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12 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 product goes into production. A central "live" BOM management strategy, as part of your en- gineering system, is essential. Decisions about whether a stocked or locally procured part could be used for a specific component refer- ence with a product is based on complex data, and any alteration may need to go back for con- firmation against the design intent, the AVL, or even back as a question to the designer. e use of alternative materials is founded on necessary local procurement sourcing policy and material availability, but it introduces po- tential problems. ere are times, for example, you think you're ordering the same component from an alternate manufacturer or supplier, but you end up with a reel of parts which are at a 90-degree rotation offset in their carrier com- pared to those you nor- mally use and have set up in the SMT machine data- bases. You may not notice this when receiving the materials, and so mixed orientations oen make it through to the machines. In the best case, the ma- chine will notice, and stop with an error say- ing that it can't pick up these parts. What hap- pened? e vendor changed and nobody re- alized there was anything different, and there was productivity loss. In the worst case, espe- cially should the part be rotated by 180 degrees in the supply-form, the machine may not no- tice, resulting in serious quality issues. In the digital twin world, the exact shapes of the ma- terials themselves are included. erefore, au- tomation is possible, from the receiving of ma- terials through to the actual machine itself, where any exceptions would be highlighted, and automatic adjustment in machine databas- es made to reflect whatever differences there were, as each of the material carriers is unique- ly labeled, and identified back to source. is is doable right now within MES. e fur- ther you go digitizing these areas in the form of digital twin, the less manual work, especially checking, that must be done on the ground in manufacturing. Automating everything means that no mistakes will be made. Matties: With the digital twin at the end of your design process, isn't it just a press of a button and the BOM is created? Ford: Yeah, that's it. Now you're done and ev- erything beyond that should be automated in the digital factory. Matties: e BOM is cre- ated, the intent is there, including all the revs. One quote we came across in our BOM research is a CEO of a company who said, "You built rev A, but it was the wrong rev A." If there is a variation be- tween model numbers in the digital twin, each item that is being built could theoretically have its own box. Ford: Yes. I used to work in a company that makes high-end products in the consum- er market. eir products have superb quali- ty and performance, however, every day there were several BOM changes across products in production across the factory. You just never knew in advance what had to happen as a re- sult. e manufacturing engineers and opera- tors were heroes in coping with such a dynam- ic situation, making those products work the first time. It was leading edge product technol- ogy, supported by humans. A BOM is not just an instance in time. It must have some form of historical structure, such that you understand that in this instance of manufacturing, we're using this reference des- Michael Ford

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