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Part Descriptions

Part Descriptions

Part Descriptions

Whilst I know part descriptions have been covered before, only briefly as far as I can tell from searching, I am requesting slightly different input from yourselves.

The consensus has been that to generate an entirely defined description is both tedious and time consuming.

Because of this, I propose that in implementing our new MRP system, we publish a set of guidelines and best practices for people to adhere to as best possible for writing part descriptions.

One for instance which I try to follow, is write from generic to specific, e.g. RESISTOR... 1R0.

What would you suggest would be useful to include?

Thanks in advance.


RE: Part Descriptions

Thanks for the link MintJulep!

My concern is less our drawn parts, but bought-in parts that we might use.

A good point from that thread however, is not to put anything in the description that is liable to contradict the content!

Any more for any more?

RE: Part Descriptions


   In all probability, you will do your ordering by manufacturer and part number, andr you kitting of parts by stock code.  The description is a redundancy check, and a human friendly reference.

   This is a limited objective, not requiring long, detailed text.  Your next requirement is the KISS rule.  Keep your descriptions as short as possible, so that people can hand write them, or hunt and peck type them.   


RE: Part Descriptions

Take a look in ASME Y14.100, they have a bunch of stuff about part naming.

For standard hardware items that get used a lot it can be useful to have a fairly descriptive title.

However, trying to fully describe every custom part tends to cause more trouble than it solves.

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"?

RE: Part Descriptions

We recently changed over our system (merged two into one) where we have a three letter descriptor for the part followed by the part number as assigned by the vendor.  So a Digikey Resistor ABC12345 would go into our database as RESABC12345.  That way we can check all the RESistors for inventory management and design.  Also, the description line may depend on what your DB can offer.  Ours is a two line version with up to 72 chars (I think).  We tens to put the vendors description in the first line and add to second line if it's more than the length.  Works so far...

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Part Descriptions


   What happens when your new clerk sets up part numbers for respirators?


RE: Part Descriptions

What Kenat said...

Here we use a simple naming convention. Noun, Adjective, further descriptor and a dumb, 4-digit part numbering system:

Part No     Description
1000        SCREW, HHC, 1/4-20 X 1.00"
1001        PIPE, STEEL, SA516 GR70, 48" X 48"

I have yet to see a good reason to support the need for a degree in cryptology, or a Spiff Spaceman decoder ring, when it comes to part names or numbers.  

Jeff Mirisola, CSWP
Design Manager/Senior Designer
M9 Defense
My Blog

RE: Part Descriptions


Good question, but covered.  We have a three letter descriptor (3LD) and RES has been taken for Resistors so we would have another for Respirators or Rescue Equipment. We have a Part Naming document which can be added to at any time, so the new clerk (who wouldn't have the naming control, only doc control) couldn't screw it up.
As our company grows, more 3LD's are added, but are approved first by both mfg, and eng.

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Part Descriptions

We have a big list too but it's still a mess and a pain in the ass.

Some items tend to fall on the boundary of more than one category, sometimes they get put in one, sometimes another.

Smart numbering has some application where it's descriptive - e.g. like some BS or NAS standards where the 'number' indicates the style, length, diameter etc. of the fastener.

However, generally speaking, I'm smart number averse at least for custom 'drawn' items.

Back to the OP, setting up a template for common items can be usefull.

For instance 'all screws shall be defined as "SCREW, <head type>, <thread>, <length>, <material>' or something like that.

We started looking at this but with lay-offs it didn't get far.

If you follow the conventions in 14.100 you shouldn't go far wrong.

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

RE: Part Descriptions

Excuse me if this was covered in previous responses, but I believe the #1 overall goal should be a search-friendly algorithm.  Generic to specific yes, but it also depends how knowledgeable the 'searcher' is.

RE: Part Descriptions

You could have 2 letters followed by a number of letters and digits.  The 2 letters will specify the type eg RS for resistor, CP for capacitor, UK for everything else (like the Spiff spaceman decoder ring).  If there are not that many types, you could reduce it to one letter.  For instance, if the only component beginning with R is a resistor, just use R.

You may need to follow it with manufacturer eg 09 for intel, 13 for motorola , 20 for texas instruments and the easiest thing is to use the manufacturer's code after that.

People will learn the codes if they need to.  Just specify a convention and stick rigidly to it.  Some people will complain but everyone will know it after a while.

Same with the Dewey system.  Not user friendly.  001 is computers and 510 is math but if you use it often enough, you get to know it.  Similar thing with the numbers underneath the barcodes.  Some supermarket people can read them and tell you what they are (how scary is that).

RE: Part Descriptions


Ours is search friendly the way its set up, but also there's a document to show how the parts are created so someone could refer to that if they had forgotten that a RES was a resistor.

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Part Descriptions

Hi All,

Thanks very much for all the responses. They have served us well in beginning to compile a guidance document for the writing of part descriptions!

All good suggestions!

Thanks again.

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