How much do you invest in keeping your product’s component structure up-to-date? Do you have access to your own product data when you need it? Do you know what specific parts are in your product?
If you manufacture industrial electronics products, those products may be in production for a long time. So long, that it might not be easy to know which components go into them during the product’s life cycle.
Over the years your product’s bill of materials often becomes outdated for various reasons.
- Components in an existing design will go out of production or become obsolete due to end-of-life issues, so they will need to be replaced. Suppliers change components due to limited second sources.
- Due to acquisitions, supplier component lines can merge and parts that were originally sourced become costly or unprocurable.
- In some cases, product lines are inherited or acquired without a baseline that is well defined or that has not been kept up-to-date.
Maintaining a product structure and keeping abreast of component end-of-life issues requires an investment in document management tools and resources. However, if you partner with a manufacturer who has already invested in these tools, you can often avoid the substantial investment needed to maintain this information on your own. A manufacturer has detailed knowledge and specifications about components, their long-term availability, and the best sources for procuring them. Your partner should have your product information and the tools to best source the BOM, as well as manufacture, test, and maintain your product for its entire life cycle. Teaming with a partner who has a program in place to monitor your product from creation to end-of-life will facilitate the life cycle maintenance of your product and significantly reduce costs.
Solution – WEB PORTAL
Some EMS suppliers offer this component and life cycle data to their customers using a Web portal, but the types and quality of the data they have depends on the EMS. Manufacturing-related information, such as accurate manufacturer information, component part numbers, up-to-date component data, specifications pertinent to your assembly, and supplier data are mandatory as they are needed for production. Being able to easily access this information from the Web saves time and effort, especially if you have products with a long production life. Data can also include technical information such as component datasheets, ROHS compliance data, and even Conflict Minerals status for the components used in your assembly. With access to an up-to-date centralized database you can quickly and easily verify your product’s compliance. As new environmental compliance reporting requirements arise, your EMS can add the required information into the database and simply run new queries to produce the data you need.
A direct Web connection to your partner can be used for much more than just querying component data. Some EMS providers have taken their basic services even further and expanded the connection to a two-way communications channel that enables the customer to:
- Accept new product orders and forecasts
- View and distribute Part Change and Part Discontinuation Notices (PCN and PDN)
- Query product test results
- Manage Engineering Change Orders (ECO)
Are you interested in more information on this topic?
If you would like to see the way ENICS manages component information, please contact our component engineering department via firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us for a temporary password. (This is only available for OEMs)