There’s an old industry adage that argues (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that, at the end of the day, the role of an engineer boils down to simply selling drawings. 

While that’s a highly oversimplified view of things, it highlights the critical importance of the drafting and design process – something every single Catch project goes through.

To understand how the Catch Difference applies to this pillar of the engineering process, we were lucky enough to speak with Paul Heal – Design and Drafting Manager here at Catch Engineering – to take us through the ins and outs of the trade. 

The Catch Difference in Drafting and Design

The Drafting and Design Process

The endeavour of drafting and design begins long before pen meets paper – or stylus meets tablet, as the case might be. 

The first step is a project kick-off once an engineering contract is won. This is essentially a leads meeting during which key Catch personnel sit down with the client to establish precisely what’s involved with the project, what key expectations the client might have regarding project execution, and what the metrics for success will be as the project moves forward. 

From there, Catch hosts its own internal kick-off, after which the design and drafting team kicks off and gets underway. “The design and drafting kick-off is where we get a real sense of the job insofar as our work is concerned,” Heal told us. “Are there existing drawings, or must we create them in-house? Is it a greenfield site or a brownfield site? Do we need documentation from the clients? Is the work tying into something – new infrastructure, old infrastructure? All these factors play a role in our approach to the work at hand, and we consider each one as we plan our way forward.”

The Importance of Accuracy

Critical to any engineering project is its accuracy of execution – and in this area, Catch excels. 

First, there’s document control, which is precisely what it sounds like. “Document control is critical because it not only leads to project success, but it protects us as a business,” Heal told us. “It essentially involves tracking document exchange on a legal basis so that if anything goes wrong, you can track down exactly where it went wrong. If something is built incorrectly or designed improperly, our document control process helps us discover where the error was made. It showcases how Catch did its due diligence each step of the way.” 

From there, Quality Assurance comes into the picture to ensure that the work is aligned with the specifications provided by the client. “Specifications can include all variety of requirements,” Heal detailed. “They can mandate us to use certain equipment, to display something a certain way in a drawing, or even to number our drawings following a particular method. Specifications can be anywhere from a ten-page document to a binder that’s three inches thick; it all depends on the client and the job at hand.”

Finally, the finished work goes into review – a critical step in assuring the work’s accuracy and the project’s success. “Everything we create goes through review,” Heal confirmed. “Everything has to be reviewed by at least one other person. We usually do a regular review with a peer from within that team member’s group, and then we’ll run a cold-eyes review in which someone not involved with the project comes in and reviews the work to ensure nothing is missed.”

If that sounds like many steps, well, it is! Ensuring any engineering project’s accuracy and proper design is paramount, though – especially the projects that Catch works on. 

“If something isn’t designed properly, it could ultimately get built improperly,” Heal explained. “This can pose a problem in terms of safety. Everything must follow a code which is in place to keep people and projects safe. The worst-case scenario is something ends up built that could cause damage to property or put people in harm’s way. That’s never a scenario that any engineer wants to be involved in creating.” 

The Evolution of the Process

Beyond simply maintaining a highly refined design and drafting process that puts accuracy at the center of its focus, Catch’s approach to the discipline has continued to evolve and innovate with the advancement of technology and industry standards. Gone are the days when paper drawings were the only way to share engineering plans and designs – now, much of that work has gained an additional element of depth and detail by making the jump from 2D to the third dimension. 

“By far the biggest advancement we’ve seen in the discipline in the last four or five years has been the advent of 3D modelling,” Heal said. “We’re modelling most of our work in 3D now, including most of our plants. A lot of the field construction is built off those models; you can see more and understand more from a 3D model than from a flat drawing. It all leads to a more efficient, more successful result – and if that’s something within our power to offer our clients, you can bet we’ll jump at the chance to do so. 

Thank you to Paul Heal for taking time away from his work as Design and Drafting Manager to take us through a deep dive into design and drafting at Catch; we couldn’t be more grateful for your time, Paul!  

Does your next project require a deft touch regarding design and drafting? Get in touch with us at Catch Engineering to learn more about how we bring the Catch Difference to our drafting and design work – and thanks as always for your readership.


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