10 January 2015
EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE
A complete set of design documents is an essential part of any successful construction project. Documentation can amount to a significant investment, the scale of which depends on the complexity of each project. You pay firstly for a professional to prepare these designs, then further outlay to document these designs through drawings and specifications.
The purpose of these drawings is to communicate how the project is to be constructed throughout the various stages: concept design, detailed design, construction and commissioning.
After the project, the drawings are often rolled up with a multitude of project information and stored under the engineer or plant manager's desk. The cost then becomes a one-off capital expenditure, folded away and forgotten in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet.
The long term investment value of this documentation is lost, as it will no longer be available for future reference for ongoing maintenance and future construction or engineering.
With the available technology for managing documents, on completion of a project, all as-built drawings should be received in electronic format. They should be kept on the company central data storage and backed up. Even existing large drawings can be scanned and stored on computer for future reference.
The main reasons for keeping drawings are:
Good document management is not difficult to achieve, however it does rely upon systems. Engineering and construction companies have software systems for document control.
For a food and beverage company, the key points are:
If these simple practices are not maintained, you may think the drawing you are viewing represents what is actually in place. You may then for example, cut concrete and dig believing a drain exists in that location, only to find that you have hit a fire main or electrical supply cables.
The real value of keeping drawings is demonstrated in the following situations:
There are some approaches that help you obtain ongoing value of drawings:
Your business can increase and maintain the long-term value of the investment in design documentation by adopting this approach.
About the author
Andrew Newby is the Business Development Director at Wiley and can be contacted on 1300 385 988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in Food & Drink Business Magazine.
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