One suggestionâ€¦.maybe instead of focusing on an intelligent part # scheme, focus on intelligent part descriptions! God knows you can fit most of what you need these days in the part description field. The only bad thing would be when you print out your documentation.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 10:45 AM
Subject: RE: [Vantage] Part Theory - Intelligent vs. Non-Intelligent & Other Decisions to be Made
We have a somewhat similar situation. Your new part entry process sounds like this - Find similar part numbers, select the best candidate from this list, copy it into the new part number, then make the necessary tweaks.
Many years ago before acquiring Vantage we created a set of tables in MS Access to describe our parts in detail (Build to Order Printed Circuit Boards). We now have 22,000+ parts that could have up to 300 attributes across several tables. When a new part number is entered we simply must find parts with related characteristics to determine what manufacturing â€œlessonsâ€ have already been learned. If not we would be prone to repeat small nuanced mistakes over again.
At one point in time we thought of creating these tables in Vantageâ€™s Progress database but the Progress programming tools were weak. We instead ported to SQL Server and wrote our own applications first in C# and .NET.
Vantage is still on Progress but we use Entity Framework and OpenEdge to provide a seamless solution.
And what if a customer changes their specification and we need to update 823 part numbers? The icing on the cake is I can do mass updates on the PartOpr table (Methods) for any combination of attributes and ad-hoc process sequence bocks. BOM items are synchronized to the new OprSeq number, etcâ€¦ relational integrity remains intactâ€¦ 5 minutes done.
My 2 cents - If itâ€™s important to your business make the appropriate investment.
Jeff Lewis CID+
Director of IT/Engineering
Holaday Circuits Inc
11126 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343
We have a few theories running around. I'm wondering if anyone out there is in a similar business/circumstance as we are that may have tackled this issue and has some learnings of their own to share.
We are a custom engineer to order manufacturer. We have ~10,000 parts in our part master, and 10x that that we've used on BOMs over the years as a part of "one-offs" that need to be purchased.
We're trying to do a few things by looking at our part system. First, clean-up the bad parts/duplicate parts. Second, create a system that allows for non-part masters to follow a system when it makes sense (which is often).
This system needs to make it easy to build a BOM with many styles of parts. It also needs to be easy for all non-engineering folk to understand and navigate the BOM.
Some examples of our ideas to generate discussion:
1. We've historically had a flat BOM, we're entertaining utilizing subassemblies to better categorize the BOM. These won't be true subassemblies, but rather methods of separating engineering and part types. For example, we'll have a mechanical section that will include steel, fasteners, and other material for the structure of our equipment. We'll have an electrical section to include breakers, relays, etc.. We'll have a cable section to include cable tray, cable, wire, etc.. None of these are true subassemblies, but it should make monitoring the accuracy of the BOM (both generating and kitting) easier and allow.
2. We're looking at utilizing intelligent part schemes with a system to populate even if they're not in the system. Many of our parts have many options that we could break into an intelligent scheme, so a person could select each attribute of the part and end up with a standard part - even if it's not in the system. I love the concept here, I'm struggling with how to implement such a system. For a simple example, elbows for piping have 6 attributes including things like radius, angle, & size. We would make each of these selectable, so a person who wanted an Elbow with a standard ridus, 90 degree angle and 2.5" diameter would enter EL-ST-90-2" for a part #. The downside is that the only way I can see this working is through a lot of dropdowns, and those drop downs & headers have to change when you move from elbows to cable to steel. The great side is for everyone involved in the process moving forward it's much easier. This example is simple, yet it has 480 combinations alone. As they grow in options the combinations grow into the thousands easily. To just populate every combination would balloon our part database to millions of parts most of which would never get used.
I'd love to hear any thoughts on what we're trying to do and lessons to be relayed so we don't have to learn the hard way.
Thanks in advance for getting through the long read and providing feedback.
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