Keeping the Bill of Materials Under Control
The Bill of Materials, or the BOM, is essentially an engineer’s shopping list for creating a product. The BOM contains part numbers, quantities, part names, and procurement details. These are all critical pieces of information used by several departments, including design and engineering, operations, manufacturing, and purchasing. The BOM needs to be organized, accurate and up-to-date to ensure that all departments are working with the same information.
Traditionally, BOMs were created in spreadsheets which were then passed between departments. The final BOM was then loaded into an ERP system. Using spreadsheets became impractical and inefficient quickly for several reasons:
- BOMs are more complex than ever now and can have thousands of data points to keep track of
- Throughout the lifecycle of a product, changes are continuously made. Keeping all departments aware of the most recent revision is almost impossible and results in a higher probability of making mistakes.
- There is no direct link to the CAD data
Companies like SOLIDWORKS have created tools to help keep BOM in control without the use of spreadsheets. SOLIDWORKS software creates individual BOM objects from existing CAD file structures that automatically updates along with any changes made to the CAD model. This only solves a portion of the problem though.
CADLink serves as your SolidWorks SyteLine Link
ERP software, like industry leader Infor SyteLine, ultimately drives the production process but the BOM originates within CAD. Without a way to link the two systems, engineers face the frustrating task of retyping the same information from the BOM into the ERP. ERP systems are also not designed to be change control or file management tools. As a result, all changes to BOMs have to be reentered into both the ERP and CAD to ensure both version have the most up to date information. This process not only wastes an engineer’s time on manual data entry but it leads to costly clerical errors and even worse, a potentially out of date and incorrect BOM.
The need for a tool to connect CAD and ERP systems is clear.
Using QBuild’s CADLink, you can connect your SOLIDWORKS CAD data with your ERP systems, enabling you to easily update BOM information everywhere.
|Typical BOM Challenges||QBuild Advantages|
|1.||BOM changes are entered in manually resulting in errors and delay.||Part numbers are automatically transferred into the SyteLine BOM from SOLIDWORKS.|
|2.||Many BOMs include thousands of items. Ensuring quality control over thousands of rows and columns in a spreadsheet is difficult, if not impossible.||Part numbers are picked up from CAD and then matched up in the ERP to see what part numbers already exist and what are new. Any errors or discrepancies are visually noted and easily adjusted to ensure they match.|
|3.||Multiple BOM revisions exist in different systems (CAD vs ERP).||100% fidelity between SOLIDWORKS and SyteLine ensures both systems have the same data at all times.|
How does CADLink Work?
Integrated CAD-ERP software, like QBuild’s CADLink for SyteLine, allows companies to pass data between CAD and ERP to handle engineering changes in both systems at one time. CADLink takes CAD data directly from the on screen drawing and pushes it directly to your ERP through a SyteLine CAD interface and SyteLine BOM import.
With an integrated CAD and ERP system, your company can:
- Increase the speed of data flow throughout departments
- Reduce costly clerical data errors
- Keep your engineers focused on designing instead of data entry
- See significant improvements in production speed, on-time shipments, and accuracy of SyteLine engineering data
- Reduce engineering costs, scrapped parts, and shop floor confusions
QBuild Software is first and foremost an engineering company. Our CAD-ERP integration software was built by engineers for engineers. As a result, we pride ourselves that our software comes equipped with the features engineers need the most. The majority of implementations can be done in less than a month. CADLink training takes less than an hour!