Embedded Title Block &
Cloud Based Standardized Engineering Document Control
This article was previously call the "The Ultimate Part Mark", but as I was explaining this concept on one of my discussions on Linkedin and one of the fellows said this was basically an embedded title block. That expressed my idea much better. So here is The Embedded Title Block!
This information was included in
2D/3D article. But I thought it would be a great stand alone article.
Today the industry is attempting to use complex PLM and PDM solutions to handle our "Document" management problem. They are trying to replace one simple document,
"The Drawing", as the only authority. The drawing carried all the information necessary to create the part. You sent a print to the suppliers, illustrators, purchasing, invoicing, virtually ever department in the company could easily use these documents.
The Death of the Drawing!
Enter the 3D MODEL. Yes we all know we can take this model and load it into a CNC program like ZW3D CNC and create a set of instructions to drive a mill to create the part. This started those in power, thinking, "We really don't need drawings to get this part made." It was a good idea, but a bit short sighted. Unfortunately they did not think it through, they soon realized that they had to inspect the part. Enter PMI (Part Model Definition) which dimensions the mating features including a minimized bastardized GD&T and other annotation in a 3D space. It really is a mess to follow. Now, of course, this is a special format coming out of the native CAD system and requires the native software or a special native or 3rd party viewing package. Take a look at this solution in
While the PMI may be viable for machined and sheep metal parts it completely fails with inspirable assemblies. In this articles is is a Catia PMI from a large aircraft company. It is a machined part with a couple of nutplates that are not called out, but referenced in what you could all "obscure notes". This shows that there is no standard and engineering is struggling to make it complete. An old jobshopper, like me, just chuckles at the blatant ignorance. You can see that the AID is much clearer and easier to review.
PMI vs AID (Associated Information Document)
Why MBE/MBD/PMI Will FAIL
This has become a horror show keep track of the parts. There is only a file number. Have you ever seen a VAULT of parts, just a list of part numbers no information, hoping the document management system is being kept up to date. Of course there is very little information in the file name. I suppose somewhat of a part number and revision and that is about it. No information on what changed. You would have to have an AID (Associated Information Document (drawing)) for that, but we have no AID (drawing) and the PMI doesn't seem to be the correct format to record this. So what we have is a potential for undocumented parts.
Enter 3rd party Validation software. Oh Oh, the "Band-Aids" started showing up. Yes now a supplier has to invest in 3rd party software to assure that the model is correct. At approximately $5,000.00 you can compare apples to apples and get a report that the apples are apples. Now there is another less expensive bit of software that just compares the parts and shows you the differences. It is like getting two drawings one original and one updated, then sending it to a specialty group that finds the differences. Large companies spend millions on CAD software and now make their suppliers purchase software to find the revisions in the parts. If they don't have the revisions documented they have to treat the parts as a new job and reprogram them which is very time consuming and increases the price of the part.
PLM has become the most incredibly complex data management system. You have to be a trained PLM specialist to even understand it. Yes, there are now PLM specialist required in a company to implement this system. Sadly it is tied to dated CAD software so there will never be a standard. Or will there?
The Worst to
Best CAD System and Why!
We need a standard.
We have made a mess of PDM (Product Data Management) and PLM (Part Lifecycle Management). The drawing was the only source for part information and was a successful standard for hundreds of years. We have lost that but we can get it back? And is there a vested interest to stay with the current mess.
So how do we do this without specialty software?
A Simpler Solution - The Ultimate Part Mark!
You would never release a part without a part mark. You stamp the part number, engrave it, or bag and tag it if is too small or not conducive to stamping. But we allow our digital parts to go out without any information or bundled with several confusing pieces of data. Here is how we can now close the door on all miscommunication.
Most CAD package can create solid text and emboss or imprint the part name, number, revision, website and phone or contact information in a part. This virtually solves the problem. This really relates to large companies that utilize heavy use of outside suppliers, but could easily be a standard for all parts. We want to have only one part with no extraneous data so all CAD systems can read it as one part.
The Secret of Part Numbers