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Engineering Standards

Engineering Standards

Engineering Standards

I've been given the task of re-organizing our engineering department. My company is small (35 people) It started as a Mama and Papa operation and has grown very quickly. With this quick growth the engineering department ran with very little documentation. We do mostly low volume custom parts. I am looking for references on how other engineering departments successfully set up their documentation controls (procedures, revisions, assembly details, etc.) Any help would be greatly appreciated.


RE: Engineering Standards

HI Scott,

I don't know what part of the world you are in, but we base our controls on ISO 9000. To be honest, there is no one method for controlling documentation, and with ISO 9000 you can make it as hard or as easy as you like.

The main idea behind ISO 9000 is that everybody knows that there are procedures in place for carrying out tasks e.g. engineering change requests, filing of drawings (both on the computer and hard copies etc).

I don't want to spend the whole night going into the whole standard, but if you have any specific questions be sure to e-mail me or reply to this thread.

Kind regards,

Brian Hurley
Design Engineer

RE: Engineering Standards

You might want to check programs like Workflow that help organize and track engineering documents. Talk to the people at AutoCAD, I think they will have plenty of suggestions.

RE: Engineering Standards


Try looking up MIL-I-45208A military quality standards.  It's a good framework to check out.

ISO 9000 is simply "Document what you do, and then do what you've documented, and have a way to document and implement improvements"  So it won't help you with original system set-up ideas.

Be careful to not over "systemize" your business !!!  The first step might be to document how it has been done in the past - at least write it down and TRY to flow chart it "back of envelope" style.

You might be doing things very well in some ways that you definately don't want to screw up!

Paper and filing cabinates and MATCHING COMPUTER FILING SYSTEMS are effective.  Scanning everything is cool too, but that requires MASSIVE storage.  Referances to paper files in your computer files work well for small businesses.

You should also include a list back to the computer files in the paper files - perhaps a sheet attached to the file folder, or just write on the inside or outside of the damn folder itself! (KISS!!)

A sequential job or project or product log works easily - even though the simple number has no "readable qualities" in it-ie you can't tell anything about the job from the number.  But from the number you can find out EVERYTHING aobut the job.  Again this requires some small cross referance by customer name or project.


RE: Engineering Standards

Hi Scott,

It looks like you've got some great advice on starting your Engineering Dept. Sometimes the best way to start is to visit a friends company or call a local company and simply ask them if you could come in and talk to them about their engineering dept. I did it that way many years ago and that was great STARTING point.

I work for a company who has to deal with ISO and FDA regs daily so you can imagine the paperwork involved. I tell people 1 day of design time = 3 days of paperwork.

LTD is right "Do not over systemize". I'm not sure what your engineering staff presently consists of but you do not want to scare them away by flooding them with paperwork. It's important to keep them informed also.

We have an Engineering Administrator here that deals with the daily paperwork etc. and frees up the designers etc... from dealing with alot of paperwork. They'll have some but not alot.

As you will probably find out there are many ways to start a Dept. and a system.

Good Luck!!!


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