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Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

The company I'm working for has been in a product development stage since the 70's. In the past decade the product has stabilized (thanks to the development) and we are ready to move from a fab-shop environment to manufacturing/production. We I started, we only had a very simple drawing system. Basically a 4-digit number would be given to each part. Then in a "drawing cabinet" you can look up that number to see if there is any drawing or information under it. All sheets are A size so they fit in the cabinet.

However, with each part there is basically 4 different sets of data. I'm trying to figure out a simple system to track & reference the different types of data to each part #. Lets say I have part# 5555; 5hp briggs & stratton engine.

-Inspection/receiving drawing: How to inspect the engine when we receive it to make sure it is in working order & we got everything we ordered. And how to break it down (if necessary) for inventory/storage

-Fabrication/Modification: Details what has to be done to the engine to prepare it for use/installation (i.e. drilling mounting holes, sealing off terminals, mounting airbox & exhaust.etc)
-Manufacturing processes: How to go about the Fabrication/Modification process (i.e. Order of operations, How to use the tooling, time limit.etc)

-Installation/Assembly: How to install the engine

Now we're pretty low budget at the moment. We only have about 15-20 employees & are set up in a cellular mfg layout. -- When I arrived, -Fabrication/Modification drawings were about all that existed. I am instructed not to use alpha-numeric system. Perhaps I was thinking of using a dash number (5555-1, 5555-2, 5555-3, 5555-4) where 1 = Inspection/receiving drawing; 2 = Fabrication/Modification .... and so on. Then each -# could be kept in the corresponding cell.

How do other company's handle this? Our solution must be very simple for now.

Also, we are using our own mfg software that we have been developing since the early 90's (when there wasn't much on the market) which is dysfunctional at the moment. This is largely why we use a "paper" drawing system & cabinet. (We are also using an index-card "kan-ban" inventory system). We're exploring other software options at the moment but that is for another discussion.

I need ideas about how to handle the drawing situation. Any input will help.


RE: Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

You are going to get into a discussion about drawings and revision control versus parts and revision control.

My current company started out like where you are now - our drawings were more like process sheets. As we got larger and wanted to outsource subassemblies we ran into troubles identifying goods 'as received' from goods 'modified for production'. We also had a habit of naming the parts for what they did (hose, return pump to tank) versus what thet were (hose, FC355, 38" OAL, #8, straight fittings) which helped out the assemblers but limited your ability to use the part in another application without causing confusion (this hose isn't going from the pump to the tank?)

Again, manageable when we were a small company, not so much when you get larger.

Our current standards are:

- unique part number for material 'as received' or 'as purchased' and drawing to have inspection criteria for key control characteristics
- unique part number for modified parts and drawing to have modification instructions and inspection criteria for key control characteristics (in the event you ever sub out the work and need to receive it back)
- unique assembly drawing (allows a part to be used in multiple applications)

Good luck in this task - change is hard to manage

RE: Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

KISS - Keep it simple stupid or sweetheart if talking to your wife!!!

We have a VERY simpe method..

first four digits are year - like 2012
Second three or four are job number ... like 321

Next is Paper size - like B or A
Next is drawing in this series - like A, B or C

We also have a Rev number - like 1, 2, 3 etc.

ALL this goes into to a database (Excel) so we can quickly look them up!!

Worked for the last 15 years!!

RE: Setting up an Engineering Drawing System... From scratch

Why reinvent the wheel?

If in the 'product' field and in the USA then I'd look to base a new drawing system on the ASME standards. Y14.100 is the top level std, they also have separate standards for types of drawing (Y14.24) as well as revision process (Y14.35) and even format (Y14.1). They have several other standards detailing specific aspects of

Typically (at least from my experience in the US & UK) a conventional engineering drawing details the finished article. Now there are some exceptions such as installation drawings etc. but the general theme is detail the finished article not so much how to get there.

For off the shelf or customized parts from vendors you might look at control drawings if appropriate.

To then modify those items you might consider an Altered item drawing.

I've typically seen the 'how to make it information' done as some king of routing or assembly work instruction or even as placards at a work station or similar (even interactive web page assy instructions). If too detailed to be a simple routing or similar then as necessary these would be given their own document number - not as an engineering drawing.

For the installation of the engine you could use an 'installation drawing' or maybe just cover it by the instructions for the next level assy where it actually gets installed.

What you choose is up to you, but if you base it on a recognized standard then it may reduce how much effort you need to go into documenting it, and make it easier to find folks familiar with the system. That said, I'm not sure how many folks are that familiar with the details of say ASME Y14.24.

I also suspect some may believe 14.24 a bit too detailed for commercial work too.

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