Physical Drawing Management

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Hi All,
We are working on physical drawings management standard and are interested to find out if any of you have a policy/standard that address the following questions:

. If we print out the drawings, what is the best practices to manage the physical copies?
. If we are keeping physical copies at the site to review purposes, how can we be sure that we are keeping the latest version is available to the users? Do you have any process for this?
Pacific Gas and Electric

One way to let a user be sure that the printed document you have in hand is a copy of the latest electronic version is to:

include a document identifier (including version) on the printed copy, and provide the user a mechanism to verify that identifier corresponds to the latest version of the document.

I recommend rendering the document ID as a QR code. It can be embedded in the document and printed with it (on the cover sheet, say, or in the corner of every page), or it could be printed on a sticker and affixed to the document.

Provide users with a simple mobile app that can read the QR code, access the document database (or at least its index), and indicate whether the code matches the latest version available for that document. A slightly more sophisticated app would provide more metadata: what the latest version is, when it was created, etc. Note: you want to access the database online, where it can be kept always up to date. (If the database is stored locally on the mobile device, you run into the same versioning problem with the database that you’re trying to solve for the documents.)

Greg Goodman

Sounds very nice and I like the barcode idea. It can work if the document ID including the version is stamped in top of the drawing while rendering the PDF.
We tried to have the version number on Office documents with our opentext content server. The problem is that the new version number is only created in Content Server àfter closing the document. So while editing and until after it is closed and saved , it is always the previous number. We only include the ID now, and when documents are approved via workflow the ID including the version is stamped again on every page of the automatically generated PDF. Soon we’ll also add a cover sheet with more metadata and a change log to the PDF rendition.

Additionally, on very controlled documents, we mention “uncontrolled when printed” with a reference to the DMS.

This is all for office documents, maybe there is more and better integration possible between your drawing tools and your Documentum.


I really like Greg’s suggestion. This could be implemented pretty easily using Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow if you have an Office 365 subscription. However, this also depends on what your design/CAD platform is. So, for instance, if you’re using Bentley or AutoCAD, have you checked to see if they have an existing solution for this?


Thank you very much for your recommendations. We are keeping all engineering drawings (final records) in Documentum as pdf format. Only design engineers have access to Micro Station and Auto CAD. Design Engineers may print out the drawings using these programs but mostly site personnel are printing the drawings from Documentum.
I also got some recommendations adding “copy and check the latest version via Documentum”. Do you know how we can add water mark when we are printing?
Pacific Gas and Electric

I see. Well, there are PDF generator solutions that connect to OpenText and/or Documentum that allow you to add watermarks and other identifiers at runtime based upon rules, such as metadata. Without creating something custom in house for your Documentum instance, I don’t know of any other way within Documentum itself.

EDIT: I would suggest looking at Adlib software. Apparently, they previously provided their software white-labeled by Documentum as Advanced Document Transformation Services (ADTS). Beyond v6.7 of Documentum that is no longer the case, however, they still have all the capability to closely integrate to Documentum. I’ve used Adlib previously and it is VERY robust and reliable.


Interesting to see the various approaches. We have used a document management system for some time which is configurable and will apply workflows, version control and creates watermarks on pdf ‘previews’ and prints. It handles drawings including x-ref relationships, and has all the functionality to manage technical and engineering needs. Users can view renditions without needing ‘CAD applications. Our system is Advantum from InfoTech Scandinavia AG, worth looking at. Hugh Longlands Avara

Pharmaceutical Services.

Great Discussion–I’m copying @Cengiz Satir to get his thoughts in here too!

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