Hi—It’s Karin from EXALEAD again! This post is the final installment of a three-part series about product parts management that we call “Reveal, Reuse, Reduce”.
As we saw in Part 2, EXALEAD OnePart helps companies optimize the reuse of components and parts, avoiding creating duplicate parts at the front end; this contributes to efforts to halt the propagation of unnecessary processes and costs throughout the enterprise. OnePart can also be leveraged to tag and root out existing duplicates. While conducting the search, the user may come across two or more parts that are pretty much the same. With access to all related metadata, the determination of which part to keep and modify or reuse, and which obsolete parts, and their attendant costs, to rework or recycle over time, is more obvious. Let’s see how this process can be automated.
Going One Step Further
Clearly, when a company’s part numbers are in the thousands or the millions, or when faced with a merger or acquisition that will multiply the number of parts, finding and winnowing down duplicate parts can be an overwhelming proposition. The power of EXALEAD OnePart simplifies the task by grouping and recategorizing parts, at which time the decision to reuse, modify, or eliminate can be rapidly made.
OnePart introduces a new way to work, focused on defining the existing stock of parts according to their metadata and shape. It does not come with pre-defined groupings; the company chooses how to categorize its parts and OnePart adapts in consequence. These unlimited categories are then entered into the PDM and ERP systems so that parts can be better managed in the future, saving time and money.
How does it work?
- First, quality and method engineers define the kinds of “universes” that exist within the company’s legacy parts. For example, a part that has been created in copper and purchased externally could make up one universe. The parts that meet these criteria are found by using OnePart’s metadata search capabilities.
- Next, the universes are segmented into clusters according to their shape. As an example, a cluster could represent all of the clamps of the same size. The engineer wants to reduce the 20×20-sized clamp cluster first, because it represents the most expensive inventory (according to unit price x quantity in stock).
- The cluster displays all of its parts. Those listed first are those that are recommended to be the master, based on the rules defined by the Engineering, Manufacturing, and/or Procurement departments. As an example, masters could be those parts with the most recent (less than six months) and active history in the ERP system with REACH Directive approval.
- When all the parts in the cluster are determined to be either the master, alternate, or obsolete, then the result is massively propagated into OnePart and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. A workflow of acceptance can be used to propagate into the stock through the ERP.
Because the parts catalog is narrowed down, engineers and designers have more time available to be more creative than they would by simply creating (or recreating) required parts. And the discovery of a broad selection of existing possibilities can lead to further creativity and innovation.
A New Paradigm to Directly Optimize Working Capital
A less obvious beneficiary of reducing duplicate parts is the Purchasing department. Purchasing personnel are able to search the ERP and associate its contents with documentation found in other systems. They can go one step further and benefit from the results of using OnePart to pare down duplicate parts. This simplifies the system and the responsibilities of the Procurement team, as they can better negotiate with vendors based on volume. Reducing the number of parts in progress is an expenditure analysis application for the financial controller that directly impacts the balance sheet, lowering inventory and ultimately working capital.
Here the benefits of OnePart are obvious. Continuing on the path of New Part Creation leads to additional spending. Using it to reuse saves time and money. Implementing it as part of an ongoing parts management program adds significant value over time.
In this 3-part series, we’ve seen that designers and engineers are looking for a solution that finds and gathers all existing product part-related information, no matter the format—adding similarity, metadata, and semantic-linked documents and related information to shape-search capabilities. It should allow users to quickly discover if the part exists by simply shortlisting the possible designs, comparing them, checking their similarity, navigating parent/child relationships, and assembling related documents to reuse legacy parts, reduce duplicate parts, and revitalize the product development enterprise.
We’ve created this interactive video for you to see how much your company could save:
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