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evolDiesel (Mechanical) (OP)
17 Jan 11 18:47
In SolidWorks and I believe other platforms they have this option to turn a dimension into an inspection dimension (see example below):



The problem is we can't find anything on this in a standard. We specifically follow ASME Y14 and can't find any coverage on this format.

Can anybody shed some light on this standard, where it comes from, and any links documenting it.  We are worried that it's local to a CAD program and not a real, observed standard.

Thanks,
Jack

Jack Lapham, CSWP
Engr Sys Admin
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Helpful Member!  Belanger (Automotive)
17 Jan 11 22:42
The meaning of that oval is to designate that number as "critical" ... or it can go by other names ... which means that not only does the part have to meet that specification, but that our quality department must log variable data for how well we meet the tolerance.   Essentially, it's a flag that marks that number as something that must be statistically monitored.

I'd really hesitate to call it an "inspection dimension" (does that mean that the other dimensions don't have to be checked?).


Having said all that, this symbol is not in the Y14.5 standard.  Every company sort of does things differently when it comes to this designation for "critical" dimensions.  Check out this earlier thread on the same topic:
http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=53176&page=11

I'm sure there are other threads like this; maybe do a search for the word "oval."

John-Paul Belanger
Certified Sr. GD&T Professional
Geometric Learning Systems

Helpful Member!  fcsuper (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 0:19
The rounded outline box (it's not really oval) is a common practice to define dimensions that should be inspected on a regular basis.  Other dimensions are still inspected as needed, such as for first articles.  It is not a standard, so using it will require a note in your general notes or title block that explains what it means.  I use this sentence:

"5. INSPECTION DIMENSIONS ARE DENOTED BY THE ROUNDED OUTLINE, SIMILAR TO:       "  

I include an example of the symbol within the note.  You can download the symbol for your SolidWorks here:  Inspection symbols

 

Matt Lorono
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

&

PeterStock (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 7:36
A star to Matt for posting the symbol, I will try to send one for Pro/E later.

Peter Stockhausen
Senior Design Analyst (Checker)
Infotech Aerospace Services
www.infotechpr.net

dtmbiz (Aerospace)
18 Jan 11 8:52
evolDiesiel,

I have worked at a number of large corporations that use various symbols to mean something specific to that company. What may be a specific identifier for company "A" may be something different for company "B".
  
My current employer uses the "race track" symbol for revisions.  Belanger sees this as a "critical" dimension symbol; we use a diamond shape for "critical" dimensions here.  

The important aspect of this is to define what your company intends the symbol to mean and put it in your standards; or sometimes a "legend" as part of the drawing format will do the job. I also agree with Belanger that calling this an "inspection dimension" probably isn't the best definition for the reasons he mentioned.

The following paragraph is found in the fundamental rules, pg 4 of the 1994 standard. I am not sure what use of the symbol your company intends to convey, however here is the rule which allows drawings to have processing information and other nonmandatory information.  This information should be marked accordingly.

 f) It is permissible to identify as nonmandatory
certain processing dimensions that provide for finish
allowance, shrink allowance, and other requirements,
provided the final dimensions are given on the drawing.
Nonmandatory processing dimensions shall be
identified by an appropriate note, such as NONMANDATORY
(MFG DATA).


 
looslib (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 8:59
Pro/E has that symbol built-in to the dimension properties dialog since WF3 at least.

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

PeterStock (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 9:48
What I had in mind was a symbol for adding to a note explaining the meaning, this would not be a dimension. The symbol should look like a dimension with the racetrack, but with X.XXX instead of a particular dimension.

Peter Stockhausen
Senior Design Analyst (Checker)
Infotech Aerospace Services
www.infotechpr.net

evolDiesel (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 11 10:17
I appreciate all the responses!

So, going once – going twice... the collective answer is that the race track can't be found in a major, recognized drafting standard like Y14?

Jack Lapham, CSWP
Engr Sys Admin
Dell M6400 Covet (24 Season 8, Ep 22)
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Helpful Member!  dgallup (Automotive)
18 Jan 11 14:55
I have never seen an ANSI, ASTM or ISO standard covering that "racetrack" symbol.  

TS16949 & ISO 9000 define special characteristic symbols but they are different depending on the customer.  Not much of a "standard" IMHO.  We use the customer symbols or our own if the customer does not have any.  None of them is the "racetrack".
PeterStock (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 15:34
Here is the symbol for Pro/E.

Peter Stockhausen
Senior Design Analyst (Checker)
Infotech Aerospace Services
www.infotechpr.net

ctopher (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 15:37
Peter,
Can't open the file.
If there is a standard for this symbol, it should be the same regardless which CAD app uses it.

Chris
SolidWorks 10 SP4.0
ctopher's home
SolidWorks Legion

PeterStock (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 15:41
I saved this from Pro/Engineer - Wildfire 2, you should be able to open it in any version of Pro/E after that. It would not be able to be opened in SolidWorks, use fcsuper's file for that.

Peter Stockhausen
Senior Design Analyst (Checker)
Infotech Aerospace Services
www.infotechpr.net

dtmbiz (Aerospace)
18 Jan 11 15:55

In NX (Unigraphics) this symbol is not specifically named but is one of a number of "ID" symbols. They include balloons, triangles, hexs, etc. If I recall correctly I used this symbol in piping at one time.

There is no standard for these type symbols that I have ever encountered, other than company specific.

Just because  a particular software designates a symbol with a certain name, doesnt nessecarily mean much.

Software for modeling and drawing creation does cross disciplines. Mechanical drawings, piping, schematics, architecture, etc.

IMO   I have experienced the improvements over the years for nomenclature, symbols, commands, etc; however in general I wouldnt bet the house because a particular symbol is called a certain name in any given software.

 
KENAT (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 17:43
Solid Edge can apply the 'race track' symbol around dimensions.

As noted, I'm not aware of it being in any formal standard.  Heck, I can't recall the idea of critical dimensions or inspection dimensions etc. being indicated on drawings being in ASME Y14.5M-1994 or similar (I think statistical is mentioned though) and have issues with the concept of critical dimensions and what it implies to other dimensions.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

Belanger (Automotive)
18 Jan 11 19:36
It should be mentioned that any type of notation like this (critical, key, statistical, inspection, whatever) naturally requires that supplemental information be given, such as the sample size or frequency, standard deviation/Cpk, etc.  

Kenat's right; the closest that Y14.5 comes to this is the ST modifier, but at the very end of 2009's paragraph 2.17.2, it clearly states that other info is needed.

John-Paul Belanger
Certified Sr. GD&T Professional
Geometric Learning Systems

Helpful Member!(2)  ptruitt (Mechanical)
19 Jan 11 11:48
Linking this discussion to the ST symbol is very interesting. I was about to say that the oval inspection symbol is, in a way, off-topic. I can see it leading to endless design change orders and drawing revision changes, possibly causing headaches for auditors and non-value-added activities for some of the drawing users. But the ST symbol is the beginning of a deep discussion linking the design to additional marketing requirements getting into MTBF, robust design... I have never used the ST symbol, but I am guessing that it will not go away.  

Peter Truitt

Belanger (Automotive)
19 Jan 11 12:18
Right, Peter, and the point is that the ST symbol doesn't in itself really mean anything!  It's just a flag that says hey, something special is going on here.  And that's why additional info is needed; that will really define what the engineer intends to do with the ST symbol.

John-Paul Belanger
Certified Sr. GD&T Professional
Geometric Learning Systems

fcsuper (Mechanical)
19 Jan 11 20:20
Just a side comment, Inspection Dims are not "Critical-to-function" or "Process Control" dims unless you wish to inspect that CTF or PC dim.   

Matt Lorono
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

&

jncope (Mechanical)
21 Jan 11 23:00
Hi EvolDiesel,

I developed InspectionXpert for SolidWorks (http://www.inspectionxpert.com) many years ago to deal with inspection dimensions in SolidWorks.  During that time, I was like a private investigator looking for some standard that spelled out the inspection dimension racetrack.  I never found the smoking gun smile  

My conclusion was that one of the CAD companies decided to implement this (probably for one big customer) and all the other companies followed suit.

Best regards,
Jeff Cope

 
evolDiesel (Mechanical) (OP)
22 Jan 11 13:00
Jeff,

That story sounds plausible and based on all this user feedback sounds the most likely.

Jack

Jack Lapham, CSWP
Engr Sys Admin
Dell M6400 Covet (24 Season 8, Ep 22)
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W7x64 | sw-01: 55.92
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ptruitt (Mechanical)
24 Jan 11 11:18
I may still have a template with the symbol in it for use when I applied pencil to paper. Perhaps the template manufacturer set the standard.

Peter Truitt

fcsuper (Mechanical)
2 Feb 11 14:51
Jeff,
The symbol should be submitted to both the ISO and ASME bodies for consideration.  Since you are Mr. InspectionXpert, maybe you can send them letters? :)

 

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion
Follow me on Twitter

Helpful Member!  DeanD3W (Mechanical)
6 Feb 11 18:30
Hello,
I'm new to this forum, but work with GD&T and ASME standards a lot.

I don't think encircling a dimension with race-track to designate it as an "inspection dimension", as Solidworks seems to imply should be a practice, is a good idea.  With GD&T we don't inspect dimensions unless they're a size tolerance or the odd, or ambiguous, exceptions such as a radius or chamfer tolerance.  On a typical drawing the tolerances being inspected will be size tolerances and those specified with feature control frames like Position, Profile, Runout, etc.  I don't think anyone would propose to encircle a feature control frame with a race track shape, so I think a symbol placed beside the tolerance would be a better approach.  In other words, we generally inspect tolerances, not dimensions, if using GD&T, and the entire concept of an "inspection dimension" is flawed, in my opinion.

I think Solidworks and others should delete the "inspection dimension" from their system.

Once a given tolerance is identified in a workable way as "special" then the next question would be in what way it should be special.  Maybe statistical parameters like Cp or Cpk must meet certain criteria or maybe the given tolerance should be verified more frequently than others...  This all sounds like measurement plan material to me.  If all tolerances on a drawing have an ID number then those numbers can be referenced in a measurement report to designate how or when data should be gathered.

This may lead to a discussion about tolerance numbers on drawings...  I think they're necessary if you want a clear way to match data in a report with the associated tolerance on the drawing.  ASME Y14.45 will be a new standard for measurement data reporting practices that should be released within the next two years (maybe less).  Y14.45 will include tolerance numbers in some way or another.  It's obviously not completed yet, but I don't see how we can avoid having index numbers on tolerances, at least on an inspection drawing.  Without them, we're left to the inspector adding numbers on a hard copy of a drawing as they go, which isn't the best approach for anything but very small operations.

Dean Watts
D3W Engineering LLC
fcsuper (Mechanical)
7 Feb 11 11:36
Dean said, "With GD&T we don't inspect dimensions unless they're a size tolerance or the odd, or ambiguous, exceptions such as a radius or chamfer tolerance.  ...we generally inspect tolerances, not dimensions, if using GD&T, and the entire concept of an "inspection dimension" is flawed..."

Dean, you may be over-thinking this.  The fact that each dimension is actually a tolerence zone is a truism that is already understood by those using the process.

Each company has to decide for itself what is inspected on a regular basis.  Quality control is a major factor in this.  The more regulated the industry, the more control is necessary, and the more clarity required to establish that control.

The rounded box outlines clearly mark linear dimensions for regular inspection.  This doesn't mean only these get inspected.  It simply means that these much be inspected.  
 

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion
Follow me on Twitter

ptruitt (Mechanical)
7 Feb 11 13:36
Matt,

As a designer, I never want to say that anything be inspected at all. I see that as another issue. I present the design, not the process (including inspection), whenever possible. (I do make exceptions.) This gives the greatest flexibility to the organization and reduces the number of drawing changes. Inspection criteria is more likely to change than a robust design. Drawing changes cost money, introduce dangers such as financial risk, legal risk, and possibly safety risk.

Peter Truitt

DeanD3W (Mechanical)
7 Feb 11 13:43
Matt,
You said "Dean, you may be over-thinking this.  The fact that each dimension is actually a tolerence zone is a truism that is already understood by those using the process."

I don't mean this in an unfriendly way Matt, but I think that you're possibly under-thinking this.  I am very much one  of those using the process, and I don't agree with your statement.  Nothing about basic dimensions creates a tolerance zone, or in your words "is actually a tolerance zone".  The tolerance zone is created by the position, profile of a surface, etc call-out defined in a feature control frame, which then requires the aid of basic dimension(s) to obtain the shape/orientation/location of that tolerance zone.  A basic dimension cannot be measured.  The location, orientation, size, and/or form of a particular component (axis, surface, derived median line, etc) of a feature is determined and whether that component is within its tolerance zone is evaluated.  That's not to say that providing data to describe where the controlled feature component is, relative to where it is supposed to be, isn't worthwhile and very common.  Regarding those values, I've run across quite a few people that like to say that they're measuring and reporting the value for a basic dimension, but what they're doing is much better described as providing the location components for a feature with a position tolerance applied, or the surface deviations for all or selected points for a feature with a profile of a surface tolerance applied (surface deviations, either "+ material" or "- material" being the profile component reporting method that works the same for a feature of any shape, angle or location).  A basic dimension is nothing more than a theoretically exact location, or orientation, or shape (radius of curvature for a profile zone on a curved feature, for instance).  To say you can measure the value of a basic dimension would require setting aside its definition.

Do you mean that you prefer to say that the value of a basic dimension can be measured and reported, or are you referring to using directly tolerance dimensions to locate or orient a feature?  I took your comment to mean the former, but if you mean the latter, then I'll still disagree, but with a different argument against smile.

I don't intend any of this to be adversarial...  Good discussions with good people are great and worthwhile expenditures of time IMHO.  I'll do my best to be one of those good people while posting on what seems to be a very worthwhile forum.

Best Regards,
Dean
www.d3w-engineering.com
 
fcsuper (Mechanical)
7 Feb 11 19:09
ptruitt,
The same could be said for using a quality control system where mfg engineering makes no statements about inspection.  It just depends on the system in place.  In an ISO environment, it is normal to have drawings contain some level of information to streamline inspection documentation.  The last thing some companies want is their inspectors making decisions where they are unqualified about engineering matters.  You want to talk about risk?  Unqualified people making critical and undocumented decisions is far more risky than revising a formally controlled drawing once in awhile.

DeanD3W,
Not to seem too friendly, but it's simply.  People are using these with great effectiveness.  If someone is focused on the BASIC dim itself and not the FCF, then they are using GD&T incorrectly, and that is not applicable to this discussion (unless you want to make the case that reading GD&T incorrectly should be factored in to how inspections are conducted).  Besides that, I've never seen an outline applied to a BASIC dim, nor a FCF.  It's simply a shorthand that is applied to linear dims.

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion
Follow me on Twitter

DeanD3W (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 0:24
OK Matt, I understand that you like the "inspection dimension" race-track symbol for directly toleranced dimensions.  If GD&T is being used properly then there really aren't too many directly toleranced dimensions to encircle...  Only size tolerances and maybe a few others like radius or chamfer tolerances.  If there's going to be a way to designate inspection being required for a given tolerance then that method should work well for all tolerances, including those specified with feature control frames.  A symbol placed beside the tolerance is simply a better method because it works equally well for directly toleranced dimension or for feature control frames.

I'll be standing by my position that the "inspection dimension" race-track that is placed around a dimension should be deleted from CAD systems.  It's a poor practice that is based upon a +/- world, rather than upon a proper approach with GD&T.

Dean
www.d3w-engineering.com
 
dgallup (Automotive)
8 Feb 11 9:14
Obviously, the standards industry has a left big hole to fill.  There seems to be no international standard for designating the important/significant/critical/inspection dimensions on a drawing.  Even the ISO TS16949 quality standard fails in this regard as they say the symbols to be used and their meanings depend on the customer.  That is an obvious cop out on standardization.  

I know the purists will insist that all dimensions are important & they all need to be met.  While I agree with that in principal, the reality is no one is going to pay for the inspection of each & every dimension, even on things like safety critical jet engine parts.  (See recent failures on RR engined AirBus planes).

I agree the racetrack symbol is flawed as it can not be applied to GD&T.  ANSI should take the lead & come up with a standard for special characteristic symbols including but not necessarily limited to:
Safety/Regulatory
Fit/Form/Function
SPC
Inspection
ptruitt (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 10:02
Designers should be very cognizant of quality issues. Many organizations have the design group sign off on the overall quality program and part-specific plans. But quality plans are most efficient when they are flexible. So the documented process capability of an established supplier might justify dock-to-stock. But the quality of a new, alternate, supplier might need more scrutiny. Although there are always exceptions, keeping process information off of design documents is usually the right thing to do, in my opinion. That includes the inspection process.

Peter Truitt

evolDiesel (Mechanical) (OP)
8 Feb 11 10:41
Fellas -

I just want to chime in and thank you for a fantastic discussion.

Jack

Jack Lapham, CSWP
Engr Sys Admin
Dell M6400 Covet (24 Season 8, Ep 22)
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fcsuper (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 11:25
ptruitt,

If this was 2001, I would've agreed with you.  However, I've since been through the bureaucratic hell that results from forcing the process itself to carry the burden of determining minimal inspection requirements.  I could (and maybe should) write a whole book on the topic.

DeanD3W,

I think you and I agree on the concept, but that you aren't OK with this particular solution.  An alternative is the use of a flagnote (which might be too easy for an inspector to miss on a drawing with many different flagnotes) or creating one's own symbol supported by a general note (which I *have* already done for visual inspection points).

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion
Follow me on Twitter

ptruitt (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 12:41
Frank Watts is author of "Engineering Documentation Control Handbook". His third edition (2008) provides fine advice that I usually agree with. Although people really need to read this book cover-to-cover, in my opinion, page 151 gets to the ownership of process documentation.

Peter Truitt

ptruitt (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 14:08
I should also recommend reading the topic "Process Design Specifications" at the bottom of page 43. I would caution folks that it is difficult to see where the author is coming from and where he is going without reading the book cover-to-cover. Matt is right in that it takes books to cover this topic. Fortunately, Frank wrote an excellent book, already.

Peter Truitt

KENAT (Mechanical)
8 Feb 11 15:39
I'm afraid I'm with Pruitt on this.  At the aerospace place I used to work, it was up to the quality dept to come up with a 'Quality Plan' part of which was determining which dimensions/tolerances got inspected with what regularity etc.  They took into consideration various factors when doing this and if appropriate annotated drawings were included in the plan.

While the standard does set some precedent by mentioning indicating statistically toleranced dims/tolerances, in general I feel it falls under the fundamental rule of not normally specifying process on the drawing.

This goes for the related topic of 'critical dimensions' too.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

ptruitt (Mechanical)
9 Feb 11 9:58
I see the ST callout as being goal-oriented, not process oriented. If historical inspection documentation demonstrates the process is capable for that part, the QC folks might be entirely justified in blessing a dock-to-stock program for that part. The racetrack demands an action, but falls far short of stipulating what that action might entail. To make the racetrack highly efficacious, the drawing notes would need to reference a static quality program plus it would need to reference a part-specific plan at a specific QC plan revision level. This is inefficient, of course. From a purist viewpoint, it forces the part to be reviewed any time a change is made to the overall quality plan.

Peter Truitt

Nella95 (Mechanical)
9 Feb 11 11:59
I know it seems awfully silly, but I'm with Dean in that the 'racetrack' symbol should not be put on the print in order to make the print.  (I believe I'm under-thinking this, by the way.)  Maybe an inspection print should be made separate from a working print?  I don't know - I've just seen problems in the past when so-called inspection dimensions are followed yet other non-inspected dimensions aren't thus interfering with the primary function of the part.
fcsuper (Mechanical)
9 Feb 11 12:07
Nella,

What is starting to happen is that the responsibility for inspection is moving out of the realm of Incoming Inspection and into the area of the vendor themselves, who then provide the inspetion data and a certificate of compliance or comformance or whatever.  In other words, it is communicating information to the vendor that they need in order to fulfill their requirements with the product they make.  I guess an even similar way to say it is that the requirement to inspect becomes part of the specification.  From that perspective, it belongs on the drawing just the same as any other specification.

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion
Follow me on Twitter

DeanD3W (Mechanical)
9 Feb 11 13:02
My issue with the "inspection dimension" racetrack frame is not due to concern about inspection information on a drawing...  I think it could be termed concurrent engineering, so a good thing, when design, manufacturing, and inspection discuss measurement practices, then specify the agreed upon approach on a drawing (in some organizations that info must go on a separate inspection drawing, but in others the additional overhead of maintaining both a design drawing and inspection drawing is unacceptable).

My issue with the racetrack frame is that it only works for directly toleranced dimensions and if inspection plan information is to be included on a drawing the method needs to be one that works equally well for a tolerance specified by a feature control frame.  That method would likely be a symbol placed by the tolerance spec.

By the way, my "under thinking" comment in an earlier post was only used in direct response to what I take as a slightly less than super polite comment about me "over thinking" this topic.  I would not normally make such a comment.  If my comment is taken out of context then it would seem out of line, so I hope no one does take it out of context smile.

Dean Watts
www.d3w-engineering.com
 

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