Validation of References in a Technical Data Package
Creating a technical data package (TDP) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) requires substantial effort, often with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars at stake. Using SWISS to create TDPs prevents rework, reduces cost, and eliminates delays in project bidding schedules.
A technical data package (TDP) is a set of descriptive information to support acquisition, production, engineering, and logistics support. A TDP is much more comprehensive than work instructions and can include elements such as drawings, standards, specifications, regulatory requirements, quality assurance provisions, packaging/delivery instructions, training support, maintenance planning, and more. TDPs are similar to RFPs because they are provided to potential suppliers during the bidding process. The supplier then assesses the TDP and responds with a bid.
How It’s Done Today
The TDP is usually assembled within an organization’s product data management (PDM) system and then distributed by their supply chain management or procurement team. The TDP may contain static copies of specs, standards, drawings, regulations, or other elements referenced during the design process.
The Problems With This Method
TDP references that become out of date put the integrity of the entire project at risk. References can become out of date due to: 1) changes made by the authoritative source that don’t communicate downstream; 2) the length of time that has passed between when the information was referenced during the design process and the time the TDP is issued; and/or 3) reissue of the TDP for a follow-on order or change in suppliers.
Specs and standards may have technical changes that impact fit, form, or function of the product, or they can be superseded, or become obsolete without replacement. If a supplier submits their bid without knowing about the changes, the company then has to notify the supplier of the changes and wait for a new bid. If a supplier proactively learns of a superseded or obsolete standard during the bidding process, they have to coordinate with the company for approved changes to the TDP. The TDP then needs to be reissued to all suppliers. These tedious steps and the resulting delays add cost and increase time to the project schedule.
The SWISS Solution
SWISS is integrated into several PDM systems including Siemens TeamCenter and PTC Windchill, two of the most widely-used PDMs in the world. With this integration, TDP elements can be automatically assessed to make sure they are current and up-to-date. Any changes affecting the TDP can be mitigated before the TDP is sent to suppliers for bid. Even after a supplier receives the TDP, any changes to the references can be communicated to them in real-time, speeding up response time and preventing rework and delayed schedules. Using SWISS to build the TDP during the engineering and design process also mitigates the risk of specs and standards and their references from being out of date in the first place.
Benefits of Using SWISS
SWISS ensure that specs and standards within a TDP are always up-to-date before and after a TDP is submitted to suppliers. This prevents rework, reduces costs, and helps keep the bidding process on schedule.