TDMC should essentially have building infrastructure ensuring an ambiance which is air conditioned, dust and vermin free, rodent free and fire protected. It should have properly designed furniture with good quality to hold all kinds of drawings in all forms. Separate rooms or enclosures should be earmarked for the repository areas holding different kinds of media.
There should be a receipt section where incoming drawings and documents are opened, studied, indexed and registered. It should be manned my archive staff capable of identifying drawings and documents and indexing them with proper coding and entering the key identification details in registers or computers. There are various kinds of drawing archiving software available for this purpose. [Click Here for Example] Drawings and documents as received in the TDMC of the industry from the consultants, contractors and vendors will now get a different archive number at this receipt section of the TDMC. This number may be a simple serial number or it can have a complex structure to help the users to identify the drawings at a later stage to some extent. However, one part of the number shall run serially as per the incoming sequence of the documents and it shall be the identifier to store the drawings and to locate them later.
Computerizing the drawing titles and archive numbers with appropriate key words would help to search a drawing quickly in later years. Hence, utmost care has to be taken to do this properly while the drawings are initially registered with the TDMC.
The TDMC should have visitors' section where facilities for searching the drawings and viewing the contents of selected drawings shall be provided to technical personnel having authorization to access such information. For the interest of the industry, it is advisable to keep the centre a protected area with restricted entry. There shall also be facilities for reprography of various kinds which would ensure easier availability of copies or prints of archived drawings for permanent use later for specific purposes and preserving the originals from not getting damaged or lost for ever.
An industry where good TDMC practices are adopted would be likely to be managed much better. Suppliers and consultants would be happy to work with such an industry later. Availability of relevant engineering data would make their work much more simplified.
Industries who have realized this are taking due care in TDMS and set up of proper TDMC with proper manning. As in all walks of life, there are industries who are ignorant in this aspect and mismanage this causing much distress to their overall management.
Interestingly many old industries in the western world are spending large sums of money to convert their old physical drawings that are archived to scanned images and vectorized digital drawings for making their TDMS functions in accordance with modern technology. Many Indian firms are helping them to achieve this task.
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