red stripes

Yes, red stripes, not The White Stripes.

Got what we think is the Bill of Material (BOM) for the prototype, and I used copy and paste to ‘pour it’ into the product’s Mediawiki page.

Having figured out how to manually do tables in a wiki, I got distracted looking for ways to get subsequent revisions from Protel into the wiki. Didn’t find anything straight forward enough, so got on with the job.

Formatting the table was tedious, but relatively easy. The difficult task is figuring out the work flow, so that the wiki BOM continues to be useful.

The product has a relatively small number of components in comparison to other projects in hand, so I have put aside the issue of BOM revisions as we move from engineering, design for manufacture, and maintenance.

The wiki BOM now includes links to manufacturers’ data sheets, suppliers, and other wiki pages where we make notes about design considerations for particular components.

wiki bill of material

We have agreed to use background colour to indicate:

  • Red: Indicates that the part is yet to be received into inventory, i.e. sourced or ordered but not received.
  • Yellow: Indicates that the part is under discussion and to head over to the ‘Discussion’ for the BOM wiki page.

If the row is not red or yellow, this means that the part is in our inventory. If and when we need to discuss a part that is in our inventory, than may need to introduce a green indicator. Serendipity, red and yellow makes green 🙂

I know that we can use Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that do all this, but we felt that we needed to have a good handle on the integrity of the data, starting with the BOM. Also, we wanted a way for the product documentation to be associated with the product at every step of the engineering and manufacturing process.

There is quite a list of Free and Open Source ERP Software at Wikipedia. I’ll put following this up on my wish list for now, but it is worth dipping into the documentation to see how other people organise their work flow.

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One thought on “red stripes

  1. Pingback: shopping on the internet « dilettante

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