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Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

(OP)
I work for a small oil/gas company for down hole tools (drilling). A little over 50 people. We recently converted from Parts & Venders to DBA & use Activault for all SolidWorks drawings. Right now I upload all released drawings, ECR's & ECN's, and cover sheets in the item master in DBA. A Cover Sheets is simply a form that I staple on the front of a folder that shows the drawing number, description, ECR/ECN numbers, start & finish dates, designer/engineer & changes made on that part. So we can easily see all the changes on that one part but when looking at the whole assembly, we have to gather all the parts folders and look at each cover sheet & ECN's. Our top assemblies have many sub assemblies and we would like to be able to see all the changes that were made in the whole assembly without having to dig through paper work. They are not willing to spend any money on a program so Ive been trying to come up with an excel spreadsheet. Does anybody have any spreadsheets already made or know of any free programs I can use?

Example – Tool built 6 months ago ( at Rev A) comes back for servicing/upgrade. Meantime there have been several ECNs released for that tool type which is now at Rev D. We need a document / record that will show all the changes (including affected sub assemblies) that need to be incorporated to the tool back for servicing, to bring it up to current revisions.

Our cover sheets do not show changes made in the sub assemblies, only changes made on that particual drawing.

Thanks,

Rose

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

Maybe I'm misunderstanding a little but...

True revision changes are fully backward & forward compatible so what rev part/assy is actually used should be irrelevant.

For a change that is not fully backward & forward compatible a new PN is assigned to that part/assy & the change should be chased up through the assembly structure changing part numbers until a fully interchangeable level is reached at which stage it is a rev.

In systems I've used, when the change to a part also required a new rev of the assy, both the assy & part changes were detailed on the assy.

I'm tempted to say part of the problem lies in having cover sheets that apparantly only show changes to an individual drawing.

While it might be possible I suspect an Excell file that does all you ask given the limitations of your structure could be pretty bulky.  You'd need the BOM and/or 'used on' data entered and then be able to generate data from it.

Not sure it would help but we used a 'drawing list' in UK govt systems.  For each deliverable/high level assy it was a list of all the drawings used to create it, both sub-assy's and parts with their rev.  It was manually updated, basically when you rev'd a drawing you found out what Drawing Lists it was used on and also updated those on same ECO.  It was prone to errors and labor intensive but, I've got to say compared to SAP that we use here wasn't that much worse, in some ways better.

KENAT,

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RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

(OP)
KENAT,

This company does ECR/ECN's for practically anything. I have recently started keeping track of small changes in Excel like description changes, title block changes etc, but when a change is form, fit or function, the designers and engineers make a ECN on that part to keep from pulling new numbers. I have to figure out how to work with their system.
In the assembly cover sheets, I tried adding all ECN's even in sub assy's but its starting to look messy.
I have thought about taking the BOM's that are in DBA and saving them as Excel files and somehow adding the ECN's in there.
 

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

"In systems I've used, when the change to a part also required a new rev of the assy, both the assy & part changes were detailed on the assy."

Sorry should have been

"In systems I've used, when the change to a part also required a new rev of the assy, both the assy & part changes were detailed on the ECO."

Sounds like lax config control is causing some of your problem, once revisions become 'significant' it gets more complex.

Good luck.

KENAT,

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

(OP)
I totally agree with you. My past jobs, we put a revision block on the assembly drawing with changes made to its parts but since we are still in the research and development stage, parts are being changed allot so it would take up too much space to put all changes on the drawing.
You wouldnt know of a free-cheap ECN program would you?

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

OK, so you don't actually have an ECO form as such.  I wondered from what you put but wasn't quite clear.

It depends what you want from it.

My last place did it all paper copy, you could use word or excel or similar for that.

My current place uses something called filemaker but have been talking about changing it to an MS access based system for some time.  Not sure I'd recomend either though.

KENAT,

Have you reminded yourself of FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies recently, or taken a look at posting policies: http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

(OP)
We have ECR & ECN forms, but since they make so many revisions, we dont have a easy way to keep track of all of them. Im looking into Microsoft Access. Have heard good things about it.

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

If you have someone familiar with Access it may work for you.  The reason we haven't moved is at least in part becausee the person that was familiar with it left some time back and no one else has the relevant skills.

KENAT,

Have you reminded yourself of FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies recently, or taken a look at posting policies: http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

(OP)
I was just told we would have to pay for it... there not going to pay for anything. So I will try out excel.

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

We are a small R&D company and I have been tasked to devise a config mngmt system.  I selected PEYDN which is a MS access application.  It seems to have most of the right stuff with the ability to add your own forms, lists,...
It can report all ecns generated againt a PN with a click of a button.  We paid $2500 plus another $1200 for an add-on a couple years ago.  In my opionion a relational database is the only way to go. However, it seems more appropriate for "true" production mode and less for R&D. Therefore I am lookning to implement a "version control" app- Subversion (SVN)- for tracking development. When development is done we pull the design files for CM control.
The version control app requires good notes from the developers ( to record change notes...). Subversion is an "open source" app which seems to be used widely.  I can supply links to web pages if requested.

RTaylor  

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

I've developed MS Access databases for managing ECOs for a medical and aviation company. The first thing to do is read thick books on configuration management. Once you really understand it deeply, you can develop a database or do something else that will work. Without that knowledge, any system is doomed. Study hard first, only then decide if software can help.

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

I agree.  Develop a small working relational database.  create a form for the ECNs and simple listing and report.  your time invested will payoff immediately.  you will be able to quickly find all your changes up, down, whatever as long as you have fields to associate ECNs with projects or assemblies.

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

A word about using Access for such a system: From what I understand, Access is best used for single user databases. If there is any possibility that the application will be accessed by more then one user concurrently, it would be best to step up to SQL Server, MySQL, or something else that can handle record locking and other concurrent access issues.

While some people will say "I'll develop this using Access and port it to something else later", the basic DB schema must be laid out with multiple users in mind from the outset.   

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

PHovnanian,

The Access application we are using is multi-user, record locking...Have not come across any issues. I would prefer not to involve Access since we are looking to expand and not everyone has MS Access and our Access app is not compatible with Access2007. Does SQL server, MySQL require additional application/interfaces.  I would prefer some "web"/Network based system.

Maybe we should switch this topic over to another forum?

RE: Keeping track of ECN's in a project assembly

I have used Access databases over many years with multiple users, I agree, though, that SQL or other solutions might be better for various reasons. I may deploy yet another Access database rather soon and expect about ten concurrent users with various data entry security privileges, viewing privileges, and reporting options. If we go ahead with it, I will have one back end and various front ends to suit the varying needs of different departments and individuals.

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