The Ideal BOM
As a follow up to the BOM in Excel article, what would constitute a perfect system for managing Bills of Material (BOM) in a PLM system?
Let’s divide the capabilities of this ideal system into three categories; mandatory, essential and nice-to-have.
For the sake of definition, a Part is an end item in a BOM structure, and an assembly is a collection of Parts arranged in a BOM structure. Also, this discussion is restricted to eBOM; other types of BOM’s is a much larger topic.
- Manage Parts making up the BOM
- Manage Part Attributes such as Date Created, Owner, Make/Buy etc.
- Manage Documents or Files associated with the Part (CAD, Drawings, Specs etc.)
- Manage BOM structures of Parts, with indent capability
- Handle version and revision levels for all Parts
- Handle version and revision levels for all Assemblies
- Allow for search capability on Parts and Assemblies
- Enable reuse of existing Parts in new Assemblies
- Facilitate comparison of current BOM structures
- Allow for “where used” enquiries or reports
- BOM structure export to facilitate external system integration
- Collapse / expand indented levels
- One BOM for all – accessible by all users
- Manage lifecycle of BOM (In design, Released, In Production, etc.)
- Distinguish between various types of Parts in Assemblies (Designed, Bought, Complete, In Work, Customer etc.)
- Allow for comparison between various versions and revisions of BOM
- Enable BOM view based on release date and different release configuration
- Duplicate BOM (Save As) allowing for alterations and edits during the process
- BOM templates for generic products
- Allow for BOM variants and configurations
- Based on configuration rules, resolve to exact BOM
- BOM costing (roll up)
- Launch BOM selections into Digital Mockup session
- Enable clash and interference analysis
Nice to Have
- Pictorial BOM
- Search in BOMs
- Part Classification to facilitate reuse
- BOM weight roll up
- Link BOM to Requirements
- Allow for BOM visualization
- Specific views dependent on user or context
Obviously, each of these requirements is a complete topic in of itself. Also, additional requirements may exist.