10/20/16 7:12 am

In a recent article, we discussed how a complete documentation package is crucial to controlling your manufacturing and product-related intellectual assets. Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the specific documentation you should have for your mechanical components.

In the world of electromechanical manufacturing, the mechanical components of the assembly are an important part of the overall function and quality of the final product.

Without a comprehensive documentation package, you can lose control of your intellectual property to a manufacturer or engineering firm. But when done properly, a document package gives you the flexibility to make engineering and supply chain changes to meet market demands

The following are some of the basic mechanical component files that need to be included in the documentation package.

Solid Models of All Parts

These should preferably be in the native format that they were designed in (Solidworks, Pro-Engineer, etc). You don’t necessarily need to have the software required to read these mechanical component files, although most have free viewers available.

Neutral file formats like STEP and IGES are acceptable, but not as good, since it is much more difficult to make design changes if required down the road.

2D Drawings

2D drawings are important supplementary mechanical component documents to the 3D CAD data. They contain tolerance and material information, assembly directions, and more. It is important that all of this be captured.

Material Information

Be sure that you have the mechanical component manufacturer and grade number for resins, metals, etc. You should also have information about any colorants or fillers that are blended by the manufacturer.

Tool Drawings

While not as important as the other items it is a good idea to have copies of all mechanical component tool drawings. There are subtleties in manufacturing that may have to be relearned if you redesign the tool from scratch with another supplier.

In future articles, we will address electronic and programming documentation. In the meantime, feel free to email Mars International with any questions or for more information on our contract manufacturing services.

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