drawings against standards.

It, however, is a fine way to get the details of the functionality worked out. Especially, when you have to present your design in small or impromptu "design reviews." We only have the luxury of doing this on bigger projects. At a previous company I worked at, we had these more formal reviews on Thursday afternoons (everyone in the office - it wasnt too big, about 15 engineers), and would have impromptu reviews  (3 engineers necessary) whenever your designs reached a milestone....

It really helped the understanding of the product by the engineer to be constantly explaining how it worked... what it does, why it does this or that, etc... to peers... And the insight from others (if the environment is right to do this) is invaluable. Products turn out much much better.

Wes C.
------------------------------
When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions...

aardvarkdw (Mechanical)
14 Apr 06 13:35
Wes,

I agree wholeheartedly with you. Peer review, while not widely practiced where I work, is common amoungst those of us that work in the manufacturing Engineering dept. We produce a lot of drawings very quickly and on varying different projects, this makes it real easy to miss stupid things or to get so caught up in a convoluted method of detailing that we can't see a simpler way. In my experiance 80% of mistakes can be caught just by having someone else look at your drawing for five minutes. After staring at the same drawing for hours you just don't see things anymore nad sometimes all it takes is another set of eyes.
ctopher (Mechanical)
14 Apr 06 22:54
I have worked on projects for years creating a couple hundred dwgs. After that much time, I lose track of some aspects of the design. Peer checking is the only way my errors were caught

Chris
Systems Analyst, I.S.
SolidWorks/PDMWorks 05
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home site (updated 06-21-05)
FAQ559-1100
FAQ559-716

wgchere (Mechanical)
17 Apr 06 12:41
I AM a checker where I work. I check for:

**Format (line/lettering conventions, arrowheads ((some guys like BIG ones and some like small one that at are hard to see on a B-size print of a D-size dwg)), drawing borders ((some of our engineers and designers think borders are flexible and like to change elements to suit their personal tastes)), etc.)

**Tolerances. I just checked a dwg from an engineer of a fairly-simple-but-extremely-accurate-in-many-places part that had datums A thru H! I reduced it to A, B, C and after explaining it to him, he agreed. shocked I also check to see that tolerance stack up doesn't interfere with the assembly and that the GD&T is toleranced correctly (tolerance is distributed for fixed fasteners, etc.).

**I check the drawing and the way it is drafted on the "paper." For instance, that same dwg referred to above was 7 pages. After consolidating views (there were, for example, 3 top views, each with different dimensions on them--they all fit on one view now, and the dims for a hole or feature are not on three different sheets) it is now 5 sheets and there is only one detail from another sheet on sheet 5. It took me 2 hours just to determine where the datums were and where they were applied! The drawing is now readable.

I feel my job is value added.
wgchere (Mechanical)
17 Apr 06 13:26
I also reduced the Sections/Details from A thru J, to A thru D.
KENAT (Mechanical)
12 Jun 06 20:22
Interesting thread.

I’ve worked both at a place without dedicated checkers and at one with.

From that limited experience I would say that having a dedicated checker, if the size of organization permits is the better option. Obviously that checker needs to be good with the ability to teach/communicate not just an eye for detail or a long list of unjustified drawing prejudices.

If you can’t justify a dedicated full time checker then I’d suggest that designating one designer/draughtsman/engineer to do all checking (except his own work which you’ll need a second person for), preferably one with a good mix of experience and eye for detail, is the best alternative. This is what we moved toward at the place I worked without a dedicated checker just before I left.

Sourcing all drawings through one person (or for larger organizations a few people) better ensures consistency, especially if they have a good set of standards, both Industry, company and if applicable customer to check to.

Having everyone check, although better than none isn’t good from a consistency point of view and some people just aren’t good at checking even though they may be an OK engineer/draughtsman. Certainly my having to check drawings when I had less than a years experience was a joke, you could have slipped almost anything past me.

Design reviews are good from a top level/functionality point of view but from my experience even the most exhaustive one I’ve been to; which had around 10+ attendees from various departments and lasted for a very long afternoon reviewing a design with only around 20 drawings; didn’t spot all the problems in the drawing pack. They aren’t good for detail drawing checking or things like tolerance analysis or interference analysis.

As to checking your own work, even some really experienced guys I’ve worked with, who knew the standards really well (“ If the drafters/designers/engineers would only LEARN and USE what the proper rules are...") made mistakes which I could sometimes spot, let alone all the ones I missed. Having a second pair of eyes is always better in my opinion. There’s no point having standards/rules etc if someone doesn’t monitor compliance to them and enforce them, even with the best of intent we all make mistakes or under pressure will cut corners etc.

As to what checkers check, some companies have different levels of checking. For instance the most basic might just be to check that the title block is fully populated and there are no really obvious mistakes, missing dims etc. The next level might be to check this and if it fully complies to standards. The highest level would also check tolerances, clashes/interfaces and basic functionality. There could be other levels in between.

“Frankly someone who thinks it is okay to dimension using thick phantom lines would be looking for another job from day one, I expect certain standards from qualified employees.” Unfortunately it seems that really good draughtsman (and I don’t claim to be a really good one) are a dying breed. The course at my university was very brief and from some of the interns and apprentices I’ve worked with I haven’t found any that had really good drawing training, plus a lot of time seems to be spent learning what the CAD can do, not necessarily what you should do with it. Unless they learn on the job, where having checkers is invaluable, they may never learn and eventually there wont be enough. There seems to be a school of thought that just knowing the CAD software is enough, no real knowledge of either drawing/design communication or engineering is needed, seems kind of dumb to me.

Sorry my first post was so long,

I’ll try and keep it short next time but this is a hot topic at my place at the moment, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot.


ewh (Aerospace)
13 Jun 06 9:26
KENAT,
Welcome to the group!  New voices are always appreciated.
KENAT (Mechanical)
13 Jun 06 11:17
Thanks ewh,

Zissou, realised I didn't really answer the question in my diatribe.

If you have a membership the below on Drafting Zone is a pretty good list

http://www.draftingzone.com/tips/tip31/

Having looked at it I was a bit wrong on my levels of check in my original message but hopefully you get my point.  Should have been

Level One, Format Check
Level Two, Design Check
Level Three, Design Review

Below is a link I found if you don't have a membership.

http://meweb.larc.nasa.gov/amsd/refs/dwg_ckng.html

Hope it helps.

thundair (Aerospace)
13 Jun 06 12:28
I have worked at places with no check and it caused you to step it up a little to make sure there was no mistakes.
I would actually run prints and put my checker hat on and markup the drawing. It worked for me.

That being said we no longer use drawings as we are Model Base Definition and it is funny to look back at all the arguments we had over first angle projections and line width and even the use of an open 4 lol

There is a MBD check list that we use and it can be checked by any staff engineer.

Cheers

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