What is a Technical Data Package (TDP) and Why is it Useful?

By Andrew Crowley

If you have ever been thrust into a new job with new terminology, it can be overwhelming at first, and for quite some time. This was the case for me as I ventured into the wild world of manufacturing, engineering, and supplier collaboration with Anark.

For many industries, the acronym game can quickly turn into alphabet soup, and for someone brand new to the industry, well, let’s just say it can be a bit much. This was my introduction as I heard people talk about TDPs, PLM, CAD and a good number of other acronyms. My head was spinning! I came from a world where CAD meant “Computer Aided Dispatch” (for first responders). But now, CAD meant a completely different thing (Computer Aided Design) and I had to adjust, or be left out in the cold (well, not really the cold, though it can get chilly in Boulder in the winters).

Many of our conversations circled back to Technical Data Packages (TDPs)…and once I realized what it stood for, I then had to quickly understand what it was, how customers use it, and what the Anark advantage is when it comes to TDPs.

What Is It?

At its core, a Technical Data Package (TDP) is a set of electronic files that describe a particular product or product component.

Right, But What Is It?

Ok – let's start here...what is in a Technical Data Package? A TDP includes the technical design, manufacturing, and other related product information and LawnmowerMan documentation needed to enable the construction or manufacture of a thing (for lack of a better term).

Let’s take your lawnmower, for example...you wouldn’t necessarily need a TDP for your entire lawnmower, but you sure might need it for the engine, or the chassis, or the brakes. Those critical components affect quality, safety, and performance of the mower.

I think we’re Getting There

The coolest thing about TDPs (a sentence I never thought I’d type out), is that all the information a manufacturer might need is right there in the package. And the benefits? Don’t get me started on the benefits! Start on the benefits? You got it.

  • TDPs are easy to consume, no additional tools or training are required
  • It packages any type of data (3D CAD, 2D drawings, bills of material, documentation, etc.)
  • It improves technical communication to limit scrap, rework, and delivery risk – translation: it makes it harder for things to get lost in the wash or for mistakes to be made
  • It eliminates email from being used for content management and collaboration – searching through your inbox for versions of a document is literally the worst
  • Serves as a contractual artifact – it is going to help keep everyone honest and on task and it also provides a way to perform a “post-game” analysis for process improvement
  • Last but certainly not least – it securely limits/governs the extent of intellectual property (IP) shared so that information that you don’t want to get out doesn’t get out

The Anark Advantage

I’ve described the “what is it?” for you, but not yet “why should I care?” Well, here we go, hold on tight!

What Anark can do with web-based TDPs is help you transform information into intelligence. With Anark Workstation, you can source content from multiple systems, include product lifecycle and model-based information, secure your IP with file-less content and DRM, make real-time visual collaboration accessible and easy, and, finally, track a history of discussions so there are no “gotchas” throughout your process. It’s clean, it’s neat, it’s straightforward, and it streamlines your processes.

If you are ready to learn more about the Anark advantage, contact us today.

About the Author

Andrew Crowley