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Author Topic:   Control of External Documents
Dan De Yarman
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From:Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 1999

posted 11 January 2000 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan De Yarman   Click Here to Email Dan De Yarman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it possible to control Customer drawings by a "Received" date stamp, if we so state it in our procedures? We need to keep our Customer's drawings in as perfect condition as possible, in case we need to show them exactly what we received from them.

In other words, what is the best way to control Customer drawings, leaving them as close to the original state in which we received them, as possible?

Dan

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Laura M
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From:Rochester, NY US
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posted 11 January 2000 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Laura M   Click Here to Email Laura M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I beleive this would work but may need additional "control". Look at how you make sure an obsolete drawing doesn't get "inadvertantly used." Don't know if you publish your drawings to the manufacturing environment, if so, controlling needs to involve purging of the old. Just receiving the drawing may not make it the current active production drawing, so you may want some status assigned...possibly by file draw identification...example...received for quote, in manufacturing, obsolete, etc. I think just about everybody stamps a received date.

If I remember, you are a tooling shop? At a tooling shop I worked with, the control was 3 phased... in sales(for quote), in engineering(after PO is issued), and released to manufacturing...following completion of engineering design reviews.

Maybe you just wanted a Yes or No answer? Sorry.

Laura

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Marc Smith
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posted 12 January 2000 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you are bringin up two separate issues here:
1) The date stamp 'corrupting' the document.
2) Control of the document.

Remember that a date stamp is not evidence of control. It's nothing more than when you received it. What is the latest revision (if any)? The fact that you put a 'Received Date' stamp on them is not considered 'corruption' of the document. On the other hand there is no reason to put a 'received date' stamp on them - log the received date in your tracking log.

A few main elements of Control are:

1) Where is it (original and copies)?
2) What is the lastest rev. - date and/or level?
3) Who is responsible for control / distribution?

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barb butrym
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posted 13 January 2000 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A date stamp can be a means of control if documented as such...as in the work order uses only docs received on xxx date to represent what PO/Quote etc is being built.....not an ideal.....but ok if done properly.

I like ..personally...and of course depends on circumstances... a product file, with a master list of documents in that file, on a cover sheet...to keep track of changes that occur in process, and mark ups re: a conversation with the customer.

What do you really think is the best way to control them...what are you doing now? does it work?

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 13 January 2000).]

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Marc Smith
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posted 13 January 2000 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by barb butrym:
A date stamp can be a means of control if documented as such...as in the work order uses only docs received on xxx date to represent what PO/Quote etc is being built.....not an ideal.....but ok if done properly.
If we are talking about Document Control, I disagree. If your work order states something like "...use only print A-29567325-G received on xxx date..." you are not controlling that print nor are you controlling the work instruction. You are (at best) defining configuration for that revision of the work instruction - this is a Configuration Management aspect unrelated to control of the cited document. Actually to control configuration something more concrete is required, typically (such as "Test to Mil-Std-810C, method 26, condition B..." or "...FORD print AW-198364-X revision R...".

Having a document cited on a work instruction does not ensure you have the cited document controlled.

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Tom Goetzinger
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From:Milwaukee, WI USA
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posted 13 January 2000 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom Goetzinger   Click Here to Email Tom Goetzinger     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think a lot depends on what you are using the customer's drawings for. I get the feeling that you may be using it to protect your company's interest in case there is a dispute concerning the information you received from them and when it was received. In that case, IMHO, date stamping the print and notating the drawing number,revision, and revision date somewhere in your contract review documentation would be sufficient. If you are using your customer's prints to actually build product in your manufacturing area, I believe more control would be appropriate. We make it a practice to build all product using our own prints; we do have the ability to scan a customer's print into our system and create our own controlled print from it when that is appropriate.

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barb butrym
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posted 14 January 2000 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
not sure I agree....or disagree ....with you marc....depends on the circumstances....I may have had my blinders on.

So this is where I was coming from....
A customer's drawing (or anyones for that matter) doesn't have to be at the latest revision, just the correct one?? And control keeps the incorrect revision from being used....granted most drawings should be at the latest revision because of what they represent (current practice, etc), but a customer's drawing presents many many more options......'what drawing was the product ordered to?' ... for example.

I do agree a date stamp isn't the best control....but it can work if it needs to.

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barb butrym
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posted 14 January 2000 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

YA gotta do the 20 questions routine to make the right decision.....

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 14 January 2000).]

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Dan De Yarman
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From:Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.
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posted 14 January 2000 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan De Yarman   Click Here to Email Dan De Yarman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The reason I started this topic is because I am looking for a different way to control our Customer drawings. We currently use a received / date stamp, that is it. It is left up to our Project Managers to mark their old drawings 'obsolete'.

We manufacture automated equipment: welding, packaging, and assembly (high and low speed). We mostly (80%) supply automotive companies, including DaimlerChrysler. We are both a systems integrator and an original designer. We take machines from concept; through design, build, debug, runoff, install, and service.

Tom is right in his assumption of what we are using the drawings for. We want (need) to be able to show the Customer what we designed the machinery to make. Now that I think about it though, we should probably use the latest rev. of the drawing for final inspection / design validation of the machine.

Our Customer drawings start in the Sales and Applications Department, and then moved on to Engineering. Our machines are designed (and verified) from that print; which is no longer used until we are validating the machine from said drawing. Our machines are manufactured and built by OUR drawings. Only when we start running the machine with parts, do we look at the Customer's drawing again.

Can anyone use this information for any additional input?

Thank you,

Dan

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Marc Smith
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posted 17 January 2000 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dan De Yarman:
The reason I started this topic is because I am looking for a different way to control our Customer drawings. We currently use a received / date stamp, that is it. It is left up to our Project Managers to mark their old drawings 'obsolete'.
I still do not classify this as Control of the print.

quote:
Now that I think about it though, we should probably use the latest rev. of the drawing for final inspection / design validation of the machine.
You build to the rev level on the PO (or as defined elsewhere - or should be) unless otherwise specifically stated otherwise. I again cite Configuration Management

quote:
Our Customer drawings start in the Sales and Applications Department, and then moved on to Engineering. Our machines are designed (and verified) from that print; which is no longer used until we are validating the machine from said drawing. Our machines are manufactured and built by OUR drawings. Only when we start running the machine with parts, do we look at the Customer's drawing again.
Is this system defined through flow charts or such?

Can you 'readily' tell what drawings you have at a given moment, including what version / rev level? Or do you have to ask each engineer to search his/her files to find out?

Typically what I see is sales as the functionary to officially receive customer prints and to control the drawings. This is often done in a 'customer' or 'project' file (location) with a simple spreadsheet as a Master List. Anyone can get a copy but it is their responsibility to 'check against the sales master' prior to 'making a decision' bsed upon the drawing.

I still really don't see the control aspect in your system. You say you stamp the date the drawing came in. Then you pass it through to several folks and it ends up in Engineering. If I ask you to give me a list, or a number of smaller lists, which list the customer documents you have, what do you have to do? And - with just a date received stamp - if you have no master list - how do you know if a more recent version has been received? Do the engineers have to talk to your Sales and Applications Department folks, and then each other to see if someone 'remembers' whether a drawing has come in since the date stamped on the drawing you have?

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Dan De Yarman
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From:Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.
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posted 17 January 2000 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan De Yarman   Click Here to Email Dan De Yarman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What does "IMHO" stand for?

Marc, I'm unfamiliar with Configuration Management. Could you explain further, please?

Marc, we do have procedures stating what happens to the drawings once we get the job; they are handed from the Applications Engineer to the Project Manager. From this point on all updates and changes to the project are handled through the Project Manager. Sales typically doesn't get heavily involved, unless it is a major change. Right now we do have to ask our Project Managers if there has been any revisions to the Customer's drawing or, more importantly, part.

You have, however, answered my root question: Is what we are currently doing even considered "control" of our Customer's drawings? As far as I can see, the answer is, no. Oddly enough, what we are currently doing works fine. We ususally don't see revisions of the Customer's part drawings until we already have the tooling designed. By that point the rest of the machine is already designed (typically). In some horrible instances, the Customer has brought the revisions (for the first time)with him for the runoff of the machine. So we typically don't receive many updated drawings during the design of the machine.

Since I'm on this topic, does anyone know how to coax updated drawings from your Customers?

Everyone's suggestions are helpful.

Thank you,

Dan

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Marc Smith
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posted 17 January 2000 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IMHO = In My 'Humble' Opinion.

Configuration Management:

I design a device. Drawings (code, whatever) are released at rev 0 (rev, date, whatever - typically there's a letter of number). I start production manufacturing to rev 0. In 2 months I find there is a bug or problem so I revise the drawing and release rev 1. Now I begin manufacturing to rev 1. 5 months later I make another design change and release rev 2.

As you go through changes you monitor and keep a history of changes as they proceed. Unlike what is common in documentation changes (many companies have a 2 revision rule or similar guideline for systems procedures and such), you keep an entire history of the design evolution.

1 year later a customer calls and says I have one of your widgets. During the past year you have produced units to 3 different design dffrawings (rev 0, 1 and 2). You have to find out which rev their unit was built to (maybe you changed the entire control circuit when you went from rev 1 to rev 2) so that you can troubleshoot the problem or repair the unit.

In your situation you are saying you receive a contract to manufacture a widget to a specific drawing and level. I am not convinced you should be concerned with whether or not you have the 'latest' drawing - I'd have to see how your contract reads - typically a contract calls out a drawing rev level and changing that implies a contract change. They may update the drawing and it may even require a process that you are not capable of doing - you can't 'automagically' use the latest rev to build to unless you have discussed the implications with your customer.

In so far as your methodology, I do not doubt that it 'works' - but what is your definition of 'works'? Does this mean you can find the drawing when it comes time to check the finished product?

I'm not trying to complicate the issue, but rather to clarify. If you look back, the original post had two issues stated:

quote:
We need to keep our Customer's drawings in as perfect condition as possible....
and
quote:
...the best way to control Customer drawings...
To me these are two entirely different issues.

If I was auditing your facility I would want to discuss Control of External Documents. I would probably ask for an inventory (list or lists) of customer prints in-house and see what happened. You might convince me you have rudimentary control. However, this is not related to a 'Date Received' stamp on a print.

If I was auditing you, I doubt I would cite you against Control of External Documents in so far as customer prints goes. You do have a defined/documented system for receiving the drawing and who gets them eventually.

Nor, considering everything, do I particularly think you need to go beyond what you are currently doing. None the less, the date Stamp, IMO, is not a significant factor - the drawiung rev level is what is important. If I was going to improve your system for more robust control, I would just ensure that an inventory element exists.

Barb and Tom have made some good points - particularly as this scenario relates to a relatively small (less than 300 souls) company.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 17 January 2000).]

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Tom Goetzinger
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posted 17 January 2000 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom Goetzinger   Click Here to Email Tom Goetzinger     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the major difference here is that the product the manufacturer makes is a machine to assemble, weld, or package the widget, not the widget itself. The customer provides a drawing of what the inputs (components) and outputs (widget) should look like and the manufacturer designs and produces the machine to do it. If I am correct, Dan is trying to document what his customer tells him he is to create a machine to produce, and he wants to protect himself against the customer saying "that's not what I told you I wanted". The machine itself is made with drawings created by the manufacturer, not the customer.
I don't see a need for these drawings to appear on a master list. What I do see is a need to capture them in the Contract Review process, and put in place the procedures that if any revised drawings come into sales, the Contract Review process must be used again to ensure that no changes to the design of the machine are required. IMHO

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Dan De Yarman
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posted 18 January 2000 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan De Yarman   Click Here to Email Dan De Yarman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom, you hit the nail square on the head!

We get drawings of the pieces to be welded, assembled, or packaged; and drawings of the finished product. It is up to us to design a machine that will take the multiple pieces and perform the operation(s) necessary to make the finished product. Our Customer drawings are used as a reference point from which we design the tooling (sometimes we get actual parts to measure and initiate design), as well as used for protection in the event the Customer changes the part and doesn't notify us.

As for updated drawings, the Application Engineer handles the effect on the project (job), via addendums, revisions, etc., if we receive them before we get a P.O. Otherwise, it is the Project Manager's responsibility to issue a "Project Change Notice", if it is necessary. The "Project Change Notice" is used to modify the contract if need be, or to get an all together different P.O. The procedures are outlined in the "Contract Review Modification" section of our Quality Procedure Manual.

From what I'm gathering here, all I really need to do, to put my mind at ease, is to put together a log of the updated drawings? I think I can handle that.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Dan

[This message has been edited by Dan De Yarman (edited 18 January 2000).]

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Marc Smith
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posted 18 January 2000 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds solid to me, Dan.

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Tom Goetzinger
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posted 19 January 2000 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom Goetzinger   Click Here to Email Tom Goetzinger     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If what you are currently doing is working, I'm not sure you want to add the log. Remember that if you add the log and it is not ever not maintained, you are in noncompliance; this noncompliance is not to the standard, but to your procedures. You must decide if creating and maintaining a log adds value to your business.
One thing that might help is to itemize the drawings, with rev levels and dates, on the acknowledgement to the customer. That would help draw the line in the sand as to the information your company was using to design and build the machine. This keeps the buyer at the customer's end in the loop also.
Regarding coaxing drawings out of customers, that can be tough. Being fair with charging the customer the added cost can be effective, but it is a touchy area and can irritate customers as well. You can develop a reputation for quoting one thing and then making it up on changes; some buyers and engineers seem to forget that the charges were justified or are just unaware of how high the costs can be. Your companies sales contacts with the customer are important; I suspect that sometimes the customer's engineers on the project aren't even aware of part changes that occur. Communication lapses occur way to often.

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