When we think of Bills of Materials or BOMs, we may think of them as just a list or report of items that are required to produce a shippable product. The list is often created and manipulated as a static, text-based file containing data from multiple sources. Microsoft Excel is usually the tool of choice since it’s the lowest common denominator amongst all the different source systems and data silos.
Once all the data has been gathered by the unlucky soul responsible for trying to keep everything up to date, the data is either electronically imported into an ERP/MRP system or even keyed in manually. Yes, this is still going on today.
In addition, today’s products are increasing in complexity. Seemingly, simple products a few years ago are now more complex with electronics and smart technology, which means the BOM can have data coming from several different disciplines. Thus the different data sources and information silos mentioned above. Product complexity also makes it more difficult for stakeholders in the different disciplines to collaborate in a single environment with a single version of the truth. People are unable to access up to date information, and this leads to errors, rework, low-quality products and delivery delays.
So what if the static, disconnected Excel file could be transformed into a dynamic data source, connected to all stakeholders and containing a variety of intelligent objects and data points? Answer- it would provide a single version of the truth and transform the lonely Excel file into a true “Product Engineering Definition.”
The good news is that this is possible today with the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio of tools, which resides on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, a cloud-based business platform that enables people from different areas of an organization to participate in all phases of the product lifecycle. With just a few platform roles, a user can create and maintain a living Product Engineering Definition, any time and on any device.
One of the key roles for achieving this is “Product Release Engineer” with its “Engineering Release” app (shown below). This app allows the product engineering definition structure to be created without opening a CAD tool. Not to worry though, any engineering item added to the structure with Engineering Release is automatically added to the CAD structure. So when the CAD data is opened in the associated authoring tool like SOLIDWORKS, the structure is updated with the new items.
Once the product has been fully designed, verified and released, the complete product definition is easily sent to downstream systems via either automatic data exchange or a user-created, text-based file.
Are you ready to transform your Bills of Materials and improve productivity? All the platform apps needed for design and collaboration are available on the cloud with connectivity to your own CAD environment. This enables diverse computing environments, so multiple teams can work on a singular product definition in a concurrent, safe, and real-time product development ecosystem.
For more information on the Product Release Engineer role and the CAD Collaborative Designer roles for SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, DraftSight, and AutoCAD, click here. If you have more questions about the solutions in the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio or Collaborative Designer roles and would like to see a demo, please contact your local reseller