If your company is like many others, your organization has a multitude of technology tools that enable you to engage your customer, gather their specifications, design, and engineer a solution, plan, schedule, manufacture, warehouse, and ship your products out the door.
And unfortunately in many cases, few of these tools easily communicate with each other. I recall walking into many a customer’s offices and seeing at least two active screens on an engineer’s desk – one had SOLIDWORKS and the other had their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a spreadsheet, or some other application running. As changes to the design were made, the engineer duplicated the data from one application to another and then another. Obviously, we all know this process is prone to error.
Duplication of efforts and data entry issues aren’t limited to computer-aided design (CAD) data. Critical information generated in engineering, customer service and order processing, procurement, sales, production scheduling, inventory, quality, and other departments are often kept in siloes. It’s difficult to share data from where it was created and where it is ultimately needed: the manufacturing floor. This information consists of the following and much more:
- 2D Drawings & 3D models
- eBOMs (engineering bill of materials)
- Work instructions
- Machine programs and setup
- Tooling requirements
- Robotics and automation data
- Validation results
- Inspection data
- Technical publications
- , etc., etc….
While companies spend hours and hours just finding or duplicating this information, the pressure is on manufacturers to address real-world challenges from customers and competitors just to survive:
- Customer demands:
- New products
- Greater innovation
- Higher quality
- Shorter lead time
- Lower prices
- Manufacturing constraints:
- New product design takes time and talent.
- Innovative design takes longer.
- Machines and floor space are expensive.
- Hiring skilled labor is difficult at best.
- Raw materials and other costs keep rising.
These are real issues that require innovative and creative approaches to solve. This doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen if your highly experienced people, their ingenuity, and their experience are being squandered on redundant tasks that don’t add value to the organization or its objectives.
Additionally, the impact of errors and mistakes will not only damage efficiency and profitability but potentially cost the company customers.
Considering all of the disparate systems utilized in the “typical” manufacturing environment today, from those used in the front office to those on the manufacturing floor – not to mention the barriers that exist between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) – it’s no wonder that companies find it so difficult to digitally transform…but transform they must.
Seamlessly Connecting eBOMs with Manufacturing Systems
But what if you could seamlessly connect your engineering BOMs with your manufacturing execution system (MES) and ERP to eliminate the duplication of efforts and streamline your processes?
DELMIAWorks is a mainstream, mid-market ERP and MES solution built from the ground up in a single database environment. And this is unique in the industry. As a member of the DASSAULT SYSTEMES 3DExperience Works product portfolio, DELMIAWorks has multiple methods of connecting to SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS PDM data including:
- DELMIAWorks SOLIDWORKS Connector
- SOLIDWORKS Macros
- DELMIAWorks API
- SOLIDWORKS Solution Partners
Understanding the Difference Between an Engineering BOM and a Manufacturing BOM
Starting with the basics – the SOLIDWORKS bill of materials contains key information that can be the basis of a DELMIAWorks bill of manufacture, each known as a BOM.
There is a significant difference between a SOLIDWORKS BOM and a DELMIAWorks BOM. The SOLIDWORKS BOM contains critical information, including but not limited to, item number, part number, quantity, dimensions, cut lengths, and weight, materials.
The DELMIAWorks BOM includes all of that information but additionally contains every step and process required to convert raw materials into a finished good. Including material requirements and substitutions, required machines, work cells or lines, tooling, programming and setups, secondary operations, finishes (either in-house or out-sourced), assembly, packaging, and warehousing among others.
Fortunately, DELMIAWorks has predefined BOM templates and the ability to use the SOLIDWORKS BOM as a basis for populating a new DELMIAWorks BOM. This process not only saves significant time but also eliminates potential errors and downstream issues.
Another critical decision manufacturers must make is where to store all of the collateral information with each product or project. And once again, DELMIAWorks, SOLIDWORKS, and DASSAULT SYSTEMES offer robust options.
If document vaulting is best at the DELMIAWorks level, it has the ability to connect SOLIDWORKS PDM to DELMIAWorks’ Doc Control system. These documents then become available throughout the organization to everyone who needs access with full track and trace to support regulatory and compliance reporting requirements for highly regulated industries.
DELMIAWorks is the first ERP offering from DASSAULT SYSTEMES. It was developed for the manufacturing floor up – as a single database solution seamlessly connecting the manufacturing floor with the ERP system. In fact, DELMIAWorks has been providing real-time manufacturing visibility for over 30 years by gathering real-time manufacturing data from the manufacturing floor via wired and wireless networking, programming logic controllers (PLCs), open platforms communications (OPC) servers, and more.
Using the SOLIDWORKS BOM as a starting point for a DELMIAWorks BOM is a logical step for users to take, and there are multiple options available to make the connection to seamlessly connect eBOMs with Your Manufacturing EPR System. Likewise, there are avenues for sharing critical documents created in various departments with DELMIAWorks to provide access, visibility, management, and oversight for highly regulated industries.