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Manufacturing Configurator

 

PART III. 

 

3. Change Management (CM)

This function is concerned with defining and administering the change process. In essence, it is the automation of what the manual process should be. It specifies how an Engineering Change Notice is defined, approved, released, and accounted for.

Change processes usually involve specific sequences and approv­als by different individuals or departments. There may be single documents or whole groups of information. The review procedure may be sequential, parallel, or combinations. Therefore, Change Management must:

• Provide flexibility in defining the process for each individual company.

• Make it easy to automate the process.

• Define the change processes based on global release levels and user lists that are known to the system.

• Ensure that changes occur according to defined procedures.

• Provide electronic distribution and signoff of change orders.

• Supply audit trails of all changes.

4. Classification

Classification functions are concerned with similarities between different parts and how they may be identified. Manufacturing has traditionally used Group Technology for process planning and cell layout based on function and shape classification. In a broader context, this function must include the ability to search the data on user-defined search criteria.

5. Program Management (PM)

Program Management is concerned with the ability to define project-oriented structures, tasks, and associated resources such as funding and staffing. Many PM capabilities are now provided by stand-alone PM packages. However, a key to this technology is relating it to the product structure and other managed objects. As a standard function, therefore, PM must be linked to product definition and be updated automatically as products are defined, released and changed.

Project managers—the typical users—require that tasks be related through Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) since they need access to the status for all tasks. One of the most significant capabilities to be provided by the PM function is the ability to create and maintain the WBS while associating it to PDM elementsor bill structures.

PM functions within a PDM system offer technical advantages unavailable from nonintegrated project management tools or the application of MRP II scheduling techniques. PM capabilities are not included in many PDM systems yet, but several are integrated with third-party PM systems—a trend that is expected to continue.

Utility Functions

The five utility functions are:

6. Communication and Notification

7. Data Transport

8. Data Translation

9. Image Services

10. System Administration

The CIMdata definition of PDM systems is not hardware-depend­ent. To offer some perspective, here's what a typical system might include:

• Engineering workstations for CAD on platforms such as Sun, HP, DEC and IBM RISC/6000s.

• Central computer hardware, such as DEC VAX or HP, perhaps linked to an IBM mainframe computer running MRP II applications.

• PCs in office areas.

• Terminals—any of dozens—on the manufacturing floor, including those capable of displaying graphic data, a require­ment for paperless systems.

To be Continued


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