Almost any product today is a combination of mechanical parts, electronics and software. Due to this the Total Product Record becomes a complex structure containing data and relationships between all three of these elements. This gives a product structure in multiple levels that links these three engineering disciplines together, and provides with one entry point to find and retrieve all product related information.
Not all parts in a product are the same, therefore it is important to be able to describe and classify parts so that it is clear what type of parts they are. You do not use the same nformation to describe a standard electronic part as a standard mechanical part, and even within standard electronic and standard mechanical parts there can be differences. It is not the same information that is relevant for a resistor as it is for an integrated circuit. This means that you have to be able easily to create the classification structure your company needs and define which data is relevant for each level of the structure. This will make it easier for the engineers to provide the correct information´s when they create parts because they are only presented with fields for the data that your company has decided is relevant for exactly that type of part.
An electronic and high tech product consists of a number of standard electronic components, and it is the way these are combined that gives the product its unique function. Therefore it is extremely important for an electronic and high tech company to be in control of which manufacturer parts that have been approved and tested for a product. Using a component that has not been approved and tested can cause the product to malfunction and in a worst case pose a risk for the end user. This means that you have to be able to link Manufacturers and Manufacturer Parts to your parts and to be able to tag them as approved or not approved and whether it is preferred or alternate. This is what we call the Approved Manufacturers List, AML, for a part.
Having this differentiated description of the parts together with the manufacturer's information optimizes the process of searching for parts. If you have the relevant data available in the system, you can search for exactly what you need and you can make a combined search where you search for specific data for different characteristics of the part you are looking for, for example all RoHS compliant capacitors with a value between 10 and 20 µF, a tolerance of +/- 5%, surface mounted from Texas Instruments.
When you have all this data and documentation and the relationships between them all in the same system, the need for intelligent numbering is actually not necessary. You can find all you need by searching actual data instead. But of course you should have the option of creating numbering series and schemas with prefix and suffix if you wish.
All these capabilities and more are available in the Electronic-PLM solution.