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Document Numbering System

Document Numbering System - Normally in the EPC Projects, there are several agencies that work. These agencies may includes Vendors, Contractors and Owners. An agency as Vendor - works on several projects concurrently and may have his own document numbering methodologies in his organization. Same is the case with the contractor. 

In case of owner, he may have his own document numbering system as well and it will be difficult for him to keep track of engineering drawings and documents if each vendor and contractor start having their own numbering systems. 

So which numbering system to be used for the project is one of the key questions that is to be answered at the beginning of the project itself. The question in ususally answered in the kick-off meeting. Normally - as most of the parties are reluctant to change their internally processes for a specific project, a drawing or the document tends to have multiple document/drawings numbers - one from the owner, one from the contractor and one from the Vendor. 

There is also provision that is available in the Title Block where all the three numbers can be specified and hence, each of the agencies involved in the project can track the documents with respect to their own document numbers. The sole purpose of the document number is to uniquely identify the document and as long as this objective is fulfilled the said numbering system is considered as OK for the project. 

How ever in the practical reality, there are all types of numbering system that are available and used by various customers. Normally - these numbering systems include string of data followed by a serial number. 

The string of data may comprise of codes that may be identify one or more of the following sub-strings: 

Project Code - Example Code - ProjABCD 

Package Code - Example - Water System - WAT

Vendor / Generation Agency Code - Example - Vendor Code = X1

Sub-Area Code - Example - Demineralized Water - Code - DM

Discipline - Example - Mechanical - M

Running Serial Number  - Three Digit code - 123

Based on the above - the document number series will be ProjABCD-WAT-X1-DM-M-

And the complete document number will be ProjABCD-WAT-X1-DM-M-123

Though the seems simple, when the try and do the things using spreadsheets - frequent mistakes happen. It is not uncommon to see two different document with the same document number in the EPC industry. To ensure that the document numbering system is useful for the project - the document control center has to ensure that there is a uniqueness check built upon the document numbering method for the project.

If the firm is using software application - the software - depending upon the selected parameters - can suggest/generate the document number.

Another noteworthy point is that incase you are trying to apply a uniqueness constraint on the project document numbering scheme, you have to be prepared to live with the fact that there will be holes (Some numbers initially used - but later the documents were dropped) in the final set of documents that you will get. For example - it is possible to have a case where after the document number DOC-1 you may at the end of the project get a document with document number DOC-3 with document with document number DOC-2, initially was there but perhaps was dropped during the subsequent development.

A good document control software will ensure that your numbering systems are religiously followed and all the documents that were dropped during the development lifecycle are also accessible easily.

tBits CollabWrite offers you the following benefits for the generation of the document numbering system for document control automation

  1. Completely configurable automatic generation of the project document numbers based on the agreed and applicable project document numbering philosophy.
  2. Uniqueness checks on the document numbers to ensure that same document number is not erroneously created. 
  3. As there is a uniqueness check - the holes are allowed in the document numbering system and all document number that were assigned are accounted and accessible (with permissions) to the concerned document control teams and their clients.