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Assembly structure and BOMs for different uses

Question asked by Andrew Geary on Nov 1, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2018 by Ruben Balderrama

I'm an engineer at a small company that does design and manufacture of optical instruments. I generate BOMs for our products using Solidworks and then hand those off to both Purcahsing/inventory management and to Production so they can pick the correct parts for assembly. A problem I find myself frequently running into is that the needs of Engineering, Purchasing, and Production are often different and conflicting when it comes to BOM's, part numbering, and assembly structure. For example, a design I'm currently working on has a folded sheet metal case that houses an instrument, I treat all of the parts that make up the case as a subassembly and have an assembly drawing that contains all of the information necessary to manufacture the case. This works well for purchasing, when we run low on cases they know to order more of that specific assembly number and have a complete drawing package to send out for bid. However for our internal production this is not ideal, when we receive the cases they are taken apart and one of the parts gets a partial wiring harness installed along with a few other components. From here on manufacturing shelves this new "subassembly" for which no part number or BOM exists, the only documentation that shows it is the work instruction, which makes managing inventory a pain. I would like to be able to generate assembly drawings and BOMs for production that reflect the actual assembly order and can be used to supplement our work instructions while also maintaining an assembly structure that makes sense from a design perspective and for purchasing without having to maintain 2 or 3 separate sets of documentation that must be updated individually every time a design change is made. I would appreciate any input or suggestions you may have about my specific problem or on how you have solved similar documentation conflicts in your organization.