43 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2016 10:10 AM by Gary Lucas

    Subassembly should not expand in a BOM

    Gary Lucas

      This seems like a question so obvious that it is dumb, but I sure don't know the answer.  We have a part that is is an assembly of pieces that get made in our shop.  It goes into a subassembly along with other parts also made this way.  When we create a subassembly or drawing with a BOM that contains this part the BOM should NEVER list the pieces used to create that part, only a single item referring to the whole part!  The  BOM to make the part is on shop drawing used to make the part. This should be obvious and easy to do, because in the real world this is how stuff actually gets made.

       

      Now as a former SolidEdge user for about 8 years I will tell you that I there was no specific mechanism for this purpose there as well!  After about 3 years of searching for a solution we found a reasonably bulletproof cheat.  We simply marked the assembly as a weldment, even though no welding was involved.  So the assembly was was then treated as a single solid part for the purposes of BOMs.  I tried this do this same kind of thing in SW but weldments work differently and this simple cheat doesn't do it.  So how all you people that actually build stuff do this?  If you tell me that you mark the subassembly in the BOM not to expand I am going to call foul, that means you have to do it every time you create a BOM, and this is an attribute of the assembly that should stay with it.  If you do this by creating a part from the assembly and using that instead I call foul on that too, because the part can go out of date with relation to the assembly unless there is a further mechanism to deal with that.

       

      So please point out the obvious I am missing here.

      Thanks

        • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
          Jaja Jojo

          Will if i got your question correct then,

           

          when creating BOM from assembly with sub assembly, and you want that the sub assembly will show as a single parts then choose Top Level Only

          Or another way is to create a part then insert all the parts that comprises the sub assembly in that way you made an assembly inside of a part and use this in your assembly in replace in your sub assemblies

          • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
            Gary Lucas

            Neither of these two answers are acceptable as they create far too much additional work. If I mark the BOM as Top Level Only then assemblies that I do want to expand do not.  This means the BOM will miss parts that are in subbassemblies that we did want to expand unless the person doing the drawing has an intimate knowledge of the assembly. An example is we use automatic valves that require electrical connector, two flange clamps and two gaskets for every valve installed, and there are lots of them.  On the drawing containing that subassembly those parts should be shown. However the subassembly for the part that we fabricate should not expand in the same drawing.  So the action to expand a subassembly should be under control of the engineer designing the subassembly, not the detailer doing the shop drawings.  In SolidEdge welding was an attribute of an assembly which allowed us to do this.

             

            We are a very small startup company with a new fairly complex product.  However we already have SolidWorks BOMs linked to our material ordering program called AllOrders via export of a SoldidWorks BOM in Excel format, where a custom macro rolls up all materials like lengths of steel, pipe, and wire to generate Pick Lists and Purchase Orders automatically.  Those subassemblies that we don't expand automatically generate Work Orders for the shop instead of Purchase Orders directly.  I did this at my last job with Solid Edge and the labor savings and reduction in errors on getting materials was huge. So if we can't find a good way to do this it pretty much breaks our whole system.

              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                John Stoltzfus

                Since my first response wasn't acceptable I deleted it,  .....

                 

                It sounds like you have a fairly large process in mind and once it's done there's nothing else to do, awesome...  The one thing I want to point out - SolidWorks - Excel Automatic updates??, say you make a change in the main assembly or any of the sub-assemblies, are you saying this will automatically update the excel spreadsheet???

                  • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                    Gary Lucas

                    John,

                    Our systems are build to order. So we do a Pack&Go on the master model for each job, such that all unique parts and assemblies are moved to a job folder. This ensures we have a permanent record of what got built for every job so we can properly support the customer over the life of the product, typically 20 years or more.  So the export process via Excel gets done for every job.  This might seem like extra work itself.  However this gets the shop a pick list by subassembly to pull parts from inventory, mostly hardware purchased in bulk, and kit up in totes for the assembly operation.  Then the pick list is used to revise the POs so we only order what is needed. Then all the material orders get rolled up to a single PO for the job to each vendor. The version of the PO that goes to the shop to recieve against lists all the material orders filled by this PO, allowing material to be put into the totes directly by subassembly without passing through an inventory step. The AllOrders program automates most of this and tracks everything that gets ordered in a way that keeps everyone well aware of what is going on.

                     

                    Our shop is physically small.  Once we start a build it has to complete and ship, or other jobs will be delayed.  So we have elevated the acquiring of all the materials to the highest level of importance. The point of all this is that the closer you get to the delivery date the more valuable a single part of any size becomes, until you will willingly send someone the drive for a couple of hours  to obtain the one 15 cent piece needed to deliver on time.  So this makes be absolutely certain we don't miss a part because of SolidWorks very important to the whole process.

                      • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                        John Stoltzfus

                        Thanks for the explanation - SolidWorks has the tools to do what you want and what you need, did you get with your VAR and have them physically see what you're doing. 

                         

                        First I would categorize the Custom Properties at the parts level stating purchased part, preferred Vendor, manufactured part etc., and I would use Custom Property Tab Builder to control that information.  One of the great things in using SolidWorks is the Custom Properties and everything you can do with those custom properties...

                         

                        Once all that information is in the part and the assemblies, then I would create a BOM (All BOM), template which has all the custom properties listed, then I would insert the main assembly (only) in a drawing and add the "All BOM" as an indented BOM and save that out as an excel file, in the Excel file trim the extra spaces by using the trim command (=trim A2) etc...  That way it doesn't matter how the drawing BOM's are set up and how much the Draftsmen need to know about the project. 

                  • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                    Fred Zobel

                    Gary,

                     

                    In the sub-assembly, go to the Configuration tab, right click on the configuration and select "Properties...".  In the Bill of Materials Options section change "Child component display when used as a subassembly:" to "Hide".  This will hide the child components.

                     

                    Best regards,
                    Fred

                    • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                      Jim Steinmeyer

                      Gary,

                      I have been messing with BOMs lately and it has been suggested i look into the "Promote" feature. It looks like this might be what you are looking for.

                       

                      Capture1.PNG

                        • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                          Jim Steinmeyer

                          Gary,

                          I think this screen shot to the help area might be more beneficial.

                           

                          Capture1.PNG

                            • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                              Fred Zobel

                              Jim,

                               

                              I believe using promote will make his BOM show ALL of the components of the sub-assembly which is what he's trying to get them not to do...  I would recommend he use the hide option (above promote) so his child components do not appear, that way he can just call out his assembly on his BOM.

                               

                              --Fred

                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                  Jim Steinmeyer

                                  Fred,

                                  After I have been spending some time playing with the promote and hied features this afternoon to get a handle on how they work and I think you are right. As I said, I don't have much background with this but it seems that these options do what is wanted. Use the hide for subassemblies that you don't want to see the children of, use promote for subassemblies you do want to see the children of, use hide for the subassemblies of subassemblies that you don't want to see the children of.....

                                  And then what if you want to see the children of a subassembly in one drawing but not in another? I suppose you handle that with configurations. I think I am going home now. this sounds to complicated to me.

                                    • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                      John Stoltzfus

                                      The only issue with promoting and hiding - not a good idea for interchangeable components.....

                                        • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                          Jim Steinmeyer

                                          That is what I began to wonder about as I was looking over the information. I guess sometime I will have to become more proficient with Property Tab Builder. However we already have a very large number of items in the system that would need updated to contain the new properties.

                                            • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                              Gary Lucas

                                              Jim,

                                              Been there! When I discovered the Solid Edge hack of making assembled parts a weldment I bit the bullet and went through our entire library of assemblies, a couple thousand and made the change.  It took a lot of effort but for us at that time the time savings and the reduction in mistakes was well worth it.  This time I got to start the library from scratch, so I have been really careful how it was built.  We only have 3 products right now that need fixing so not such a big job this time.  I actually asked this question on the forum about 3 years ago but at that time no one suggested this method.

                                              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                John Stoltzfus

                                                Only my two cents -

                                                 

                                                Every Custom Property should be at the part or assembly level period.  If you input custom properties of a part in a drawing only, it stays with the drawing and the next time you use that same part or sub-assembly you need to input that information again. Setup your drawing to read those custom properties from the part or assembly.   One of the strongest areas of SolidWorks is Custom Properties, (not modeling, there are better modeling tools for a price),  and the tools that are there to maintain those properties, number one is Custom Property Tab Builder and number two is Task Scheduler.  I for one used SW for many years before I could grasp or realize the value of the Custom Property information, now you wouldn't find me without it.

                                                  • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                    Jim Steinmeyer

                                                    Thank you John,

                                                    I have never been anywhere where task scheduler is used so I will need to look into that. I agree on the placement of custom properties. I even like to see the revisions with the part rather than the drawing, even if the revision is only to update a drawing format, because most of the revisions deal with changes to the part or assembly. I have always just added properties by hand or with the template when the part is created. Since setting up the template is usually an Admin function I have never attempted to learn it. Here we admin by committee so I have been working with updated templates lately. I will have to start learning more.

                                          • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                            John Stoltzfus

                                            The BOM options are good - but again it's the "Hand pick" inputs that I would be worried about, leaves room for human error.  If every detail is in the part/assembly level within the Custom Property there is no question, you just pull the correct BOM...

                                             

                                            Everyone to his own

                                              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                Gary Lucas

                                                John,

                                                Yes the hand pick is the concern. I am trying to separate the task of producing shop drawings and import of subassemblies from the task of engineering.  So the engineer decides as part of the design process that this subassembly doesn't get expanded because we assemble it outside the process of actually building a product.  We can then turn the task of doing the actual drawings for the shop over to a detailer that is proficient in SolidWorks but doesn't have intimate knowledge of the product design.  Engineering, that would be me and my young graduate assistant, are currently overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to get done. Everyone says 'delegate', but that implies there is someone with the skills that you can actually delegate the work to!

                                                  • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                    John Stoltzfus

                                                    The next question I would have is - How do you handle interchangeable parts/assemblies, do you pack and go those as well?   Are you using PDM? 

                                                     

                                                    I know the amount of information can be over bearing when it comes to setting something up, however most of the custom property information is pertinent to that particular job and 90% of that information can be captured using Custom Property Tab Builder, which would be Custom Name, All Dates, Drawn - Ordered - Approved etc.., Part Number and all Project Info, there would be limited amount of part specific information, roughly 10% and that would include, Part Description - Raw Material - Part Size - Purchased - Manufactured - Vendor - Vendor Part Number if applicable.............. etc 

                                                      • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                        Gary Lucas

                                                        John,

                                                        All purchased parts and all parts common to more than one product reside in our library, we are not using PDM at the moment. All parts and all assemblies unique to a product or job have a prefix added to the name of the part and reside in the master product or job folder.  So the product currently being built is an MBR (Membrane BioReactor) system. Hence the master model has every unique part prefixed as MBR, Part Name. This allows us to use Pack&Go to copy all assemblies or parts starting with MBR to a job folder, and at the same time change the Prefix to the Job Number, which is MM1530 at the moment.  Thus every part in the customers folder has a unique name.  I like the fact that SW allows me to copy the drawings at the same time, Solid Edge did not have this capability when I last used it, so the copying drawings was an additional step that was lots of work.

                                                         

                                                        We actually only have one important field in SolidWorks parts and assemblies.  That is our part number, which drives our whole system.  We do of course have the manufacturer, and manufacturer part# so the shop knows what the part is. However no vendor or cost data is included.  Our part# is the 'glue' that drives our whole system.  Our Excel import macro uses the part number to rollup the parts quantities of parts with the same part#.  This would be lengths of pipe, or steel, which all have a length custom property.  There might be 30 short pieces of pipe the same diameter and material in the model, but only one item with the total quantity gets imported to AllOrders.  So the import to AllOrders is only our part # and a quantity.  For all other data the master location of that data is in AllOrders.

                                                         

                                                        In setting up our system I first created a part numbering scheme and I created the bulk of the parts I needed in our library, then had my young intern (now our junior engineer) do the grunt work of getting all the data for every part into both AllOrders and SolidWorks.  He did around 4000 parts to start!  I learned in my previous job that no one will use a system like this if they find 80% of the parts they need are not yet in the system.  It would bring their work to a halt and the boss would give them the okay to not participate.  So I have headed this off both times by making sure that the number of parts that you don't have in the system at introduction is very low, maybe 20 or 30 out of the typical 500 to 800 part assembly. Since we all share both AllOrders and SolidWorks the number diminished rapidly as everyone's contribution whittled the number down.

                                                  • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                    Craig Pretty

                                                    Thanks very much for brining this up.  It is almost hidden functionality that will really help with how we document our designs.

                                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                  Gary Lucas

                                                  For those that might be interested in what we are doing I thought I'd mention one more thing we are doing.  Over the years I have found it extremely difficult to capture the labor that goes into building a product.  Materials with any 3D modeler are pretty good at capturing all the materials costs.  When we import the SW BOMs in AllOrders we just run a report on the job number and it gives us the current material cost in a few seconds.  Labor though is very different and very difficult for small companies, especially if you don't build a large volume of anything.

                                                   

                                                  At my last job the shop manager tried to make it look like everyone was always busy.  Consequently if a job was in the shop it would be magicly accumulating labor costs the whole time it was there! In the book The Goal there is an interesting concept that if everyone is actually busy then some of the jobs or products will be delivered late, simply because you have no way to adjust for anything that interrupts the schedule.  However an accurate accounting of labor costs is very important. The best results I have ever gotten was about 30 years ago where the shop foreman used an old typewriter to type written work instructions right on a time card for every part, and every assembly we made.  When the part was done the cards got turned in and the cost calculated and entered into the spreadsheet we used for costing.

                                                   

                                                  So how can one be sure that the labor is getting accurately reported?  We are trying something new here.  In addition to materials we have created part numbers and virtual parts for the labor items in both AllOrders and SW.  For every part and every assembly there is a SW drawing.  So we created a custom Title block with a time keeping area, in and out, along the right edge.  The people working on that part or assembly simply punch in and out on the time clock in the shop.  We located the clock right near the middle so you are not traveling to punch in or out.  The engineer designing the part or assembly adds on the labor parts and minutes he thinks it will take to make the part or assembly.  This shows up in the BOM right on the drawing.  The top level BOM gives us his total time estimate.  The drawings always get returned to engineering so that as-built drawings can be updated.  So right there, on one sheet in red for markups, and blue from the time clock are all the changes or revisions needed, and actual labor used as well as the estimate.  Edit the model for the physical changes and while you are there update the labor requirement too.  We now know how long the job took right from the top level BOM and an import of the top level BOM to AllOrders will generate a cost of the entire product including labor.

                                                   

                                                  Comments, suggestions, laughter?

                                                    • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                      John Stoltzfus

                                                      That's a great system -

                                                       

                                                      Do you use multiple sheet drawings?? 

                                                        • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                          Gary Lucas

                                                          John,

                                                          Yes we do use multiple sheets and we have standardized on just one sheet size, 11x17.  That's big enough to show what we need in sufficient detail, not so big it is hard to handle, folds in half to fit in a folder, and doesn't require a plotter so our color laser spits them out really quickly.  We are doing multiple sheets in one file for an assembly and all the related parts that go in the assembly. If the drawings are for parts that have our standard part number not a job part number we also print PDFs and link them in AllOrders.  That way engineering is out of the loop for drawings needed by the shop or purchasing.  Of course engineering needs to keep those drawings current!

                                                           

                                                          One of the advantages of starting from scratch here is that everything I've always wanted to do but couldn't because of legacy systems already in place are not a problem!  I just need to avoid inventing whole new problems.

                                                            • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                              John Stoltzfus

                                                              Awesome - Multiple drawing sheets per project is the way to go.  I have a macro written by Leon Wurr  (see attached), that doesn't count the Cover sheets, this was huge for our system, as we do save out individual PDF's after the project is released so it's important that the SHEET 1 of 20 is numbered correctly and only numbers the actual drawing sheets and none of the cover sheets etc..

                                                               

                                                              With that macro you could easily develop a Cover Work Order Sheet and a Time sheet all within the same file....

                                                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                  Gary Lucas

                                                                  John,

                                                                  I can see that macro as being very useful.  However making a separate sheet for timekeeping would break my whole system.  Years ago I took over an electrical contracting business from my dad.  He had timesheets and material sheets custom printed at a cost of about 1/2 cent each.  I kept discovering the timesheets and material sheets misfiled while billing jobs.  Also, unless I took a lot of effort to connect the materials with the timesheets I could never be really sure the guys were actually capturing what was used.  So I went to a new triplicate timesheet with the material list right on the same sheet that cost 10 cents a copy.  One copy to the customer, one to pay the employee, one to bill from.  Almost immediately a guy turned in a very detailed timesheet with all the materials listed.  Of course from the description I could tell he had installed a transformer worth $1200 and it wasn't included on the material list!  That one sheet paid for all the timesheet costs for a year!  Hence my desire to keep time right on the drawing.

                                                            • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                              Jim Steinmeyer

                                                              Gary,

                                                              This sounds like a great idea. My question with this would be: how does the engineer come up with an accurate idea of the amount of time to create a part as we are kept in a dark hole and not on the floor with the guys doing the job. I would assume discussions with the shop foreman or the guys doing the work would be the key. I would be inclined to leave a blank and have them fill it in kind of like your foreman years ago.

                                                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                  Gary Lucas

                                                                  Jim,

                                                                  So how does one train an engineer to estimate the cost of a product without real feedback?  So I am asking the engineer to think about how the product gets made as he designs it, and give us that estimate.  Now he gets the drawing back with the real labor numbers and suddenly realizes he was way off.  Time to go down to the shop floor and get educated.

                                                                   

                                                                  I am not a 'real' engineer, because I never finished college. I am chief engineer here, and this morning I was out in the shop welding on a couple of shop machines I designed.  At my previous job I told another engineer a part he designed was going to need to be fixtured 6 times and would be very expensive to make.  He said "Oh no they just do it in a CNC machine."  I asked who was quoting the part.  When he told me I said that I had been in their shop and was very familiar with the CNC machines they had.  In fact at my previous job I both ran and programmed those same machines for almost a year! Yes the quote came back at about 5 times what we ultimately got them done for.

                                                                   

                                                                  So training our engineering department, just two of us right now, is a big part of what we are trying to accomplish.

                                                                    • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                      Jim Steinmeyer

                                                                      I agree that the only way an engineer really knows what is going on in the shop is to be there. I prefer to be on a first name basis with the guys on the floor and "get my hands dirty" when ever they let me. On the other hand I have tasks of my own to accomplish and, beyond having an understanding of how something is going to be done going through the shop, I can't get it done while I am out there. It does lead to some late unpaid nights. What gets even more time consuming is when I have been asked to place the shop routing on the print and the line foreman decides to reorganize how things are done 3 or 4 times. I have to go back and "fix" the drawing each time it is changed. This also adds rapidly to the revision table taking up space on the drawing that may be needed for defining the assembly better.

                                                                           Yes, the engineer needs to be in contact with the shop personnel and understand how his designs effect them. At the same time I prefer to let the shop foreman run his shop. It helps avoid the issue of the shop saying "I know the print tells us to do things like this but we do it this way instead." At my last job I often wondered why we even made prints because if the shop even looked at the prints they ignored most of them.

                                                                        • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                          Jim Steinmeyer

                                                                          Oh, and Gary, I have worked with those "real" engineers who insist that if the shop can't make something to print there must be something wrong with the shop guys because it works on his computer. Ya right.

                                                                            • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                              Gary Lucas

                                                                              Jim,

                                                                              At my last job we had an engineer that I swear took it as a personal challenge to baffle and confuse the guys in the shop!  He would dimension things in a way that forced them to demonstrate their math skills.  A single drawing with hundreds of balloons and dozens of dimensions so crowded you could hardly pick out the parts.

                                                                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                  Jim Steinmeyer

                                                                                  Those kind of guys give the rest of us a bad name. The information should be clear and easily found. While it usually is best to not make the shop do math, I don't like the concept that we must do all the thinking for them assuming that they can't. I know that when I worked on the floor I wanted to use my mind as well. I wanted to feel that I was more than a cheap robot. Now that can leave room for a lack of consistency in the products but there is need for room to keep their minds engaged.

                                                                                    • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                      Gary Lucas

                                                                                      Jim,

                                                                                      When I say forcing the shop to do the math I am talking about simply putting USEFUL dimensions on the drawings. If you give the shop a bunch of dimensions that must be added and subtracted to get a dimension they can actually measure then the chance for misinterpretation and error goes way up.  SW does the work of calculating the dimensions, the engineer only needs to be sharp enough to recognize which dimensions are actually useful.  I'll give you an example. 

                                                                                       

                                                                                      A dimension from the centerline of a pipe to a frame edge.  I was an electrician once, so I worked with pipe a lot.  In my whole career I have never seen a pipe with a centerline, just a big empty hole. I've also never seen a pipe with round number dimensions like 1" 2" 3", instead we are talking 1.05", 2.375", and 3.5".  So the side of the pipe you can actually measure to must be located by subtracting the radius of the pipe from the centerline measurement.  Yet the engineer could have easily chosen the edge not the centerline.  Of course if you are talking plumbing pipe fittings where all dimensions are center to center for standard fittings you might need to do that as well. However electricians have never used center to center dimensions, always edge to edge which we could measure. In our shop we work mostly with plastic pipe.  The plastic pipe fitting manufacturers rewrote the book on fitting dimensions too.  So an elbow from one company is often different dimensions than from another.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      If we are all supposed to be on the same team it might help to understand one another's reality.

                                                                              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                Gary Lucas

                                                                                Jim,

                                                                                We are not expecting the engineer to control or direct the shop. Putting routing information on the drawings is just crazy in my mind.  The reason for putting the labor operations on the drawing is to essentially show the shop what the engineer thinks it will take to get the job done, and then allow the shop to correct any misconceptions or time estimates.

                                                                          • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                            Gary Lucas

                                                                            I haven't been on the forum in a while.  Still trying to drain the swamp, the alligators aren't responding to my emails.  I thought I'd add an update to this thread.

                                                                             

                                                                            I last mentioned the idea I had for collecting labor data.  So far it has failed because in our environment as a startup with a new product that where we are trying to create our systems and deliver the first production version at the same time, no one including me is doing anything in an organized fashion. Hoping this changes as we do the next two jobs that are getting ready to go.

                                                                             

                                                                            Getting the materials for this job was a real eye opener to everyone about how difficult a task that is.  Worse was people that don't understand, and trying to help.  Materials were piling up at the receiving door waiting for someone to put them in their proper place.  So an office manager decided to do the job along with our bookkeeper.  They carefully checked in the parts against the POs and placed them in the sub-assembly bins.  However the PO only listed the first bin that material was needed, not all the bins that needed the material. So most of the bins were missing parts that were actually received but in some other bin!  It got much worse, because the people doing the receiving were not the people creating the orders. They also had no actual knowledge of what the parts were.  So when the wrong parts were received, by vendor error, wrong description, wrong vendor part number, wrong manufacturer part number, the problem was not identified. It was going to show up at the worst possible time, when assembly begins and everything halts because the parts are wrong. You've now lost the time to reorder too.

                                                                             

                                                                            My young engineer saw what was going on when someone asked him a question about a part that was clearly wrong. He stepped up to the plate and went through every bin, about 50, and spread the parts around to the correct bins, identified the wrong parts and placed orders for the missing or wrong parts.  A valuable experience for him too.  It also reinforced the other stuff I have been working on.

                                                                             

                                                                            For this first job I created an Excel file of all the subassemblies and using a mail merge to Word printed bin labels.  Wholly crap, Word really sucks for mail merge! Some sub-assemblies were large too.  They needed multiple bins, and in some cases a pallet load of parts, or long materials that must be racked.  So we put in an order with the vendor of AllOrders BOM program we use for a custom label printing program.  So now we filter on job number and print labels for every bin needed for the job in one quick pass.  We are actually using an Avery name tag label for this.  It is a plastic material with removable adhesive, fits the flat area on our bins and peels right off when the sub-assembly is finished. When we need multiple labels for a single assembly it is easy to print more too.

                                                                             

                                                                            We also needed something better than the PO for receiving.  With the vendors help I was able to create a Receiver report, a variation on the PO itself.  On this report, by PO, every item that goes goes in multiple sub-assemblies is listed multiple times with the quantity required, once for each sub-assembly.  So when the pallet load of material comes in from the pipe supplier, or from McMaster Carr with a hundred different parts, the pallet gets placed right in the Work In Process area.  All the materials can then go directly into the sub-assembly bins in a single step. This is YUGE! as they say.

                                                                             

                                                                            Why does trouble come in a fifty pound bag, while progress is sold like gold by the ounce?

                                                                              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                Jim Steinmeyer

                                                                                Because if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

                                                                                I know we tend to overuse technology and think it can solve more than it actually can but this looks like a place where your receiving staff could use a computer monitor or some tablets. The engineer could have drawings that specify the ordered parts, which I would assume he has. Those drawings could be saved as PDFs or the tablets could have e-drawings so the incoming parts could be matched to the drawing specs.

                                                                                I also know a good MRP could help the receiving staff know where the incoming parts are needed, but I can't recommend one as it has been so long since I worked at a company that actually had and used one. It does sound like once the problems were found your vendors have stepped up and been helpful which is a very good thing.

                                                                              • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                Gary Lucas

                                                                                Jim,

                                                                                Sometimes paper is an appropriate tool. The report and labels are coming out of AllOrders which is an MRP.  This is my second time around with it.  Not perfect by any means but has proven to be so valuable that it was an easy decision to use it again.

                                                                                The parts that are wrong are not the ones greatly detailed on drawings. They are typical purchased parts which actually have a very detailed description and a manufacturers part number. Our part description practice is that you should be able to order that part again without going to a catalog to see if it is appropriate.  We work with waste water.  So parts that come in contact with the waste water must have all wetted materials identified in the description.  So a valve might have as part of its description Polypropylene, Teflon, 316 SS.  If any of those materials are incompatible you need to go further than just ordering this part.  However you actually have to have some real experience to recognize that the electric valve you are holding in your hand is actually 2", is actually Full Port, and is a Regulating not Open-Closed type, and that the part number is missing one digit that specifies that!

                                                                                 

                                                                                For the short haul I have directed that parts get received by the person who initiated the order.  That person should be able to immediately determine if what they got was what they wanted, and hopefully leave time to get the right one before it affects the delivery schedule.  They don't actually have to put it away, just identify it is correct.  Once the shop personnel are familiar with the product and the parts involved we can move on to having them do it.

                                                                                • Re: Subassembly should not expand in a BOM
                                                                                  Andy Sanders

                                                                                  Fred Zobel is correct.  We do it this way all the time.