Before you start on your next electrical schematic diagram you need to understand what a drawing is, how it is organized and who governs the format of drawings.

Many times schematics are thought to be exempt from this formality, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

We need to remember if we are engineers (you are an engineer right) doing engineering, configuration management is an essential aspect. Fortunately our predecessors codified ample and complete details on how to do this long ago. It is true the computer age has changed the media in which we draw our designs, but not the format.

Before you start your next design procure and glance over these standards all of which have lineage from MIL-STD-100. Representing tens if not hundreds of man-years of solutions to previous mistakes we have…

  • ASME Y14.100-2004 – How to format a drawing.
  • ASME Y14.24-1999 – How to customize a drawing for a particular purpose – Yes, electrical schematic diagrams are covered in here.
  • ASME Y14.34-2008 – How to format a parts list, wire list, etc.
  • ASME Y14.35M-1997 – How to revise drawings.
  • ASME Y14.44-2008 – How to reference and annotate a single or collection of electrical components (replaced IEEE 200-1975)
  • IEEE 280-1985 – Which standard symbols and prefixes to use in drawings.
  • IEEE 315-1975 – How to make schematic symbols and what reference letter to use.

“But John, our business model is too cool to fool with the above.”

Eventually, the only fool will be you in front of your customer. Your call.

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