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Work in Context to Avoid BOM Information Overload

Two dueling pressures face manufacturers today:

  1. The growing demand to bring their products to market faster.
  2. The need to differentiate from the competition through the delivery of complex multi-domain functionality.

You’re making more complex products, which include mechanical, electrical, electronic, and software systems.

When each domain manages release independently, you may be left with islands of disconnected data that must be aggregated through time-consuming reconciliation.

Avoid BOM Information Overload

Instead, modern BOM solutions connect these engineering domains within an integrated product definition. This maximizes efficiency by making it easier to manage change and configuration. It also provides a “single source of truth” product definition for downstream manufacturing and service disciplines.

Aligning all relevant data to a comprehensive engineering bill of materials sounds great on the surface, but what about the experience of the user?

View the BOM in Domain Context

How do your users, who are now bombarded with information, get their jobs done effectively and efficiently?

For every product, you have to manage massive amounts of data.

Typically, only a fraction of that data is relevant for a particular task. Consider the example of a rocket launch vehicle for sending a satellite into space. Critical to the success of this product is keeping mechanical and electrical components in synch – working together correctly.

However, your mechanical engineers have no need to see all the intricacies of the electronic and software components. Having them wade through information that is not pertinent to their task wastes precious time.

The ideal product lifecycle management (PLM) system would allow every user to work in context with their own BOM view. At a basic level, the system should seamlessly enable the integrated product definition to be leveraged by all stakeholders. This allows groups to organize and capture information that is relevant to their domain without affecting the other. The solution should not involve duplication of data to support different teams.

Duplication requires a lot of synchronization and leads to costly mistakes due to out-of-date information. Your PLM backbone needs to keep all pieces of the integrated product definition in synch as parallel evolution of the product takes place.

Refine Your BOM Context with Ad Hoc Views

The solution can’t stop with only domain-specific work in context. For many products, even that would still result in massive amounts of data. Consider again the rocket launch vehicle for sending a satellite into space.

An engineer doesn’t really need a model of the entire rocket and payload. They are most likely focusing on one particular component or subsystem, say, an infrared camera. Ad hoc views can help define the data needed on the fly to accomplish the task at hand.

Ad hoc views allow quick search and filtering across massive amounts of data. This way, you only gather the requirements needed to fulfill a particular task. With this context, the data is more easily understandable and more useful.

Your PLM solution must provide the ability to create and manage data focused on specific tasks, but always in the context of the entire product.

This approach allows individuals and teams to create and work more efficiently on their specific assignments. Also, it greatly facilitates their management of in-context and relevant technical knowledge.

This approach enables multiple teams in all departments and operations to work in parallel to reduce cycle times while maintaining strict compliance to all regulations.

“Give Me Only What I Need”

As products get more complex, the amount of data you must wade through multiplies. You need to enable teams and individuals to work in context.

Learn more about Discovery and Context Management in Teamcenter

Ad hoc views empower users by giving them only what they need to get their task done. With this capability, you can increase productivity, reduce errors and ultimately get to market faster.

Only a PLM system with flexible work-in-context capabilities can deliver these results.

Teamcenter enables teams and individuals to find the information they need and work with the data in a meaningful way to them. You have the flexibility to work in the context of your products – in pre-defined BOM views specific to your domain, by defining your context on the fly, or through access to your own personal role-based workspaces.

Learn more about Discovery and Context Management in Teamcenter.

Disclaimer: I am the author at PLM ECOSYSTEM, focusing on developing digital-thread platforms with capabilities across CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, ERP, and IT systems to manage the product data lifecycle and connect various industry networks. My opinions may be biased. Articles and thoughts on PLMES represent solely the author's views and not necessarily those of the company. Reviews and mentions do not imply endorsement or recommendations for purchase.

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