Whether you’ve been in your job for a few years or a few decades, it’s common to fall prey to complacency. When you pretty much acquire a solid routine with your work, it’s easy to dismiss the importance of continuously learning new skills while reinforcing your current ones.

Reading how you can reduce drawing errors by 50% may seem irrelevant until you or your team makes a drawing mistake that could result in exorbitant warranty or litigation costs. It does happen. Quality Digest points out how simple drawing errors end up costing many companies millions of dollars over the years.

Engaging in GD&T training offers practical, on-the-job application that will enforce uniformity in your drawing specs and interpretation throughout the design, manufacturing and inspection processes.

PDF: GD&T Training Levels

GOING BACK TO THE BASICS

Relevant to more than just early career engineers, this particular quote really stood out as being invaluable advice for all professionals:

“Seeking out professional development activities related to growing your soft skills will drive professional growth in dimensions you never knew existed,” Carl Vieth, Director of Corporate Education for University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Engineering told ASME (American Society of Manufacturing Engineers) in a recent interview.

That advice obviously applies to more than just recent engineering grads.

Think of your path to GD&T proficiency as a pyramid progression: To attain a level of mastery in your skills, you first need to learn a few core competencies.

AWARENESS

For those of you who’ve learned some GD&T concepts in the past, you may just need a refresher. Or if you have very limited experience using GD&T properly, you may need to relearn all of the basics.

Regardless of your knowledge, it’s good to get a solid grasp on these concepts so you can begin applying them consistently and accurately.

Training to consider at the Awareness level:

  • GD&T Overview
  • Engineering Drawing Requirements
  • GD&T for Manufacturing (manufacturing engineers and similar professionals)

INTERPRETATION

If you’ve grasped the basic concepts of GD&T, you’ve accomplished the first steps on the road to proficiency. But fully understanding GD&T interpretation is an invaluable skill that not many designers and engineers possess. Some companies have noted that less than 10% of their staffs are GD&T proficient. This leaves a wide margin open to drawing misinterpretations, which can lead to supplier disputes over parts. Learning the ins and outs of interpreting GD&T properly will put you in that elite category of professionals who can confidently interpret GD&T on drawings.

Training to consider at the Interpretation level:

APPLICATION/ANALYSIS

If you’ve reached the top of the pyramid (mastering awareness and interpretation levels), you’ve nearly crossed the finish line to reaching GD&T proficiency. But bear in mind: Applying the GD&T concepts you’ve learned is actually the hardest part of your journey. So it’s very important to get the training you need in this area to do it competently.

Training to consider at the Application/Analysis level:

TEST YOUR SKILLS

We have a great feature on our website that allows you to assess your skills. Our GD&T Skills Assessment (based on ASME ’09 standard) and GD&T Skills Survey (based on the ’94 standard) will both help you determine where your skills need the most improvement.

Other resources:
What is GD&T
GD&T Resources
Public Workshops