hi i work for company making wooden display tables. mostly special designs for each customer. i file my drawings in folders named after each customer. then each drawing is given a descriptive file name. with over 100 customer folders its now getting a bit (!!) difficult to find things unless you remember the customer who had what your looking for. i need help planning part number/drawing number system i know how important it is to start right. any suggestions very gratefully received

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

you need to keep a log. I use excel ( & started it in 1998 ) & how you number the drawings really doesn't matter , since you will have all your info in the log. the more information the better, sometimes years later I have to find an old file & the only thing I know is what kind of mat'l it was , or the month we did the work.. i can sort my spread sheet by any column.

each draftsman uses a separate log & mine all start with an "R" (for Rob) I am up to drawing number R2186 & can find records of everything I have drawn.. sometimes I make a new print of an old drawing & will add an extension like R2186-B

good luck Rob

Reply to

I didn't see anything wrong with Longshot's suggestion, but keep in mind that everyone's situation is a little different.

We have a 5 digit number for each client. Under that, each project gets a 4 digit number, which includes a year reference, such as:

0302 = second project for that client in 2003

We do this because of the potentially high number of files in each project. Files are numbered sequentially, and would look something like:


04291 - Client

0302 - Project 01 - Sequential number

We have a plot logging routine that stores 'official' plots for later recal, similar to what Longshot mentioned. Anytime we need a copy, we go to our intranet, and plot it.


Reply to

So each table is different is it? Are you sure? Don't you ever recycle assemblies or just components between different designs?

If you do then you should consider an assembly/component based numbering system.

Start with a number for each contract and use that for your overall assembly. Maybe then have numbers to identify assemblies. Then have numbers to identify components.

In this way you can recycle components or even assemblies into new contracts without redrawing the same thing 'cos you forgot you drew it once before. Saves time and money.

I once started drawing numbers based on individual machine contracts. After a few years in one case we found we had six drawings of basically the same component!! Three were identical, the other three just had different bores (3", 75mm & 60mm). Now we just have one drawing the bore being defined by a suffix. Should we need a different bore its just another suffix.


Reply to

Thank you all very much for your ideas just what I was after I was trying to avoid using the first letters of the customer in the file number cos I could see problems, so numbers is much better, and a year marker is nice. I can search in acad and mostly find things but the problem is when others want something. so a log like robs with good descriptions would be good. so how about numbers for customers year marker drawing sheet number revision letter. plus short description in access file for others to search with hyphens between. trouble is the rest of factory still thinks in terms of Woolworth table....wyevale tree stand...etc. its the searching part that's the real problem. so the drawing number could be anything as long as not duplicated so robs log is the one. so starting Monday M54321.001A will be the drawing number for the new metal foot thanks again mart

Reply to

We log plots with a custom routine. It puts together the client, project and date, then adds a sequential number. As an example:

For client 04291, project 0008, first logged plot today would be named: 0429100082003101701.plt

Keep in mind, this is all handled by the routine, so no user intervention is required. The database also holds some other data, like user initials, comment, layout name, device, etc.

The routine sends a plot, writes a PLT file for future duplication and also a DWF for viewing on our intranet.

Our drawings are constantly changing, so we don't keep each revision. Revisions are basically only kept with above plot logging.

I think I digressed from your question to plot logging, but in some sense, it's the same issue. At any rate, hope it's helpful to you in some way. ;)

Reply to

the type of log completely depends on the type of work you do. I am in sheetmetal & most of my jobs are one of a kinds also. so my log works fine for me. I work with guys at different plants & some have codes like plant number , customer code, building number, date build, type of drawing (civil, structural, mechanical.. ect) engineer's ininials or number... & then the sequential numbers.

so a typical drawing would look like this :

#121564564-6351854-21648-113-15648-41548948461-45487135-00001 rev a

Reply to

I agree completely. It's something that's definitely worth taking the time to think through and plan well.

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! And I thought my number was long. ;)

Reply to

I do machine design.... in house only.

Im the only one doing it... use Mech Desktop

I just the date the drawing was started and a sequential number.

Example .... if I start a drawing today.... its number would be


which is the year.... month.... day... and sequential number 1 for first drawing of the day.

If I did another drawing today it would be


I don't know if this is a god idea or not.... but that's what Im using.

Ive done some study on this..... and have read that the best numbering system is a totally "dumb" system where the characters have no meaning at all.... and are sequential in nature. Like this





Reply to

how do you find a drawing you made a few years back of a brake press die for a CNC12 ton press for customer xx when they call & want another one just like the one you made before.? you tell them " if they don't know what day they ordered it , then you cant help them? "

Reply to

Well..... Ive been using the drawing properties command to embed all that info *IN* the drawing itself

And then I use Terry Dotson's 'Drawing Browser" to search the drawings for any keyword I chose.

see link

formatting link
Again..... I was told several times that a numbering system that is "dumb" is actually best

However..... Im still unsettled in my own mind abt that.

I can "see" some benefit of having a numbering system that has some "intelligence" in it.

But the reasoning AGAINST an intelligent numbering system was that inevitably it will fail at some point.

Anyway...... Im just using the date and sequential number so far. I chose that over just using pure sequential numbers cause this way I wouldn't have to "remember" the last sequential number used....and take a chance I created another drawing using the same number. By using the date....I was fairly assured that I wouldn't have two drawings with exact same number.

Again.... Im open to other suggestions cause its something Ive struggled with a LOT! But I had to settle on something and this is what I did.


Reply to


interesting.. never heard of it

Reply to

Well another way to "find" drawings would be to get a document management system. But they are often expensive and complicated. Also I think future version of the Widows operating systems will have document management systems built in. Someone correct me if Im wrong on this

Drawing Browser is cheap and does the job least for me at this point.

Believe me.... I STRUGGLED with how to number my drawings.... and STILL struggle..... but this is what Im doing now.

I guess another way to "find" a drawing is to keep an Access database with info of drawing number and all its "specs" such as customer..... machine.... material.. etc. BUT.... then you MUST make sure to manually keep this thing up to date or it becomes useless.

I like the idea of embedding all that info IN the drawing. And actually that is where the info is at anyway. And then use some kind of "tool" to "mine" that info as needed and pull up the drawings in question.

If anyone else have advice.... or critique of what Im doing.... PLEASE feel free to jump in. Im still open to better methods of drawing number management!!


Reply to

I can HIGHLY recommend Drawing Browser!!

And Terry is VERY customer responsive!


Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.