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RE: Was RE: Evaluate drafters' reliability Now: producing good quality drawings

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Don:

Sounds like a heck of a lot like my procedure I outlined yesterday...


Of course I do not think that having the engineer do the drafting solves
All the problems and results in perfect documents...far from it.

Like anything else, it's a function of WHO is doing the work.

There are varying levels of engineers just as there are varying levels of
draftsmen.


The simple fact of the way you "old timers" (no offense intended) were
trained
Speaks for itself:

	-	draftsman
	-	then detailer
	-	then engineer

I think it's the way to learn...I wish we still had that system but today's
"kids"
With their short attention span and need for immediate gratification would
Never lower themselves and be "draftsmen"...

Here's an example from last week:

I am currently interviewing candidates for internship or "co-op" positions
at my firm.

We refer to this a our "farm system"...we get kids when they are 18 or 19,
and train
Them in our way of doing things...either they work in the summer or
alternate semesters working and school...so, by the time they graduate or
sometimes even
Before, they are productive employees and can jump right in.

They actually know how to size a beam; something a few new grads we've
interviewed
Cannot do.

 
The first session or two, they spend learning our cad standards (some have
little or no cad training...see my post yesterday...) and by the third
session, they can design elements and produce construction drawings!

Its been very successful, four of my staff are "graduates" of this program.


So, this particular 19 year old kid comes to the interview and I describe
how the process works: starting doing only "drafting" then working your way
up, etc...

Keep in mind, the kid has not had one true structures course, taking mostly
Math and chemistry/physics like all freshmen do...


His response, "I don't think I'm interested in the position...i want to be
an engineer, NOT a draftsman!"



David L. Fisher SE PE
Fisher + partners
372 West Ontario
Chicago 60610
 
312.573.1701
312.573.1726 fax
 
312.622.0409 mobile
 
www.fpse.com
-----Original Message-----
From: Don [mailto:dbryant61(--nospam--at)cox.net] 
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 8:34 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Was RE: Evaluate drafters' reliability Now: producing good quality
drawings

I have to disagree with the consensus on engineer's doing their own drafting
as the solution to poor quality drawings, even though that is exactly what I
do myself.  I do so because I am a one-man operation and have not yet
expanded.  However, I began in this industry as a draftsman (on a drafting
board) and structural steel detailer.  I learned the hard way, and have
taught others the same way.  It goes something like this:

1.  Convey the design in sketch form to the draftsman.  The detail of the
sketches should depend on the abilities of the draftsman.  If the draftsman
is close to the designer level, these sketches can be very limited in
detail; just get the concept across and let the draftsman/designer fill in
the blanks.

2.  Check the drawings.  Every line, number and word.  That is how the
engineer becomes intimately connected to the drawings.  What is correct gets
highlighted in yellow, what is wrong in red.  Back in the day, this was done
with a yellow china marker and a red pencil (that way you can correct your
red marks if you make a mistake).

3.  Have the draftsman back-check the drawings.  This must be done in an
orderly fashion.  Make the change on the mylar (cad file, vellum).  Then,
and only then, mark off the change on the check-print.  We used to mark
through the red with a green pencil.  When the draftsman sees something he
disagrees with (and cannot bring it to the attention of the engineer because
he is out of the office or otherwise indisposed) he writes what he wants to
do in green, e.g. "OK AS IS" or a corrected dimension.

4.  Review the back-checking.  This is the most critical part of training
draftsmen, obtaining good quality drawings, and maintaining profitability.
The engineer has the check prints (now a very pretty mixture of blue,
yellow, red, and green) and a  fresh plot in front of him.  He confirms that
every red mark was changed on the drawing to his satisfaction, and that it
was marked through in green by the draftsman.  Anything not changed gets
circled in a new color.  At this time he also reviews anything in green that
the draftsman placed on the check print.

5.  If necessary, the check print goes back to the draftsman for
re-back-checking.  NOT a new mark-up and re-check.  I understand that you
may run out of room on the check print with all of its colors, but it is
critical to the training of the draftsman for all of this information to be
together.  If necessary, staple sketches to the check print.  Hopefully
there are more than one draftsmen working in the same room together.  If so,
it can become a matter of pride who receives their check-prints back with
the least red.

If #4 results in many things circled in a new color, you may want to, if
your company allows, require the draftsman to make the changes on his own
time and off the clock.

As engineers, we are often not great at dealing with people (just ask my
wife), but if we want a quality prodict that is produced efficiently by
several people, we have to deal with people and deal with them well.  We
have to do this both positively ("You did a great job."  "That drawing
really pops.") and negatively ("I know you are trying really hard, but you
just have to pay more attention to detail.  You have to make avery change
that I mark in red, unless you disagree.  Then let's talk about it."  "We
cannot afford to go back and forth on these drawings like this.  I'm going
to check them once and review your changes.  You get two chances to make
them right: when you first draw them and when you back-chack them.  After
that, you are going to have to make the changes on your time.")

Wow!  I wrote a book.

My 378 cents.

Donald R. Bryant, PE
STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY
518 Bushnell Drive
Virginia Beach, VA  23451
757-428-6471
fax 757-428-6473

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