Excessive Work Orders

Version Relevance: All versions

Issue: We set up our products with a multi-level BoM, to give us maximum control and engineering clarity and the most potential reporting options.

However, this can lead to large numbers of work orders, which is not always appropriate for fast turnaround jobs. We do not want to simplify the BoMs too much and lose our business control, but would like to be able to reduce administration in some cases.

Is there a way we can have our cake and eat it?

Jan 3rd, 2003

Feedback: Yes! The following techniques can be appropriate in different circumstances: -

  • FOR LEVELS THAT NEVER NEED WORK ORDERS
    1. When setting up a BoM, identify any assemblies / levels where you need to show the structure for engineering purposes, but don't want to have to create work orders, and mark them as "phantom assemblies".
    2. Then when you raise a work order for the next level up, the system automatically "blows through" the phantom levels (ignores them), and you only need to raise extra orders for any lower level items not marked as phantoms.
  • FOR LEVELS THAT SOMETIMES NEED WORK ORDERS
    1. Set up the BoM structure as usual with it's full detail, which will allow work orders for all levels when required.
    2. If you then want to raise a work order at a high level, but do not want to raise any for some or all lower levels, mark the work order for backflushing (remember this can be done at any time, providing no kit is currently issued).
    3. When you backflush the order, you will then get the option of "exploding parents" for any levels where the assembly is not in stock but you have component or material stock, by double-clicking the assembly. If you use "multi-level with automatic netting" the system will automatically identify these and allow you to "skip" levels that you have not built as assemblies.
    4. You can also specify "multi-level with no netting" or "multi-level with selective netting" for additional flexibility, where netting is the process assuming that an assembly is going to be used rather than it's constituent parts (as in conventional mult-level work orders).

This can vastly reduce the number of work orders required to produce something - down to one at the top level in fact!

Paul Wilson - Caliach Consultant

Issue: Thanks, the backflushing multiple levels will be handy.

I know it is slightly the wrong way around but if you were doing a multi-level backflush and you wanted to know what bits you needed to go and get from stock to build it up - kind of like a multi-level picking list. Is it possible to print the list that you build up from the "Backflush WO" window? One could use this first to see what you can do then come back later and do the actual backflushing.

Jan 3rd, 2003

Feedback: Try using the BoM trial kit and/or lowest level component breakdown reports - both these enable you to put in a required parent quantity, and will help you to identify where netting is required (i.e. where to get the bits from to make the assembly!).

The actual backflush is supposed to take place after assemblies are complete - the usage is normally marked on the work order report by the operator, but could be marked on a trial kit instead. The various netting options are to help you get close to what actually happened before carrying out the backflush.

Has anybody out there got any related backflush procedures/experiences to share?

Paul Wilson - Caliach Consultant

Issue: Yes we use the Trial kit report but we find it a little too involved as it includes the higher level items. I am informed that the list produced when backflushing is much more succinct and seems to be easier to follow. Additionally it is easier to tweak the quantity to get it just how you want it as it updates straight away rather than pouring through a report.

I take it that it is not possible to print the list and use it as a decision making tool?

Jan 3rd, 2003

Feedback: The lowest level component breakdown BoM report does not include the parents, so is ideal for this use. You can print to screen and then tweak the parent quantity as much as you want.

If you really want to specifically print the on-screen backflush list I suggest you put in a wish through the normal channels for a button to activate it, and let democracy and resource allocation decide!

If it is not sufficiently popular to be provided as part of the development programme funded by support fees, and is deemed to be sufficiently unobtrusive to program operation and other users, we would be happy to quote for the work.

The above applies to proposed enhancements to Caliach Vision generally.

Paul Wilson - Caliach Consultant