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Sterlingz

CAD Drawing File Storage System?

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Sterlingz

I'm a mining engineer working for a mining company. We design & manufacture proprietary mining equipment of all kinds.

 

Over the years we've ended up with all sorts of CAD drawings (80% mechanical, some hydraulic, electrical). As we add new units to our equipment line, our library of files just keeps growing, and it's becoming difficult for even our CAD guys to locate a drawing, let alone the shop foreman.

 

Here are some issues we've run into:

 

  • We don't keep a revision history so it's hard to determine the "latest" updated drawing. Last month a unit was built with 2" lifting eyes, at a cost of $1000 each, because a drawing was updated for a special case.
  • It's just plain difficult to locate a drawing. We don't really have a useful searchable database.
  • There is no accountability built into the system. If someone updates a drawing - we need to know who did it, in case we need to ask this person why the change was made.

Now, I have some ideas as to how I'd fix this, but I'm curious how large-scale industrial companies keep their drawings database organized. Are there any pre-existing software solutions? Is this just a matter of using proper naming/storage/filing conventions?

 

Any input is appreciated.

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ReMark

One option is AutoDesk Vault.

 

Another option recently discussed here centered on a custom lisp routine that tracked when changes were made and who made them. I'm not positive but I think you could then generate some sort of report.

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Mike_Taylor
I'm a mining engineer working for a mining company. We design & manufacture proprietary mining equipment of all kinds.

 

Over the years we've ended up with all sorts of CAD drawings (80% mechanical, some hydraulic, electrical). As we add new units to our equipment line, our library of files just keeps growing, and it's becoming difficult for even our CAD guys to locate a drawing, let alone the shop foreman.

 

Here are some issues we've run into:

 

  • We don't keep a revision history so it's hard to determine the "latest" updated drawing. Last month a unit was built with 2" lifting eyes, at a cost of $1000 each, because a drawing was updated for a special case.
  • It's just plain difficult to locate a drawing. We don't really have a useful searchable database.
  • There is no accountability built into the system. If someone updates a drawing - we need to know who did it, in case we need to ask this person why the change was made.

Now, I have some ideas as to how I'd fix this, but I'm curious how large-scale industrial companies keep their drawings database organized. Are there any pre-existing software solutions? Is this just a matter of using proper naming/storage/filing conventions?

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

As mentioned, the AutoDesk vault would be a very good option. There are also several other file management systems that utilize a similar structure. I know I have mentioned M-Files a lot, and I am not selling people on it, I just truly believe it is the most useful pieces of software our firm has (after AutoCAD of course). It allows full versioning of all files and any version can be opened as a read only or the "master" can be rolled back to a previous version.

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