How to maintain easy access
to your drawing archives
Drafting Storage has gotten a lot different than the way it was when I started learning drafting. Back then completed drawings were filed in wide drawers or sometimes hung from giant paper clips called plan hold files. Locating an old drawing required great care. All the drawings near it had to be moved and you always worried that drawings might get damaged pulling them out of the drawer.
Nowadays though things have got considerably better although not everyone uses the tools available today to the fullest extent. When someone needs to look at a they are most likely to find it in a PDF (Portable Data Format) version.
Many companies maintain their drafting stroage mainly in pdf format because the files are small and any computer can open the file without needing much more than a free acrobat reader. The drawings are protected because no changes can be made to them although some versions of acrobat allow drawings to be marked up and sent back for review.
Newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Professional allow the draftperson to search within drawings for text and allow fields to be added to help in drawing retrieval at a later time. This is far better that finding drawings by filename only. It also allows anyone with the necessary search skills to find the drawings they need so long as they have access to them.
Many engineering departments underestimate the benefits of Adobes acrobat products opting for the use of free or nearly-free pdf readers and writers. For those departments who need to routinely share their drawings with production , service and maintenanace departments the extra cost of the adobe software is justified by the additional features and benefits it provides.
By creating a PDF drawing archive that is easily searchable by anyone, engineering personnel dont have to be pulled away to search for drawings or find specifications when that information can be easily found by the person searching for it.