32 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2017 3:02 PM by Tom Gagnon

    Drawing confidentiality best practices

    Terry Raymond

      Google and forum search did not lead me to anything.  Maybe I don't know the right term to search for so here goes...

       

      I have drawings that I need to keep confidential (internal / vendor only), some that only certain customers have access to, and some that can be distributed publicly.

      Most of you surely have similar classifications at your companies.

       

      Do any of you fine forum folks mark this classification / confidentiality / allowable distribution on the drawings somehow?

       

      Please share.. I would love to see exactly how some of your systems work.  Thanks!!

        • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
          Jim Steinmeyer

          You would be surprised at the number of "Confidential", "Do Not Distribute", "For Internal Use Only" drawings from the competition that have crossed my desk over the last several years. My suggestion would be to save your ink. If you don't want your prints distributed, the best suggestion is don't make them. Second best would be to make sure they don't leave the plant but I don't know how you do that because even sales will send them out to help a customer "check a fitup". It might be beneficial to have whoever is on the receiving end of the drawings sign a Non-Compete but I don't know if that does any more than the Confidential note.

          • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
            Bernie Daraz

            Is it possible to limit the amount of information on the drawing? Maybe dimensions or BOM's can be left out. I agree with Jim, many of those have also crossed my desk over the years.

            • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
              Rick McDonald

              It mostly comes down to who you (or your company) allows to have the information.

              ANY person or company should first be sent an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) - and your should get it back - signed by a key corporate person - Before you send them any files or drawings that can potentially be used to steal your IP (Intellectual Property).

              An NDA is just a piece of paper - but it will hold up beyond anything else in a court so it is one of the best deterrents.

              When we send drawings, (even with the NDA) we leave off critical information where we can.

              If you send an assembly - it should only be the shell - no internal components or features.

              Ultimately, you just do your best to VET the person or company to see that they will abide by the NDA. The more they have to loose the less likely they will be to share or sell your IP.  If they have nothing to loose be very cautious and don't disclose more than you have to.

              • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                Terry Raymond

                Fellas thanks for the replies but yall are getting off into the weeds.  Apologies if my question was unclear.  Yes we have NDAs and yes I realize once you send a drawing it is out of our hands, that is not the issue.  No I can't take information off the drawing because then it is useless to the people that need it!

                 

                My intent is to have something on the drawing that tells my employees whether they can send it out freely or, or to certain people, to vendors, or not at all.  Would be much easier to train this way.  I could make up this system/labeling scheme on my own but I hate reinventing the wheel.

                 

                I was hoping some of you experienced folks had something like this set up already, and would not mind sharing.

                  • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                    Deepak Gupta

                    I've not done anything like that but you could set up different watermarks (some where in the corner but readable). This way you can select based on the requirements.

                    • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                      Rick McDonald

                      I have never seen anything other than a message on the drawings that states something like "For Internal Use Only" or "Confidential - For Company Employees only"...

                      You just need to be clear with the messages and inform all employees of the meanings and rules.  Post it clearly so there are no questions about the rules.  Many companies have their own internal NDA for their employees - if the employees don't want to sign and abide by them - then they are no longer employees.

                      Sounds harsh - but the only reason an employee would not want to sign one was if they would not want to abide by it and you would not be able to trust them anyway.

                      • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                        Glenn Schroeder

                        Terry Raymond wrote:

                         

                        My intent is to have something on the drawing that tells my employees whether they can send it out freely or, or to certain people, to vendors, or not at all. Would be much easier to train this way. I could make up this system/labeling scheme on my own but I hate reinventing the wheel.

                         

                        I was hoping some of you experienced folks had something like this set up already, and would not mind sharing.

                         

                        I don't have anything exactly like that set up, but I do have a big "Preliminary" watermark on my Drawings that aren't ready to go out.  When a Drawing is approved I just switch sheet formats to one where it's removed.  It should be easy enough for you to set up multiple sheet formats for what you need.  The new feature in SW2017 that allows switching sheet formats on all sheets of a multi-sheet drawing with one operation is especially helpful for this.

                         

                         

                        • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                          Ian Worrall

                          Terry Raymond wrote:

                           

                          My intent is to have something on the drawing that tells my employees whether they can send it out freely or, or to certain people, to vendors, or not at all. Would be much easier to train this way. I could make up this system/labeling scheme on my own but I hate reinventing the wheel.

                          We have a custom property set in our part & assembly templates called "watermark", which when used, adds one of a selection of phrases to the background of a drawing.

                           

                          We use phrases like:-

                           

                          • "For quote purposes only - Do not manufacture"
                          • "For prototype use only"
                          • "Provisional build"
                          • etc.
                          • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                            Christian Chu

                            We used Lifecycle which includes: preliminary, reviewed, Approved, Released and Obsolte

                            We only send out when status is "Preliminary" for quoting and "Released" for production

                          • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                            Steve Calvert

                            Put one of these on your drawings...

                             

                             

                            Steve C

                            • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                              S. Casale

                              This is a legal question that is going to specific to your organizations needs and should be established by A, your organizations lawyers, B, someone in your organization who understand the imperatives and C, to the extent that it is needed on each drawing/document.

                               

                              There are different levels of do not disseminate. There is proprietary, ISO controlled, Export Controlled, EAR, and ITAR controlled amongst the many.

                               

                              How to control this should be additionally controlled by your workflow and document control methods. These methods need to be understood clearly by all who potentially have access to the doducments in question. Having specific restricted permissions in your filing system helps.

                               

                              NDA's with organizations that you do business with is very important. The level of detail in these documents is very important.

                               

                              One thing to always note, that many folks do not understand, is that the very document (drawing) is a legal document when disseminated to a customer or vendor.

                                • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                  Terry Raymond

                                  Scott this is exactly what I am looking for thank you.  Do you mark those on your drawings somehow?  Ie with PDM workflows or manually?

                                  • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                    S. Casale

                                    Adding, with having worked organizations such as GE, 3M to name a few...

                                     

                                    Notation on drawing varies.

                                    Copyright is and is not added to drawings. Copyright dates are rolling from original date year and revision date year if applicable.

                                    Proprietary notes are used in place if CR aren't added.

                                    ISO requires, if printed, that something to the extent that the paper-copy have draft or for reference only.

                                    For quote only is a common practice for quoted documents that aren't released.

                                    The date a revision is reviewed is important to have on it as it may vary. This is for released and/or the interim revisions.

                                  • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                    Paul Risley

                                    Terry,

                                     

                                    For internal use(watermark)

                                     

                                    For customer(header on title block)

                                     

                                    Confidential(watermark)

                                    Sub list under this watermark of who is eligible to have the print.

                                     

                                    All prints have the standard "this print is the property of our company".

                                      • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                        Terry Raymond

                                        Thanks Paul this is similar to what I was thinking initially.  I have the property-of note already, OKed by our attorneys.

                                         

                                        Is this what you do at your company?  How exactly do you mark those on your drawings - manually changing sheet formats/custom properties?  Or is it somehow PDM driven?

                                          • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                            Paul Risley

                                            It is set by layers each drawing has layers for the variants listed above and they are turned on or off by the designer who signs off on the project. The layers are labeled accordingly so you know what you are turning off. We don't use PDM software. This is managed document process.

                                             

                                            Since I run the design department and am responsible for training company wide for blueprint reading this is part of the training all employees receive. Per our attorney if a document leaves our facility with any of the watermarks along with the proprietary notes embedded in the print, if those parts are fabricated at another facility we do have the right to sue for compensation for our design.

                                              • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                                Terry Raymond

                                                Paul thank you, this is great.  Much better than simply the generic property-of block that gets ignored as drawings often do need to go out.

                                                 

                                                Update - I ended up going with layers, one for each of 3 different confidentiality options that our attorney helped develop. 

                                                • Internal / authorized vendor use only (NDA in place)
                                                • Authorized customer use only (NDA in place)
                                                • No restriction

                                                Then in EPDM the user selects what kind of drawing it is, and a macro then assigns the right confidentiality level and sets correct title block visibility.  No extra effort at all on my users.  Thanks again all for helping me not reinvent the wheel!

                                          • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                            John Stoltzfus

                                            Terry Raymond  - Would to have the same thing here.  If you have any ideas etc and need some help let me know, would be glad to assist

                                            • Re: Drawing confidentiality best practices
                                              Rick Becker

                                              We are very similar to others here. Lawyer written NDA's. Confidentially note on drawings.

                                               

                                              One thing we do slightly different...

                                              We have a semi rational fear of vendors knowing too much. We have had jobs/projects taken from us and placed in other shops by a vendor underbidding us at the same time as bumping up their quote for the work they perform. We let them know too much about the whole project.

                                              Because of that, we make "In-Process" drawings for anything that leaves our building, for quote or a sub-process. These In-Process prints have everything needed to do the job and no more. The part numbers are changed and tracked via an internal cross reference database. All certs have traceability through the In-Process prints and our work instructions/job traveler.

                                               

                                              Works really well especially in keeping our customers identity secret.