Bill of Materials for Electronic Components
A Bill of Materials (BOM) can be used to monitor all electronic components within the manufacturing and engineering industries. But, to ensure complete accuracy, it’s best to look at the BOM software on offer. Here’s why BOM software is great if you work with electronic equipment.
What is a Bill of Materials?
The BOM provides you with an extensive list of all the raw materials, electronic components, and instructions needed for the manufacture or repair of a product. It’s effectively a centralised source of information, displayed hierarchically, with the finished product at the top of the list and the individual components below. Several types of BOM but manufacturing (MBOM) and engineering (EBOM) are the most prevalent.
What to Ask When Creating the Bill of Materials for Electronic Parts?
With the right software, creating a BOM doesn’t need to be a difficult undertaking, and your BOM vendor should provide you with solid training so that you’re comfortable with the product from the start. However, there are certain questions you might want to answer before you get going.
1. What BOM Software Will You Use?
There is a variety of Bill of Materials software on the market, but it’s important that you incorporate one that is industry-specific, integrates into your existing system, and is easy to use. A leading vendor like Omni Accounts will advise you on the best BOM software for electronic parts that is both user-friendly and scalable.
2. Is the Design Ready?
You’ve, no doubt, started designing the product, which means you can also start compiling your list of electronic components that will be included in the BOM. It’s only once you’ve got the design drawn up that you can tackle the creation of your BOM.
3. Who Will Use the BOM?
The detail and type of information you’re going to include in the Bill of Materials is determined by who will be accessing it and why. In most manufacturing and engineering scenarios, multiple departments are inputting information and accessing information at any time.
4. What Details Will You Include?
Once you know exactly who will be accessing the Bill of Materials, you can decide on the categories for the various components. These will include the basics such as the name, quantity, and electronic component number, but there are many other categories available on BOM software that help streamline the process and ease your search. It’s always best to include a category for consumables, as these often get overlooked.
5. How Will You Organise The BOM?
It’s best to decide on your Bill of Materials list format before getting started so that you can input data on electronic components from the start. You’ll need to determine the number of levels and sub-assemblies required, as well as how you’re going to group these items. You might require special designations for those that don’t fit the mould, so think of all eventualities.
6. How Will You Manage Your BOM?
Because a BOM is a dynamic, ever-changing document, you’re going to need to assign a management strategy so that there are no inaccuracies with updated data. A BOM will go through several iterations as suppliers and costs change or delays occur, so you must decide who will have editing authority and keep track of changes and former versions without confusing them.
Tips for Making a BOM
Once you’ve gone through these questions, you’ve got the basis for creating your Bill of Materials. However, to refine the process, here are a few tips you can consider when using your BOM software for electronics.
Customise The BOM
No two companies are the same, which is why you’ll want to customise your BOM so that it fits your business model and needs. It’s important to discuss this with your BOM vendor to supply you with an option that is customisable to your unique demands.
You need to remember that your BOM will undoubtedly be accessed by several disparate individuals and departments, many of whom won’t have all the information at hand. Except, with your detail-focused BOM, they will. Ensure that your BOM consists of many details, but it needs to be clear and concise rather than convoluted. If your categories and descriptions are clear, then you’re going to have a much easier time.
Consider the Software Options
While the right BOM software can streamline operations, the wrong BOM software can hinder them. Check software reviews and make sure you’re working with a reputable vendor that provides after-sales care rather than offloading and running.
Check for Automation Features
Your software should have automation features as this will assist you in picking up any discrepancies while also allowing for enhanced traceability. Automation eases importing and exporting of data across various file formats, without which you might have to look at investing in additional software.
Track the Changes
Your BOM software should automatically update while also keeping track of all relevant changes, including a record of previous versions. These versions must be clearly labelled, and the software should update in real-time so that you’re always working off the latest version.
Assign Someone to Check Information
To avoid inaccuracies, it’s best to assign someone to check the information uploaded in the BOM before it’s shared. While BOM software is great in minimising errors, it isn’t easy to monitor those inputting the information, so if it can be verified first, that’s ideal.
Another way to ensure your BOM for electronic components is accurate is to limit the editing capabilities to certain users. People will read over the BOM with ‘read-only’ through security access, which means there’s less room for error.
Components to Include in the BOM for Electronic Parts
There are certain features and components that are quite uniform across BOM systems, but for electronic parts, you can check that the software is a bit more specialised. Here’s a look at some of the components that will assist.
This is a listing of the value assigned to certain components which help you source or identify parts quickly. This would be the capacitance value for capacitors, the resistance value for resistors, and the inductance value for inductors.
Quantity of Components
This will indicate how many components need to be ordered per product. This allows you to monitor the number of items ordered when you’re having to simultaneously create a number of products.
Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN)
The MPN is a unique part number assigned by the manufacturer to identify individual products using a series of numbers and letters. This is effectively the product’s barcode and will make the component immediately recognisable. This also makes ordering any specific electronic component that much simpler. Just remember that the MPN differs from the SKU (stock keeping unit), which is used internally rather than for external identification.
Because so many different departments will be accessing the BOM, it’s best to make sure everyone is on the same page by including a detailed component description. This is particularly important if you’ll be sharing the BOM with the purchaser, as they can easily source alternative parts if needed. Where there are no MPNs or similar components, descriptions can help ease identification.
Alternate Part Number
Supply of stock is not always consistent, and alternative parts may need to be sourced. When creating your BOM, make sure you include any alternate part numbers for electronic components used in the manufacturing process. This is a time-saving method that minimises future hassle and delay.
Although you might have included the MPN, sometimes different manufacturers can have the same MPN, which causes much confusion. By including the manufacturer’s name, you can follow up when there are supply issues, including checking for more cost-effective options.
The Method of Placement
Your Bill of Materials for electronic components is no good if it’s unclear how the components need to be assembled. By including a method of placement in the BOM, you’re able to inform the manufacturer – or remind yourself – where each item goes.
Type of Package
The package, which houses the electronic component, is often standardised with the overall size and shape of the part indicated. This is quite useful to include in the BOM as it helps operators with the programming of machines.
Bill of Materials software for electronic components is hugely beneficial as it allows you to:
- Find items easily
- Work with real-time information
- Track and monitor changes
- Enforce rules and guidelines
If you’re looking to invest in some quality BOM software that is customised to your business requirements, then contact Omni Accounts for more details. The software used is fully integrated and expandable to grow alongside the business.