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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the definition of BCA, referenced in the Cover Letter on the second page?

    BCA is an acronym for Business Case Analysis. The BCA is used to determine if the delivery, access, and conversion of digital data is cost effective. The DASN Logistics office purposefully did not identify a BCA methodology.
  2. What types of documents are covered by this DON policy?
    Digital Product/Technical Data includes contractor deliverables and internally developed documents relating to any phase of the products life cycle.
  3. Do internal documents such as meeting announcements, plans, and action item lists fall outside the scope of the DON policy?
    Internal working documents are not within the scope of the policy.
  4. We have 1000s of hard copy pages of legacy documents and drawings. Do these documents need to be converted?
    Digital Product/Technical Data in hard copy format should be converted to a digital format when justified by a BCA. The converted data needs to be put into at least one of the formats specified in Attachment 1 of the policy.
  5. Does Digital Product/Technical Data delivered in proprietary formats (e.g. AutoCAD, WordPerfect, etc) need to be converted?
    Digital Product/Technical Data delivered in a proprietary format needs to be put into at least one of the formats specified in Attachment 1 of the policy, when justified by a BCA. It is strongly recommended that the native format be archived as well.
  6. If I acquired my technical data in a format adhering to the guidance, could I send it around within my Program in a non-accepted format?
    This policy places no restrictions on the internal use of Digital Product/Technical Data within a program. However, it is recommended that programs migrate to the formats defined in Attachment 1 to archive and exchange data throughout all phases of the product life cycle.
  7. Does the policy apply to the vendor's use and maintenance manuals normally issued with COTS equipment?
    See the Section 7 of Attachment 1 on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) systems. "When acquisition and product life cycle support requirements involve the procurement of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) items and associated product/technical data, Acquisition Managers should contract for the delivery of the data and documentation in digital form and/or access to the data and documentation as provided digitally from the contractor. Where COTS providers only have the data in hardcopy, acquisition managers should negotiate agreements for digital conversion to formats outlined above."
  8. Does the policy apply to the vendor's use and maintenance manuals normally issued with modified COTS equipment or equipment which is to be used outside of the normal commercial operating conditions?
    Yes.
  9. Does the policy allow 2-D Images Intended for CAD to be delivered in Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) format?
    No, because IGES is not an approved format for the exchange of digital data.
  10. Our contract currently specifies delivery of AutoCAD drawings. What should I do to adhere to DON policy and meet Navy needs?
    A plan for modifying the contract to include the delivery or access to digital data needs to be submitted to ASN(RD&A)-(DASN Logistics). The BCA will be used to determine if conversion is justified and which format specified in Attachment 1 is appropriate. It is recommended that the native CAD data be retained as one of the deliverables.
  11. Does the policy require a program to convert existing technical data from 2-D drawing formats to 3-D product model data?
    No.
  12. Should my program convert existing technical data from 2-D drawing formats to 3-D product model data?
    Conversion of existing 2-D based technical data to a 3-D solid model based technical data package requires significant resources to accomplish. A guideline for the conversion of technical data can be found here.
  13. Is the use of "technical publication" and "technical manuals" in different places in the policy considered the same?
    Yes. Technical manuals may be a subset of technical publications.
  14. If 3-D product model data is available for mechanical systems, then what is the best format to specify to adhere to DON policy and meet Navy needs?
    ISO STEP AP 214;2001 conformance class 20 is recommended for the acquisition of CAD data used to define mechanical pieceparts and assemblies.
  15. Our contractor has a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)/Product Data Management (PDM) system storing multiple types of data and preserving and maintaining the relative product structure and supporting information (coordinates, effectivity, instance, as-built, as-maintained, etc.) so that it can be accessed via a web portal or through native design tools. It also includes relevant documents in multiple formats (pdf, .doc, .xls, etc.). All of the product structure and CAD data would be available for export to any neutral format at the push of a few buttons, or viewed as native data through a web interface for clearances, markup, dimensional checks, etc. I am wondering how the policy affects such an integrated system.
    The ISO 10303 STEP APs contain the core data needed to exchange design, analysis, manufacturing, or support files (depending on the AP) and AP 232:2002 provides the meta data on those files. If the Navy takes delivery of data at specific milestones then we should get it delivered as the native CAD database and in a neutral format adhering to the DON Technical Data Policy and Guidance document. This means we should require delivery in a STEP AP format depending on the type of data and we should require an AP 232:2002 file to get the metadata on all the files (STEP, Acrobat, native CAD, CGM, etc.) in the digital technical data package. (It is conceivable that we may choose to take the native only if we have the tools and funding to generate the neutral files within the Navy to achieve interoperability and to support long-term data retention).

    You lose the PLM/PDM data relationships with this approach. In the near future we can ask for the meta data in an AP 239 format. The Navy needs new infrastructure for storing, managing and using PLM/PDM data on systems. STEP AP 239 provides all the PDM/PLM information needed to support a system and individual product instances through the life of the items in a neutral format. If the Navy wants to take delivery of PLM/PDM information for system operation and support then we need to plan for acquisition of a system to put this data into.