The PLM area are growing to cover more and more of traditional ERP domains. With IoT and digital twins follows the needs to store the configuration of the physical product over time (As-Build and As-Maintained structure). In Windchill we can manage part configurations and part instances, but there is limitations aw the instance structure can be changed/maintained independently over time. What is PTC´s recommendation to meet this need? What products or solution is covering the use case?
Sounds like for As-Maintained you need the Service Manager package, where you can create Service variants, or "views" as the system calls it, with different BOMs representing what you maintain on a product. As-Built is the original Design view.
Thanks for your response. Im not familiar with the Service Manager Package. Do you mean Windchill Service Information Manager?. I don't agree that the As-Build is the original Design View. You might have deviations in production where you mount another part number number in one instance. The As-Designed BOM is often restructured to a As-Planned BOM (What we can do with MPMLink).
The SIS module is according to my understanding pretty similar to MPMLink capabilities do crate alternative downstream BOMs based upon view-versions of new parts.
The challange is how to capure and maintain a huge number of BOMs generated from production and services. Each BOM has to reflect the current configuration of a specific serial number over it´s lifetime.
Yes, I do mean the Service Information Manager, and yes it is very similar to MPMLink in making different downstream BOMs based on view versions. And yes it can be a challenge. I must admit that my company has only recently started practicing with the SIS, originally our service engineering department used a different database for tracking this.
However, one thing I could suggest: Don't necessarily focus on creating service BOMs for every serial number of every full product/vehicle. Try moving one layer down into the primary subsystems. If for example your product needs a fuel pump, and some of the time it takes pump 123 which gets serviced in a specific way, and other times it gets fuel pump ABC that gets serviced a different way, it doesn't matter which product such pumps get installed on. Regardless of the end product serial number, pump 123 always has to be serviced the same way. And given what you've been saying I'm going to guess that you have an ERP system that has build records for every assembled product, and the Work Order used to build any specific product contains the full component BOM and serial number(s) involved.
There's your service BOM history right there. For any specific serial number of end product look up its build record, look at the shown BOM, link it to the subassembly service kits related to those parts shown in the BOM and bingo. You know how to do maintenance on the product. Any variations between the different serial numbers given occasional swaps like you said, if the swapped-in parts have their own direct service kit entries that won't matter, it's still all right there.
Hope that helps,
(IMO) you are on the right track with Part Instances. In order to capture a specific snapshot in time of a particular Unit/Build you could use either or both of Baselines and Effectivity/Effective Date to filter the Part Instance Structure. Part Instances do allow you to swap out something for a particular Unit, but something needs to drive that so you can use a Replacement Part (Alternate or Substitute), or create a One Off Version and Configuration. I actually like that Windchill systematically requires something upstream needs to define allowable alternatives, although my initial approach was to try to swap things after the fact and more ad-hoc. This is actually a fundamental CMII principle to lead with documented requirements.
The question you are posing is an interesting one and it's not one that can be easily addressed. Would need a deep understanding of how a company uses their ERP system and if they have an MES system as well. Traditional companies design a product of which they produce many of them. If you are using alternate parts or have part disposition, the as built can be difficult if not impossible to maintain in PLM. This is what ERP and MES systems are good for and designed for.
This kind of solution would be best as a Thingworx application. It could blend between the PLM and ERP. Then you can see the as designed BOM, and compare with the as-built or maintained in ERP.
I have heard some people who have ERP communicate back to PLM about the as-built BOM, but that only works if you are an engineer to order company. If you have more than one version of the as-built, then that solution isn't feasible.
Thanks for your reply. The companies who request this kind of traceability does normally have high requirements of full product configuration traceability during the product lifetime (aerospace & defence, MedTech (FDA), offshore). The common approach is to manage the as build/ as maintained boms in ERP. The challenge is when you will introduce quality processes as CAPA / FRACAS and closed loop change management. Also to keep track of what units (instances) was produced by a certain as-designed configuration. This question was raised to understand if PTC are working to provide functionality to manage as build / as maintained information in any product as a alternative to ERP. The Part Instances in Windchill are covering partially the needs. We have provided customizations to generate instances from external sources, but there is some gaps in the functionality to fulfill the needs . Most major one is the ability to disconnect the instance structure to allow unique modifications of an instance (replacing part numbers, attach instance related documentation etc). Currently you need to define a new configuration, revise the instance, link it to the new configuration to allow a part-number change. Based of number of instances and changes, that will result in a huge number of configurations.
ThingWorks might be a interesting solution to integrate to other sources.
PTC is working to provide Windchill the ability to manage "digital twins". As I understand it, each one of these will be a unique "instance" or serial number of every single product every produced. I believe this would provide the type of traceability you're looking for. This is targeted for 2020.
Take a look at this video: PTC Live Global Keynotes (Jump to the 10 minute mark)
Thanks for the tip. It sounds great that PTC have the topic on the radar. Hope to see new functionality in the area earlier than 2020.
This post is quite old but the topic is still actual. Any news from PTC on further development of As-Built/As-Maintained functionality supported by Windchill?
We are in the middle of implementing As-Built/As-Maintained product configurations supported by Windchill (part configurations and part instances). We have several use cases not supported by out of the box Windchill PDMLink functionality. I am curious how other companies implemented As-Built/As-Maintained in Windchill and the customisations required to achieve this.