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PLM Essentials - 7. Engineering Drawings



Engineering Drawings lay the foundation for all complex and challenging engineering projects. Used to convey critical information about parts and processes, Engineering Drawings offer OEMs and suppliers a standardised language to eliminate the possibility of misinterpretation and errors. This seventh instalment of our 'PLM Essentials' series covers the effective use of Engineering Drawings and explains some of the systems available.

You may also be interested in the areas we have covered previously: Part 1 – Part Numbering SystemsPart 2 – AttributesPart 3 – Part NomenclaturePart 4 - BoM SetupPart 5 – Engineering Structures and Part 6 - Engineering Change Management.


What are Engineering Drawings?

Engineering Drawings are a standardised way to convey complex ideas for universal understanding. The importance of implementing and adhering to Engineering Drawing structures cannot be overstated; it is critical to minimising errors. Engineering drawings can contain everything from information about part design and physical dimensions to material, function, the designer and the various revisions undertaken. Used appropriately, they are a concise and efficient way to communicate and evolve highly complex ideas.

The success of a new Engineering Drawing structure depends on two key factors:

Compliancy – must conform to standards

Ease-of-use – must be easy to create and quick to interpret


Implementation of a new Engineering Drawing structure

Engineering Drawings, when adhering to standards, convey the same information but may present it in different formats, or ‘structures’. There are also multiple different standards, some of which are encompassed within others. The UK automotive industry, for example, uses BS (British Standard) 8888, which includes other European Normal (EN) and International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) practices. 

All engineering drawings contain:

Reference border

Title block


Item & notes list


Engineering Drawings in action

This overview includes examples of Engineering Drawings, standards used, drawing contents and the justification of new structures. Read on to learn why Engineering Drawings are essential to effective communication between engineers, teams, suppliers and manufacturers.

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