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Multiple Part Number Schemes

Question asked by Jon Brunke on Jul 10, 2008
Latest reply on Jul 21, 2008 by Corey Hinman
Has anyone defined a PDMW Enterprise strategy for dealing with multiple (different) part number systems?

I have seven different independent Engineering groups world wide. Each has a different part number/revision scheme. After discussion and exploration with our vendor it appears our situation hasn't been directly addressed by SolidWorks INC.

The scenario:
Engineering group A creates a model and drawing with part number 281-0027, noun name Knob, revision A. We imbed that part in several of our product assembly models. The BOM's for the assemblies are exported from PDMWorks Enterprise and with some effort is transferred into our MRP system to initiate manufacture when/as required. Everything is good so far.

Six months later Engineering group B decides they want to use that part in their product line(s). Their MRP system isn't configured to accept our part number. So the same model (at least) has to have their part number applied. We know we can predefine additional data card fields to allow groups B, C, D etc to add their part numbers and revisions.

There are two (at least) inherent disadvantages with the "data card" solution.

In order to make the entries we (or they) have to "check out" my production part to add their part number. They can't add what I consider to be just meta-data. Now I have a new version of the part driving update notifications for a "non-geometry" change across many of my products. We would like to avoid the additional work.

We end up with numerous issues revolving around what to do with the revision coding. For instance if we do anything other than call the new version revision "A" (again) we will have to initiate a new revision change in our MRP system. Again we would like to avoid the extra work.

Undoubtedly someone will wonder or ask why we don't require everyone to adopt a standard numbering scheme. For many reasons that's just not possible. By way of explanation (not defense) our company has grown by acquisition of other companies. Each acquired company comes with decades of imbedded policy, procedure and software systems. It's never been deemed practical to force them to convert to our systems.

We purchased PDMW Enterprise because it's replication function met our need to share/re-use our CAD data. We don't think our part numbering situation is all that unusual and should have been accounted for within this procuct. After all PDMWorks Enterprise is an "Enterprise" solution.

Thanks in advance for suggestions.