Bills of Materials Software and Configuration Management

Configuration management systems in engineering

In industrial sites and public utilities, documents and all infrastructure elements must not only be stored, but their changes and run-time applicability have to be managed over time and compared to other factors.

A “horizontal” management approach is severely limited in construction and engineering, where projects are interconnected in many ways. The data must be stored and structured, but also linked together to facilitate analysis and consolidation. Data is essentially information, but interconnections give them another dimension (quantity, effective dates of the link, etc.), which brings them alive and makes them intelligent.

Switching from a horizontal view to a dynamic structure linking the components of infrastructures and data hierarchies opens up another dimension of data management.

Our software meets these challenges using configuration management functions that represent data hierarchies through a mechanism of links with their own specific features.

links per configuration
to describe certain systemes or infrastructures
From 1 to more than
levels of industrial configurations

Documentation configuration management

To manage an infrastructure, you need not only to manage all documents, but also the document files and appropriate documentation at a given moment. Queries must be answered in one click: “Which facilities is this calculation used for?”, “What are the external references to this drawing?”, “How can I measure all the impacts before making any changes to this report?, “How can you compare deliverable files with their initial specifications?”.

Documentation configuration software performs this task by linking all documents to their useful context, providing evolutionary knowledge directly linked to the “status” of the project. In engineering projects this corresponds mainly to facilities and infrastructures, but also to all other elements of the project (suppliers, infrastructures, requirements, etc.). By enabling the links to carry information, a document can be valid today or no longer applicable, or one or the other in a few months.

thinkproject France makes this possible with its documentation configuration management functions:

  • Presenting complex document files from different provider viewpoints without duplicating the information or the same documents common to two files
  • Managing documentation applicable at a given moment, in particular conditions
  • Offering an appropriate viewing of documents and information according to a user’s specific   “provider view”
  • Managing the references between drawings and related documents
  • Analysing and transposing the impacts of changes, defining the cases of a document’s uses and where applicable
  • Comparing documentation on a given date or against the programmed configuration, to follow its progress

Bills Of Materials management

The increasing numbers of facilities and machinery in construction and engineering projects calls for tracking huge volumes of data of different origins (electronic and mechanical parts, sub-assemblies, software, etc.).

BOM (bills of materials) as well as documents must now be configured into hierarchical tree structures and nomenclatures to manage today’s infrastructures.

The BOM configuration tool in our PLM solution structures all components and equipment into hierarchies representing the various provider viewpoints, during the entire project and to the finest levels necessary. BOM configuration functions enable you to :

  • View BOM configurations and equipment at all stages of their lifecycles (“As Specified”, “As Designed”, “as Planned”, “As Built”, “As Installed”, “As Maintained “)
  • Identify impacts of changes  from different viewpoints (technical, documentary…) and track histories and causes
  • Compare two pieces of equipment (in two different versions, like As Planned and As Installed, etc.)
  • Make configuration status replicas or baselines for a snapshot of a given configuration
  • Put up configurations to generate a file with the same structure, containing all information, which can be viewed and browsed even offline.
  • Search for a component part based on the piece of equipment that contains it
BOM software & Documentation

Links contain a large quantity of information.

Configuration management : the benefits

  • Oneness of information : Documents and data no longer need to be copied to be into several files or hierarchies. All information is unique, reliable, traceable, consistent and accessible.
  • Views adapted to every need : Users have their own view of documents and information according to use (contract, geography, function, product, requirements, etc) whilst at the same time, their data interconnects with those of other stakeholders.
  • Projects with memory : Each project has a memory that can track the “What, Who, Why and How” of each component. The data is capitalised on and can be used again in other projects. Disputes are easily resolved.
  • Higher-performance provider processes : validations, summaries, comparisons, analyses and all other processes can be carried out with knowledge of impacts and total traceability.
  • Simpler audits and certifications : uncertified equipment, or certifications soon up for renewal, can be readily identified. Requirements linked to audits can be tracked and files pulled up as needed, with complete information.
  • Better handling of contingencies : Since incidents and causes are entirely traceable, they happen less. Their adverse effects are controlled through forward knowledge of the impacts of any changes.