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Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

(OP)
Hi all! I'd like to get some opinions on when it's acceptable to change the "Designed By" / "Engineered by" field in the title blocks of mechanical drawings. We've had an "Engineered By" field in our title blocks for the past 25+ years and the initials of the Engineer responsible for the design of the part have always been put there.

We're a small company and, for the past several years, our Mechanical Engineering "Department" has consisted of just a single Senior Mechanical Engineer and a Junior Mechanical Engineer. The Senior Engineer has recently retired, leaving the Junior Engineer as the entire Mechanical Engineering Department until we can find a replacement. One of the things that he's recently been tasked with is updating a set of old drawings for fabrication under a new contract. This includes giving the parts new numbers (we changed our numbering system several years ago), ensuring that the title blocks are our recently updated version (a version created by said Jr. Engineer), and changing the dimensions on a few of the parts that need minor revision.

For whatever reason, he's decided to completely redraw all of the parts from scratch and the "Engineered By" fields (now shortened to "Engr") on all of these re-draws now contain his initials rather than the initials of the Engineer who actually designed the parts. In most cases, no changes were made to the actual parts. In a few cases, very minor changes were made (such as the diameter of a hole changing by 0.001 or a bore depth changing by 0.125).

I can see the logic behind updating the "Drawn By" field since he HAS completely redone these drawings, but shouldn't the "Engineered By" field show the original Engineer who designed the parts?

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

MKPearson,

What are you going to do when you have a question about the engineering on the drawings?

In other words, why are you tracking the engineer?

--
JHG

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

(OP)
Being the only other person in the company with mechanical deign experience and being quite familiar with the the parts in question, I've been asked to review his drawings prior to them being released to the machine shop; it's my initials in the "Checked By" field.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

In my mind, it comes down to a question of ownership. If this new engineer is willing and able to take ownership of the design of these parts, including any and all aspects of that design, I see no reason why they should not put their initials in that block.

If the engineer only changed a few dimensions and re-drew the parts without "owning" the design and have the understanding behind it, then it would not be appropriate for them to initial that block. I find it somewhat akin to putting your PE seal on a drawing or document. You signature, even your initials, means something.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote (MKPearson)

This includes giving the parts new numbers (we changed our numbering system several years ago)

The line above is the telling piece for me.

Couple of points:

1) I have the same opinion of initials on drawings as KoachCSR. I don't have a PE stamp, but in my mind it's only a slightly lower level of reverence. I would NEVER put someone else's initials on a drawing that I created. Initials on a drawing is your signature. If someone else put my initials on a drawing that I had nothing to do with, I most certainly would not be happy.

2) In my world, as a matter of policy, new part numbers means the part is new. Even if no new engineering is performed, that part and the old part number are no longer linked. New part documentation should reflect that. I would never create a new part number and put the initials of an engineer who was no longer at the company, regardless of how much of his or her work was being re-issued as new. (see point 1 about copying the signature of another engineer)

2) In my opinion, the 'designed by' part of a title block is mostly useful for internal tracking. If you look up a part number, having that on the title block tells you immediately who can most likely answer any question you might have. The guy who did the initial design work is no longer with the company. If someone has a question about that part, they need to be able to track down the guy who created the drawing- and in your case that's the "Junior Engineer". It would be bad practice to fill out your title block in such a way that you're aiming any first-pass questions at a guy who isn't an employee of your company.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

(OP)
Thanks guys. Your logic makes perfect sense to me; just the types of answers that I was looking for.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

I have been of the opinion that the title block information captures the original designer, checker and approver. Sometimes there are more signatures in the title block, too. Any revisions to the drawing are recorded in the revision block with those 3 people initialing/signing the blocks in the revision block. The original signatures in the title block do not change.
If a part is redrawn, that is only recorded as a revision.
If there are changes to the design that require a new part number, then the title block fields are wiped clean and the current designer, checker and approver signatures get put in the title block.

With a CAD program, we captured the initial signatures with a custom parameter. Any revision left them alone. If the design was assigned a new part number and the revision went back to rev 0, then the relations we had built would capture the new initial names.

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

Ben Loosli

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

In redrawing and making some minor changes he has tacitly made the engineering review and assessment than no other changes are necessary.

He is the engineer now.

Consider a case only slightly different. New design, but the engineer decides that a part from an old design will work with a few changes. Who is the engineer? The engineer of the old design, or of the new design?

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Makes sense to me. That concept doesn't use the terms we put on engineering drawings because it is meant to be broad enough to apply to documents of other types.

Creator = 'designed by'
Approval person = 'checked by'

Technical Reference = something that doesn't usually go on a drawing (at least in our world) but I have seen customer drawings with a similar line. For example, you might have a junior engineer doing design work, but you want any customers who have questions to contact his supervisor or project manager or whatever. So your junior engineer who actually did the work goes in 'designed by' and the guy you want people to call goes into 'contact' or 'supervised by' or some other variant.

Not too complicated or different than what we all do already.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

I am actually surprised the idea of "technical reference" isn't as widespread as one might expect.

Just the guy / girl who knows what's going on. The standard even has another idea: "The name of the technical reference may be kept up to date without formal rules for revision."

So update it right before sending your drawings to manufacturer.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

I see it all the time- typically a 'Contact' field with the name of an applications engineer or sales guy- i.e. someone who knows the product line (or at least is supposed to) but isn't doing the design work.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Why not join the 20th century and implement a PLM system without a signature block?

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote (CWB1)

Why not join the 20th century and implement a PLM system without a signature block?

Your PLM-managed minimalist title block doesn't help your customer very much when he's trying to figure out who to call.

We use PLM and the drawings still have this information. If I was ever asked to get rid of it I would refuse.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

A customer should call the contracts department, not a name in the drawing block. A contact person may be specified in the contract.

A CAGE Code and a part number are all that's required for a customer to get exactly what they need.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Unless there is no 'contracts department' to call.

What works for you or me doesn't necessarily work for everyone else.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

If it's a one man business it's the same person. If no one is signing a contract it isn't a business.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

3DDave,

Small organizations do not need to be as disciplined as big ones.

--
JHG

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

My employer is not a one man operation, and we sign contracts all the time- but there is no 'contracts department'.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

The main objective of using a PLM package is to easily track part data including the responsible engineer, it literally renders signing prints obsolete. If a customer has a print they shouldnt wonder who to call because they can simply call the person who gave them the print or anybody else within the organization to easily look up the design-control.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Which is why I also wrote "A contact person may be specified in the contract."

There's no need of it on the drawing unless the person handling the drawing found it blowing about the property and was curious.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote (3DDave)

A contact person may be specified in the contract

The idea is to reference the person who REALLY can answer questions.
As the projects consists of several documents from different engineering disciplines, it is highly unlikely that one single person will posses enough knowledge.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote (CWB1)

The main objective of using a PLM package is to easily track part data including the responsible engineer, it literally renders signing prints obsolete. If a customer has a print they shouldnt wonder who to call because they can simply call the person who gave them the print or anybody else within the organization to easily look up the design-control.

That's great for internal shuffling- but customers, especially prospective customers, do not have access to your internal PLM tags.

When we design a new piece of equipment that's designed to be saleable (i.e. not a custom one-off for a specific project) drawings get posted to our website for anyone under the sun to download and view. It is useful for us to have a contact listed on that drawing, so that a customer can easily reach someone who will know how to respond to any questions they might have. We have far too many products to rely on a receptionist or whomever might randomly answer the phone to direct those calls accurately.

This is a minor detail- but when you're trying to bring on new customers, the appearance of being well run is vital- and when someone calls with a technical question, their ability to get their question answered without being on hold for 10 minutes while their call gets routed through 6 people until the right person picks up the phone is vital to that end.

Quote (CheckerHater)

The idea is to reference the person who REALLY can answer questions.
As the projects consists of several documents from different engineering disciplines, it is highly unlikely that one single person will posses enough knowledge.

Precisely.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Companies that look well run put the contact info on the web page so that I don't even have to dial a phone.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote:

This is a minor detail- but when you're trying to bring on new customers, the appearance of being well run is vital- and when someone calls with a technical question, their ability to get their question answered without being on hold for 10 minutes while their call gets routed through 6 people until the right person picks up the phone is vital to that end.

Maybe its the industry but that sounds contrary to well run. Supplier management processes today emphasize attention to seemingly minor process details such as signature blocks as a secondary means of evaluating supplier capability. Saving maybe a minute of phone time isnt worth lost customers, especially given the low likelihood of a cold call netting a design engineer. I sit in meetings 2-8 hours/day and know supplier technical leads do as well so I expect to get their voicemail more often than not. If I want a quick answer I either email or text.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

Quote (3DDave)

Companies that look well run put the contact info on the web page so that I don't even have to dial a phone.

To the same point as I made earlier.. there's a difference between a general product inquiry, and a 'can I use this fastener in this assembly' question.

If we tried to structure our website with an index or something so that any part number could be linked to the correct guy to contact, it would be so convoluted that you'd be better off cold calling the receptionist.

I don't see why a contact name is such a point of contention on drawings- but it sounds like a lot of the opinions contrary to mine are coming from people who either A) are in a large enough organization that true engineering staff aren't integral to the customer acquisition process or are shielded from customer communication or B) are used to a top-down PLM integration between supplier and customer, where analog methods of communication are needed with much less frequency.

I have neither luxury available to me, which is why we do it the way we do it. It's served us quite well up to this point.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

You already have a system that links a number to a name, but leaving it on the drawing means that it can be out of date. Most websites have back-end database capability, so it's easy to make a single database edit when one guy goes on vacation or retires, rather than changing hundreds of drawings. Customer types a part number so they can get the drawing and it finds the drawing and the current person, their phone number, an e-mail, and maybe a direct message block. Not tough to do. And the website can collect which pages are visited and which drawings are downloaded and to what IP address, so that marketing (ooops, some person in charge of something) can see if there is a customer having a problem but maybe isn't asking for help.

Sure, anything can work. If all you have is a hammer, then every target is a nail.

RE: Title Blocks - When to update the Designed By/Engineered By field

You're again talking about resources that you may have access to, that I do not. I wish I did and could operate differently, but I don't and can't. Se la vi.

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