Modernizing Technical Data Packages – Phase I

NCMS Project #: 140429

Problem: When procuring parts for legacy weapon systems, the tech data package which is provided to the suppliers during pre-award and post-award contains raster drawings.  Several suppliers do not provide a bid since the information in the raster drawings is almost unreadable or the part drawing is not easily interpreted.  Also, suppliers are less inclined to bid on parts where only raster drawings are available since they have to expend considerable time to develop 3D models of those parts for automated production processes, which in turn, raises procurement costs.  Given that Defense Maintenance Agencies purchase parts which are often non-standard in low volume, the inclination for suppliers to invest time and cost in bidding for such parts is even less.  The lack of clarity in the raster tech data packages often requires suppliers interested in bidding to seek further help from the procurement technical support teams of the Defense Agencies to understand drawing information which adds to the procurement cost.  Importantly, Defense Procurement and Maintenance Agencies efforts to reduce maintenance flow-days for the warfighter are often hampered by post-award delays caused by suppliers misinterpreting some technical specifications from the raster drawings leading to revised quotes, problems with part quality leading to added cost due to re-work or scrap.

Benefit: The modern tech data package would result in the creation of 3D models of parts being procured by Defense Maintenance and Procurement Agencies and would:

  • Promote supplier responses to RFQ – the DLA survey noted that suppliers are 47% more likely to respond to an RFQ if the tech data package contained a validated 3D CAD model.
  • Aid suppliers by allowing them to fully utilize the benefits of an automated production process and improve part quality by decreasing the chances for NC coding errors.
  • Realize major savings and better quality assurance particularly for parts with average and high complexity.
  • Help reduce the procurement cost of a part by almost 27%, per a DLA survey. In addition, it would enable suppliers to provide bids more quickly and also reduce the cost of the part, which reflects 8% of the cost of quoting.


  • Develop a cost effective system that automates the identification of drawing information in the tech data package containing raster drawings
  • Extract the relevant text information from the raster drawings
  • Segment the pertinent drawing views which are to be used for conversion to 3D
  • Extract the part shape from the drawing views; convert the raster drawing to vector
  • Perform quality checks to verify the 3D model against the dimensions on the 2D drawing
  • Provide easy and secure access to the 3D model.

The prototype will utilize technologies developed under the Supply Chain Optimization and Product Explorer (SCOPE) project funded by NSF Phase I & II grants.  In addition, the project will utilize the OCR technology developed by Imaginestics to extract both part text and shape information from the raster drawing.  The proposed solution will also identify 1 and 2G parts during the initial prototype for use in this project.  The goal will then be to utilize the Casting Knowledge Re-Use Cost Advisor Project and index the 3D CAD models generated from this project and have the cost information of the cast parts available at the finger tips of the procurement personnel prior to award.

Impact on Warfighter: A recently conducted DLA survey [DLA STP 4-0807] indicated that the average annual scraps and re-work cost per supplier was approximately $27,000 and that almost 19% of supplier scrap and re-work was due to poor raster drawing quality.

  • Reduced component replacement downtime.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Air Force (OO-ALC)
  • DLA

Industry Participation:

  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Imaginestics
  • NCMS

Final Report