Why Do Manufacturers Need Parts Management? Part 1 – Locating Parts
Every engineer uses standard parts in some way, shape or form, within their designs. “Standard” may be something as simple as a bracket or fastener which is commonly reused in designs because it’s a known good part. These parts are often on-hand or readily available for the manufacturing team. It could be that your manufacturing facility actually produces a component and designers are mandated to use it for cost savings. Or lastly, it could be a large item such as a motor, gearbox or a pump which has become “standard issue” due to excellent performance or quality.
Related Article: 5 Ways You Can Win With Standards
Now, it’s time to call upon one of these specific parts for use in a design. The file must me located, verified for accuracy and placed within the CAD environment – meaning it must be in the correct format for use.
Are your parts saved on the server or on your local C-drive? Are your colleagues storing their standard design parts on the same server folder or on their own C-drive?
Great. Then you know where to go to find the standard parts you need for re-use. Well maybe not.
How well organized is the C-Drive? Can you find yours and your teammate’s parts when you are updating or redesigning your product? Or is the parts folder organized like this:
Can you please grab the 9/16” deep socket for me?
It’s just like the broken hinge you were trying to fix:
Remember that time you needed to do a “quick fix” on a damaged door hinge at your home? The door wasn’t closing properly and you saw that all you had to do was put a new screw in there to tighten it up. Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes right?
After rifling through buckets, bins and drawers of old fasteners you still couldn’t find the right screw. After an hour you give up, heading to the store to buy a new screw. You didn’t know that someone else actually had a jar of screws with the exact fastener you needed all along. Unfortunately, it was in the basement and not in the garage where you were searching.
After several hours wasted, you are home with the new screw – and 5 minutes later the “quick fix” is done. Wouldn’t it have been nice if your home had a searchable resource for every item you may need for day to day repairs?
This is exactly the same as the designer’s standard parts database, but instead of “going to the store” for the part, they often draw a new one. You would save yourself a bunch of time and money if the data you were looking for is organized. You could go directly to the right part every time. If you have to root through a lot of files to get something that looks right, you are likely to just design a new one. That leads to delay and proliferation of similar parts.
Parts Management software by PARTsolutions helps the design team to select the right part for the design. Whether it is purchased parts or the company’s design parts by useing the search and categories within our software.
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