I'm looking for a good way to manage BOMs for electronics assemblies in a production management system. I would really like to hear about how others manage BOMs in a professional setup.
I'll start by describing our current situation an why it doesn't work very well.
We are using the OrCAD Capture CIS/PCB Editor for schematic capture and PCB Layout. The BOM generated by Capture is imported into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which we use for production management/planning, economics and stuff.
The BOM is stored in NAV as a summed list. I think it is called as instances in OrCAD terms. Each part instance is stored with a part number, what quantity is needed, an the RefDes of the occurences in one or several text fields.
NAV has a certain amount of space in each field. If the list of of RefDes' is too long, it is broken into several fields. The list can be broken in the middle of a RefDes, so the first characters is at the end of one field and the rest in the beginning of the next.
That way is really good for procurement, since they know how many of each part they have to purchase.
The problem is when we generate a BOM for the external EMS. They need a BOM with part numbers and RefDes, so they can map the correct parts to the pick'n'place file for the assembly. The BOM exported from NAV is a procurement BOM in a weird excel sheet where the RefDes is listed in several cells like described above.
Problem is that the EMS has to manually combine the cells, to get a complete list of RefDes. This is tedious and prone to errors since it is a manual process.
There must be a better way to do this.
It could be a problem our NAV configuration/setup, but my current conclussion is that NAV is pretty useless for electronics production.
I have seen systems where each occurrence of a component has its own line with partnumber and RefDes in the BOM. This would be a manufacturing/assembly BOM.
It satisfies the need of the EMS, and i bet the "system" can sum the the occurrences of each part so procurement is satisfied as well.
What are your experiences with managing BOMs for production and procurement?
Which systems do you use?
How are the the data stored (by instance or occurrence)? And why?
Is one way preferred over the other?
Any thoughts are appreciated.