I wonder how many of you are struggling with the same challenge, which is item types. It seems that in all Siemens demos all we see is the parent class Item in use. Maybe this was the first type ever available. And for historical reasons I suspect many other companies are also using just Items. How ever to get most out of the system, we should more granually define the type of data. We have been using just Item for years, but are seeing now that this is probably the wrong Item type to use for mechanical parts. Which typically is the majority of PDM contents. And going forward, taking new features into use, we see that we need to start migrating the data.
Just to give one example, we are hoping to have make/buy information on the structures to guide integrations and use of the data. There should be no need to for example transfer structures below buy level to ERP systems. The make/buy property however is only introduced at Part, which means you can't use it with Item.
Another challenge we have found is that the migration tool (item_to_part_design) doesn't work, at least with the version we are running (10.1.7). This further confuses, what is really the path forward. Is this tool and the use of parts a thing of the past of future?
I would greatly appreciate, if someone could share some insight into the Item types. Trade-offs, plans from Siemens, best practises... Anything really, because I haven't found too much information about these, outside of the technical documentation.
Thanks for the response Randy,
I'm not sure I agree that creating custom Item types is a best practice. Customization in general is against all best practices. Modest additions to OOTB objects is not very risky. I understand that in some industries or segments you might know upfront that you need to invest heavily in customization, and then I'd agree with you to minimize the operational risk by making the changes to inherited custom object types.
I think you misunderstood the "Buy level". I meant the node in the structure which you purchase e.g. the top level of a welded steel structure. ERP does not need the weldings or piece parts, because those are never going to be purchased, stocked or handled in ERP. The same component may sometimes be manufactured instead of bought, even on the same plant. How to deal with that depends if it's a frequent situation, or an exception. If it's an exception it should not dictate the process. This is of course company specific...
Lack of tools to change Item type is definitely a problem. I've seen how this can be done properly (e.g. JIRA). You choose your target type, and the system tells you which information will be "sliced" off, and which can be moved as is. That's the way to do it... Teamcenter, not so easy. The only Siemens tool available does 1 direction, and even at that it's currently broken. So only custom tools exist... This doesn't encourage the use of different Item types unless absolutely necessary.
I agree what you say about trying to keep item types to minimum. It would still be nice to get an official statement from Siemens, which are the "minimum" or "recommended" types to use in given industry or operation model (ETO, CTO..) Now it's kind of "build-your-own" approach. We get a bunch of building blocks without any good explanation what they are for, and a bag of tape and glue to integrate the blocks. Even the Siemens demos often use just plain Item, which is confusing if we're supposed to really use Part.
Part-Design concept has little to do with EBOM-MBOM, Configurator etc. I tried to explain that a bit in another post. You can use those tools/concepts with plain Items.
@RandyEllsworthI was really interested in hearing people's thoughts about the use of the different OOTB Item types. "Part" to be more specific. If you have a custom type inherited from Part, then to me it's still Part and I'd still want to hear more. So if we can re-start from the original question/topic.. :smileyembarrassed:
When it comes to customization, I have made up my mind, sorry :smileyembarrassed:
By the way, I checked but couldn't find a section in the BMIDE Guide recommending custom item types. If you can find it again, please share it...
I agree with Randy. Never modify the OOTB item types. I've had this bite me before when Siemens change Item drastically. Adding "custom" item types is not customization but configuration. CONFIGURE your system to add your own Item Types under the appropriate Item Type which could be Part, Design, Document or Item. It depends on the functionality you want out of the Item Type. This is covered in the Admin training and how it is suggested by Siemens.
If you are interested it the Part type also look at Design and the CAD-Part alignment or also called Design-Part alignment. I use this method often so that CAD datasets and CAD BOM's are contained in the Design and the eBOM is contained in the Part. It already has a relation to define a primary design of a part. Using this method allows for extension to mBOM if the Manufacturing model is ever added later.
Mercury Digital Services
@pejokin, The following page numbers are directly from the PDF "Teamcenter 11.4 Business Modeler IDE"...
Siemens PLM Software strongly urges you to plan out your business object creation. Perform an object-oriented analysis to determine the optimal business object structure, and the custom properties you want to place on the new business objects.
pg. 108/1214 - extending the Tc data model.
pg. 229/1214 - saving extensions and business rules in a template project.
pg. 281/1214 - extending Item.
Granted, it is not a "clear" recommendation but rather a strong urge. You can also call GTAC and ask their advice then share your findings with the community. Inheritence is your friend but only if you take advantage of it.
adding the Vendor Management feature (no cost) expands the Item types available to include standard parts.
Randy, as far as I understood, Vendor Management provides 2 item types: Commercial Part and Vendor Part. Both inherit from Part, so they are used in the Part BOM. The Commercial Part has an OEM part number and the corresponding Vendor Part has a vendor part number.
Which item type is supposed to contain the CAD model of a standard part? Should I create another Item type, say "A98_StandardPart", under the Design item type? And then "Standard Part" item is a "representation for" a Vendor Part, which is in turn associated with a commercial part?