Technical Product Documentation

Engineering drawing is described as 'Graphical Communications' in various school and college books. Although both are correct, the more modern term is 'Technical Product Documentation1 (TPD). This is the name given to the whole arena of design communication by the ISO. This term is used because nowadays, information sufficient for the manufacture of a product can be defined in a variety of ways, not only in traditional paper-based drawings. The full title of TPD is 'Technical Product Specification - Methodology, Presentation and Verification'. This includes the methodology for design implementation, geometrical product specification, graphical representation (engineering drawings, diagrams and three-dimensional modelling), verification (metrology and precision measurement), technical documentation, electronic formats and controls and related tools and equipment.

When the ISO publishes a new standard under the TPD heading, it is given the designation: ISO XXXX:YEAR. The 'XXXX' stands for the number allocated to the standard and the 'YEAR' stands for the year of publication. The standard number bears no relationship to anything; it is effectively selected at random. If a standard has been published before and is updated, the number is the same as the previous number but the 'YEAR' changes to the new year of publication. If it is a new standard it is given a new number. This twofold information enables one to determine the version of a standard and the year in which it was published. When an ISO standard is adopted by the UK, it is given the designation: BS ISO XXXX:YEAR. The BSI has a policy that when any ISO standard is published that is relevant to TPD, it is automatically adopted and therefore rebadged as a British Standard.

In this book the term 'engineering drawing' will be used throughout because this is the term which is most likely to be understood by manufacturing engineering students, for whom the book is written. However, readers should be aware of the fact that the more correct title as far as standards are concerned is TPD.

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