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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team e I-Connect007 Editorial Team recent- ly discussed bill of materials (BOM) with Michael Ford of Aegis Soware. e conver- sation explored the current state of BOM cre- ation, maintenance, and transfer, as well as the role BOMs play in product development and product life cycle. Naturally, attention also turned to the importance of the BOM within the digital twin. Barry Matties: To start, would you give us your definition of a BOM? Michael Ford: You must be very careful about what you mean when you mention the word "BOM." ere is the design BOM, where you will have the list of part numbers against the de- sign intent, as determined by the designer, and maybe an associated AVL (Approved Vendor List) recommendation. en you have the pro- duction BOM, derived from ERP, that reflects material part numbers selected by the purchas- ing team within the local manufacturer, which can oen be different from those specified by design, with alternative and substituted parts, due to local availability, cost vs. performance issues, etc. e ERP BOM format usually fea- tures reference designators added almost like a comment to each part number record, the for- mat of which can be quite variable and difficult to understand from a digital parsing perspec- tive. On top of these challenges, you may also have variants of products where, for example, a product could have a single circuit board that is used in 100 different derivative models. Do you really want to have to manage 100 different BOMs independently? At Aegis, we have comprehensive BOM management sup- port that copes with these and other BOM-re- lated issues very well. We have the concept of dynamic BOM, in which you have a single in- stance of a BOM, with defined choices for se- lected parts which are dependent on each spe- cific product variant. is makes the manage- ment of the BOM where there are variants much more manageable, as there is simply one master BOM to maintain. So, the BOM is not just a simple list of part numbers and reference designators. e essence of the practical problem is un- derstanding what BOM data is ready to finally use. Data is coming from design, and is changed by the ERP material pur- chasing/selection pro- cess, which oen contin- ues right to the point the The Bill Comes Due: BOMs and the Digital Twin

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