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Concurrent Engineering made great strides' in reducing mean time to delivery (MTTD), reducing the incidence and impact of engineering changes, reducing the entire enterprise product cost, and increasing the competitive edge. One of the most significant results of concurrent engineering was the development of cross-functional teams that in­cluded all the product stakeholders. What concurrent engineering did not do in most cases, however, was eliminate the perceived need for and the continued application of separate EBOMs in design and MBOMs in manufacturing. Indeed, the software houses, by providing the EBOM/MBOM functionality, helped perpetuate the separation that the Neanderthals on both sides wanted.

What has created the pressure for a single enter­prise bill of material has been two main factors:

      globalization of the supply chain

      customer demand for greater speed in designing
and delivering products

It is important to review the twin enterprises of Prod­uct Data Management (PDM) and Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) and their roles in both maintaining, and perhaps increasing, the separation between engineer­ing and manufacturing.


PDM has moved beyond the mere management of en­gineering design information (see figure 2). PDM ad­vocates seem to claim full ownership of the Item (Part) Master and Bill of Material files with a mission to "push" their initial and engineering change data over the firewall into the ERP system environment.

PDM folk have assumed the role of defining valid sources (Component Source Management—CSM) for the enterprise.

PDM folk have reasserted their dominant position in the configuration management (CM) arena, saying that since engineering "owns" the bills of material, CM belongs to them.

The software houses, for the most part, have allowed the engineers to have their EBOMs and then port new and changed data over to the ERP systems.


Sourcing for purchased parts has been traditionally ac­complished by purchasing, hopefully with the advice and consent of engineering, as part of the traditional MRP II process. This begs the question: who owns the CSM process? Because, for better or worse, engineer­ing was not interested in the part number generation process and the full population of the many fields in the Part Master file. Since stakeholders from through­out the enterprise had to input data into the part files, this became the first truly "enterprise" data file area.

Traditionally, engineers wrote engineering changes. Manufacturing folk had to interpret these changes, as­sign effectivity to their implementation, and process the changes into the MRP II systems and their MBOMs, and then assess their impact on the customer product delivery schedules.

The result of the emergence of these two systems as contenders for data management can be seen by com­paring the PDM silo of figure 2 to the ERP silo of fig­ure 3.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 12

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