For some time now, we have had a bit of a technical challenge within our Technical Drawing office. These guys produce about 2,000 to 3,000 different engineering drawings a week, all of which have to be saved and then accessed by a large number of people within the factory as well as others throughout the different sites belonging to the business.
We have a Document Management System that allows us to link the drawings to various modules within our ERP software; this is really useful as part of a drive towards using less paper throughout the business. This can be useful, but only if the file is attached to the right item straight away; and often that isn’t possible for a number of technical reasons.
The problem is that when you get that number of files, there is a key issue. How do you identify the right drawing and associate this to the file? We have tried a number of different methods with file names etc. but this doesn’t always help. Imagine that you have the printed drawing; it says that it is a left handed swivel arm, but how do you know what file that drawing came from if you want a second copy?
After some discussion, we decided that what we needed was a simple tool to allow us to imprint a modified file name onto the drawings which included works order number, quantity, and required date of the component. This would then allow anyone looking at the drawing to identify exactly what file the drawing came from and they could then quickly locate the relevant file and the also know where to look within the ERP system.
After some considerable research we found A-PDF Watermark Service from A-PDF. This useful little tool allows us to add those details of the drawing’s file name onto a designated place on each drawing; and it does so automatically.
Using this product meant that we saved the time in hand writing (or typing) the information onto the drawings and it also removes the element of human error. It’s installed on the relevant file server and runs as a background service that processes the files automatically; and seems to easily handle the work load that we are throwing at it.
We highly recommend this product as a simple but effective solution.