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Good communication is at the heart of every high-performing company. 

Whether you’re aiming to foster clear interdepartmental communications or establish a mutual understanding with your company’s customers and suppliers, communicating well makes for more efficient processes and higher profits.

But it’s not easy to get everyone on the same page, and there’s a price to pay when you don’t.

Even if a single link in the chain isn’t communicating well, that one problem can have a knock-on effect that causes friction throughout your business. And, the negative effects of that friction compound the more departments, suppliers and customers there are in the chain.

Poor communication becomes a toxic game of telephone that causes disputes, strains relationships, wastes time, increases scrap, and costs you money. Standardizing the way you communicate across every department, supplier, and customer ensures that nothing gets lost in translation during this design/manufacturing/inspection game of telephone.

A solid knowledge and understanding of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing throughout your organization is how you standardize your communication. Doing so increases your organizational efficiency, and eliminates many problems before they start.

Let’s examine some of the most common consequences when your people can’t communicate with knowledge and understanding of GD&T.

What happens when design doesn’t understand GD&T

If your design department doesn’t clearly convey a part’s requirements on a drawing, it leaves room for different interpretations of the print -- which adversely affects manufacturing and inspection. The confusion that results from such ambiguity wastes everyone’s time, leads to more expensive and sometimes non-functional parts.

A good design balances cost and functionality, and builds in the loosest possible tolerance to make life easier for manufacturing. But it doesn’t matter how much design knowledge you have or how good your design is if you can’t communicate it effectively to the folks making and inspecting the parts.

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing is the language that lets design effectively communicate design intent and ensures that there will only be one way to interpret the drawing. And remember, using GD&T doesn’t require tighter tolerances in a design, it simply means means that the tolerances in a design are clearly defined.

What happens when manufacturing doesn’t understand GD&T

When manufacturing doesn’t understand how to read an engineering print that uses GD&T, then they won’t know how to produce the part properly. As a result, you get a high scrap rate, or you end up overquoting parts and pricing yourself out of winnable contracts.

Not to mention the blow to your reputation if you show a customer that you can’t communicate properly with them. Without a common understanding of the drawings and a standard set of rules, how can you defend your decisions and resolve disputes? Misinterpreting drawings and disputing that you didn’t know what the drawing meant makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing -- and it’s only a matter of time before that customer starts looking for a more competent supplier.

Knowing how to use GD&T provides that common understanding and makes things easier to produce, not more difficult. There’s no reason to charge more for working with prints that utilize GD&T, in fact, you should probably be bidding higher if the designers you’re working with don’t!

What happens when inspection doesn’t understand GD&T

The purpose of inspection is to ensure that only good parts are approved and passed on to your customers. If inspection doesn’t understand the design and the design intent, it can’t competently inspect the parts. And if you aren’t inspecting accurately, then you’re rejecting good parts, increasing your scrap rate, and potentially approving bad parts -- which creates huge liability for you and your customer.

Furthermore, even if inspection is catching problems, without GD&T they can’t effectively communicate the problem or help solve it.

When inspection does have working knowledge of GD&T, you can rest assured that they understand the intent of the designers and can inspect the parts you produce accurately and efficiently.

Understanding GD&T isn’t as hard as you think

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing is the key to good communication between design, manufacturing and inspection, but learning a new language isn’t easy. We know that the text of the ASME Y14.5 standard is dense and intimidating, but you don’t need comprehensive knowledge of the standard to use GD&T.

The language of GD&T isn’t as complex as you might expect.

Think about it this way: you don’t need to know every word in the dictionary to understand a language, and you don’t need to know the whole standard to understand GD&T. There may be 344 pages in the standard, but every GD&T control is used to describe just 4 elements: size, location, orientation, and form (SLOF). This isn’t to say that learning GD&T is easy -- it takes work to win the knowledge you need -- but it’s attainable for those willing to make the effort.

And the effort pays off in the bottom line.

How to get the knowledge of GD&T you need

There are many GD&T training programs out there, and most of them teach the entire ASME Y14.5 standard, overwhelming students in the process and filling their heads with information that they’re unlikely to ever use.

They’re teaching people to memorize the dictionary.

At GD&T Basics, we’re teaching you to speak and communicate, and use the dictionary when you come across a word you don’t recognize. We view the standard as a reference, but the methodology of our courses is aimed to simplify the standard and break it down into easily digestible chunks. We focus on teaching the parts of the standard that are relevant to you and your business.

We give our students a simple framework for understanding GD&T and the confidence to use it. Through our training you will:

  1. Gain a fundamental understanding of how the GD&T system works
  2. Understand how you and your customers use GD&T
  3. Learn how to look up what you need to when you come across something beyond the foundational knowledge learned during training

In short, we give you the knowledge of GD&T you need, and nothing you don’t.

Contact us today and we’ll provide all the training and support you need to improve your understanding of and communication with GD&T.

Reach out today to learn how to get GD&T training for your team

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