Why Drawings Should Be Considered an Important Part of Project Documentation
Amy Obst, Senior CAD Operator
Drawings do not always get the recognition they deserve, even though they are a crucial part of documentation during a project. Drawings are important because they are used to communicate the technical details of a project in a common format. The drawings also become the foundation for future projects and cost savings for customers. At Huffman Engineering, the team is dedicated to providing accurate and thorough documentation, including appropriate drawing sets. In fact, inside each panel a set of drawings is included.
For the drawings to be useful, they need to be complete and accurate. They serve as the map to construct the control panel with the destination being a working control system. Drawings are created based on the project specifications. The specifications detail the project objectives, functionality, and how the requirements will be met. Drawings then become the measuring stick for compliance to the specification.
After construction of the control panel, the same set of drawings is used for on-site installation. A complete drawing set can easily reduce the amount of time spent on-site. For example, drawings can detail equipment interconnections and field device locations. Without drawings done ahead of time, device locations and equipment would need to be found and then documented. Consequently, this can quickly delay a project due to the time now being allocated to finding information that was needed ahead of time. For some customers, time is money and at Huffman Engineering, this is taken seriously. The Huffman Team carefully considers schedules and strives to continually be on time, if not early on completion dates of projects.
Keeping track of modifications and/or additions during installation is a necessary step in getting an accurate as-built drawing set for the working system. These drawings are a valuable resource for maintenance and troubleshooting. The drawings however, must be maintained after installation if they are to continue to be useful.
When going on-site months, sometimes years later after the completion of a project, drawings are often not kept up to date or are missing from within the control panels where they should be. This can add significant costs to future project by having to field verify undocumented modifications. It is also inevitable that upgrades or changes to the control system will occur in the future. When it comes time for upgrades or needed changes, reusing the past designs of project drawings can create a cost savings for the customer. In not having to re-create drawings, the customer does not have to incur the cost of field verifications and re-drawing time.
But drawings can also help create consistency within a facility. The consistency begins by using the same manufacturer parts from project to project and having similar panel layouts and device numbering. In the long run, this makes the drawings easier to understand/read from project to project because of the uniformity. This can ultimately save time by reducing error and miscommunication. Any customer using Huffman Engineering will have a set of drawings that are detailed and accurate regardless of industry. From one industry to another, Huffman Engineering’s quality of work does not waiver. Huffman Engineering takes pride in creating quality drawings and documentation regardless of customer and industry.