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Part Numbering System

Part Numbering System

Part Numbering System


We are in the process of reviewing our numbering systems and trying to determine which method to use. I have read thru the above thread which talks about significant and insignificant numbering systems. I was wondering if anyone has anything to add that might help us in making our decision.

We have operations in 3 different countries and we need to try to merge our systems to help streamline the operation. Only one of the 3 locations has a major database of Engineering drawings and it would be what I would consider as slightly significant in the numbering logic.

Any comments would be appreciated.


RE: Part Numbering System

You've already read thread781-161093: least imperfect part numbering scheme, how about these others that are linked, directly or indirectly to that one: thread1103-160197: Any have any perfect part numbering systems? thread1103-160197: Any have any perfect part numbering systems? thread559-136028: Part numbering thread559-136028: Part numbering

We came up with a scheme that was less smart than the current one at this site.  down from over 100 categories to about 15 or so.

Still too smart for my liking.

It still isn't implemented as working the whole business unit together is a lower priority now, that and the person making the database quit and others were laid off.  I don't know that it's going to happen anytime soon.

One of those threads I'm pretty sure references a report on smart numbers.


KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Part Numbering System

Ken - Thanks for your input. I'll check out the other links as well.


RE: Part Numbering System

Hmm, not sure why I posted the same 2 links twice, I'm sure I found more than that.  Anyway look in those and there are various links you may want to follow.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Part Numbering System

If, after you've read those other threads, still have some specific questions you would like answered.  Feel free to bring them up.



RE: Part Numbering System

Here's my best attempt at rationalizing a relatively short, numeric-only, non-significant part numbering system:

The short version:
Significant ("intelligent") part numbers were originally used for classification because "way back when" searching was labor-intensive & very expensive. However, you paid for the significance in terms of tainted categories, complex assignment rules, and inflexible data relationships.

Nowadays, if you use a product data management system for your part & document records, then searching is very cheap. You put all your knowledge into the item description, document type attributes, and other indexed fields. You let the computer assign a unique but purely arbitrary number, and set up part-part, document-document and document-part relationships without regard to the identifiers of either part or document.
There are also human factors considerations in making an identifier short & numeric, and these efficiencies typically conflict with significant systems.


RE: Part Numbering System

The dumber the system the better.  If you need documented evidence, ASME Y14.100 recommends insignificant numbers.  There's also a study I've seen somewhere that "proves" insignificant numbering systems work better.

The time it takes to argue over whether a new item belongs under on category or another (and just how often this argument comes up, even on the simpliest of systems) is more than enough reason by itself to avoid significant "smart" numbers.

Matt Lorono
CAD Engineer/ECN Analyst
Silicon Valley, CA
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources
Co-moderator of Solidworks Yahoo! Group
and Mechnical.Engineering Yahoo! Group

RE: Part Numbering System

Thanks to everyone for your comments and assistance. This has been very helpful in our review and it will help guide us in our decision.


RE: Part Numbering System

Hi all,

I've been putting together a departmental doc numbering (CM) scheme. Any suggestions on how we should address tabulated & multi-detail part dwgs?

Base Dwg#
210093-00    Drop the 00 base suffix?


w/ three place suffix:




How about multi-detail part Dwg's?

Base Dwg#
210083-00   Drop the 00 base suffix?



--Wanted to post this in one of these threads:
but they are closed.

Thanks again,  smile

SW 2007 SP3
ACAD 2002

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