The fast way to the offer

In the fiercely competitive market of EMS service providers, fast and accurate quotations are a sustainable competitive advantage. In addition to the safe import of customer data, the assignment of the correct article number from the own article database is one of the first challenges. The practical software solution from Lebert can significantly increase the cost-effectiveness of this process.

published in the Electronic FAB 03/2016

Work preparation and purchasing have to accomplish a difficult balancing act in the bidding phase. On the one hand, offers must be created as quickly as possible on the basis of the customer bill of materials. On the other hand, preparing the bill of material, assigning the company-specific part number and validating the record are time-consuming activities. Often, customers also view the processing of their proprietary data formats as part of the service. This work costs time and money. If it does not come to the subsequent order, this investment was also completely free. In this phase, it is important to get to your destination as fast and safely as possible.

What are the problems?

There is no standard for the layout data of a printed circuit board. The BoM list can arrive in any file format with any structure. In addition, different spellings and units of each size are often used. This customer BOM now has to be prepared for your own use and the part numbers from the company-specific article master must be assigned. Only with this basis is a calculation possible in the first place. At the latest in the order case also an intensive validation of the data must be accomplished. The completeness of the data is verified by comparing the coordinate file, the BoM list and the assembly plan. Discrepancies must be clarified with the customer. Under certain circumstances, corrections will be transmitted on the basis of a changed BoM list.

These changes must be detected, checked and entered into the existing data record. It may also be necessary to update the part numbers for changed components. In some cases, even more change records are needed until all queries have been resolved. If the customer does not clearly mark these changes, finding all adjustments will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

The whole process can be time consuming and tedious until a correct data set is available for production. However, these checks are also absolutely necessary in order to avoid surprises in the later production process, which could hamper the production process.

An exclusively solution-oriented solution for these requirements is provided by LEBERT Software Engineering from Hanau with its EFA SmartSuite software. The modular concept offers targeted solutions along the entire production process. The EFA Processing application is designed for use in work preparation and supports the work steps required here. EFA ERP connects to the parts database of the ERP system.

Fast reading of customersData with EFA

The principle is very simple: the customer data in EFA is combined into a single project. Any supplementary or amended list will be integrated into this project. In doing so, a multitude of innovative functions can be used in every step of the process.

In the bidding phase, only the BoM list will be integrated. The format and structure of these BoM lists are almost irrelevant for reading. Even "exotic" lists can be edited quickly and easily in EFA. The functions are specifically tailored to the specific requirements of BoM lists.

Item number assignment with intelligent search

The EFA ERP module can now be used to search for the correct item number directly from the imported customer parts list on your own article master. EFA automatically takes the component description from the BoM list and interprets the individual values to match the component sought. The order of the individual details within the component description plays just as little role as the spelling or unit of the respective sizes. With the automatic interpretation - both of the customer parts list and of your own article master - the part numbers can be assigned in a fraction of the time currently required. The time saved here is at least 50% - users even speak of up to 80% time savings. “Preparing the parts list and looking for the correct part number - it used to take me 2 hours. With EFA, the work is done in just 15 minutes! "

Make changes to the BoM lists visible

If the customer sends a revised BoM list, it can be integrated into the existing EFA project. Differences to the previous parts list are highlighted in color and are therefore immediately visible without searching. "With the colored markings of the parts list changes, I always have a good overview of what my customer has changed." If the changes that have been made also affect the assigned part number, EFA ERP indicates which components must be checked or reassigned. If an order is placed, the existing EFA project is expanded to include the coordinate file and the placement plan. In addition, further modified BoM lists can be integrated at any time.

A comparison between coordinate data and parts list is automated. For example, EFA refers to missing data, so that it can then be consulted with the customer. Different display options allow a comparison between the assembly plan and the data. In this way, components of the same part number or the same design can be combined in an overview. A false angle of rotation is visible in this overview at a glance. Likewise, it is possible to quickly and easily identify incorrect designs, missing components or other abnormalities of the drawing.

Data preparation for production

The validated and corrected data can be exported specifically for production. The EFA project offers a central, standardized interface to production, which can supply all production steps with the same current dataset. The customer data must therefore only be processed once and also changes can only be integrated in one place, in the EFA project. The EFA Viewer enables the EFA project to be displayed from any workstation in production.

With special applications for production, semi-automatic inspections can be carried out additionally with the existing EFA project. Initial sample and small series can be so with the Augmented Reality Inspection (short ARI) be checked quickly and easily. In addition to a time saving of up to 85%, this type of inspection also enables a significant increase in test quality.

Ms Merkel was already able to convince herself of this. She visited the best of the Industry 4.0 Awards and took a look at the ARI system during her visit to Siemens in Amberg.

The user at the center of software development

EFA SmartSuite is a user-friendly software solution that has been designed from practice to practice. The development of the software solution EFA SmartSuite is based on the experiences and wishes of the users and places these in the center of the software concept. For example, individual applications have grown into the overall solution EFA SmartSuite, which can sustainably support the entire manufacturing process of an EMS provider from the quotation phase through the preparation of work to production.

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