A technical data package (TDP) is a set of electronic files, created by a product development organization, that describes a product or item. These files are used by downstream teams in the supply chain and can include 3D models, product manufacturing information (PMI), bills of material (BOMs), and any other necessary data.
Image: A turbine exhaust part created in Creo with tolerancing and other manufacturing information added.
I have had a few confounding experiences with traditional 2D production drawings in industry:
These manual paper-based workflows feel backward in the 21st century. Model-based definition, or MBD, streamlines the workflow and eliminates inefficiency by making the 3D model the source of truth. Instead of a printout or a PDF, the deliverable from engineering is a technical data package.
The TDP will contain models, such as native Creo or CAD-neutral STEP AP242 format files. The models include product and PMI in the form of 3D annotations organized into combination states.
With models, you can:
The TDP can include additional files that can be used by other organizations within the enterprise.
The Bill of Materials (BOM). This is a list of the components in an assembly. By including this report in an electronic Excel or CSV file, it can be consumed by downstream systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and used by the entire supply chain. This increases fidelity and eliminates errors.
Viewables. Files for lightweight viewing software can often be helpful to those who want to see the information without a full-blown CAD license. (In many cases, viewer apps are free to download. See CreoView for example.)
Notes. Typically, the additional instructions for fabrication, inspection, and acceptance appear on a 2D drawing sheet or flat to screen in an MBD combination state. However, by placing these notes in a separate document, you can revise the notes without revising the drawing and models. The document contents are also searchable in Windchill. For example, you can find every note that has a reference to a particular specification.
Schematics. If your product contains cabling or piping, the TDP can contain the wiring diagrams or piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID) used to generate them.
First Article Inspection (FAI) sheets. These documents specify what needs to be checked in a product to be accepted as meeting standards.
2D Drawings. If someone downstream insists on a standard 2D production drawing, yes, you can include this in the technical data package. But generating a 2D drawing will reduce the level of process gains.
The technical data package can contain any other files that benefit your organization, such as those for manufacturing process planning, maintenance, and quality assurance.
By generating a technical data package as part of model-based definition, your organization eliminates the inefficiencies of the traditional operating methods. Instead of sharing PDFs or printouts that people cannot use directly in their systems, you are sharing files with downstream processes and teams that make their lives easier.
This modern approach helps you get to market faster at lower costs. If you want to reap these benefits, start incorporating MBD into your product development process today.
How reusing rich 3D models helps manage complexity, maximize customer value, and move ahead of the pack.