Anyone else having supply chain issues?
We use PCB’s (our design), that we purchase completely assembled(stuffed). So these are purchased parts. BUt we’re finding that we have to make changes due to a component (particularly specific IC’s) not being available.
We’re given lead times running into 2024. And that’s just for the one component on the board. The board house would still take a few more weeks after that before we’d get our boards.
So we make a design change to use an alternate part, and this often requires changes to the PCB artwork, as well as some other component changes. Boom, we now have Rev B (new revs of the PCB artwork, PCB BOM’s, Assembly drawings, etc…)
But a few months later and now another part on the PCB becomes made of unobtainium, requiring us to have a Rev C.
My quandary is that rev’s A, B, and C all meet the requirements and give you functionally equivalent PCBs, and any would work in the parent assembly.
Should all be considered active? And how do you handle purchases, especially when you might get a quote with acceptable lead times for Rev B, but crazy pricing because they’re going to brokers for parts that Rev C doesn’t use.
When (or If) the supply of the problem parts of Rev A is resolved, do we just go back to A making it the “latest rev”? Or totally dot every i and cross every t, by making Rev D which is identical to Rev A?
Since these are purchased parts, by default Epicor doesn’t consider their revision level in the MOM of the parent part they’re used in. That said, if you want/need to keep track of which revisions are actually in stock, the CURRENT version (Kinetic 2022.2) has a new feature of Inventory By Revision which stores which revisions of a part number are in which bin.
Personally, I would have multiple revisions approved as long as they are in stock, and then at some time frame unapprove all the revisions that are no longer in stock or orderable. As far as I can remember, the purchasing module doesn’t care if you put a revision on the PO whether it exists in your PartRev table or not, and equally doesn’t care if said revision, if it exists at all, is approved.
These are all the out-of-the-box functionalities… you may already have written some processes that modify them. Good luck!
I guess the next logical question would be if the sub-assy that uses those varying versions of the purchased pcb should have revision changes on each change of the pcb rev.
The information integrity nerd in me wants to be able to identify any S/N (I’ll settle for lot#) that was made using a specific pcb. I guess we get that through lot tracing. But not uniquely.
Lot tracking materials within a job isn’t very specific. If you need (either due to business requirement or regular IT-variant OCD) that specific information then you’d have to use serial tracking with full lower-level enabled at the site level… which is more work for your material handlers.
Supply Chain Issues? Maybe just a few…
We are struggling with the same issues on multiple fronts. We design and populate our own pcb’s and we do contract work as well. Depending on the part, we can sometimes just add another Qualified Mfg to our internal p/n if the substitutes are drop in replacements. IC’s are our biggest issue as well and we’ve had to spin boards and add multiple footprints depending on what parts we can get. We are still on the struggle bus with how to keep up with this in Epicor since our own designs start with the pcb and go all the way up to a complete electronic box build out the door – with MULTIPLE sub-assembly levels in between.
Also…love the use of “unobtanium” – it’s a common word around here !