What’s in a Manufacturing Process Plan?

What’s in a Manufacturing Process Plan?

When you’re transitioning a product from design and development to manufacturing process planning, a lot can change. Aras Innovator helps you manage this complex transformation by providing a robust Manufacturing Process Planning application that is well-connected to the engineering Bill of Materials and broader Digital Thread of information managed by Araswhile providing its own set of functionality unique to the needs of manufacturing.  

Check it out in the video, below.  


Flexible Processes 

Manufacturing planning typically requires restructuring the engineering bill of materials to accommodate manufacturing realities. Certain assemblies will be made in-house; others will be bought and used in a manufacturing process as-is; and still others will be assembled from both made and purchased parts One process plan must be able to reflect each unique case while accommodating the others, and, ultimately, bring all of the different methods used throughout the manufacturing process together into one, complete plan.  

In Aras Innovator, the Manufacturing Process Planning application offers a hierarchical structure, where child-level process plans can be authored and reused across one or more parent-level process plans. This offers consistency and reuse for parts that are made or assembled the same way but reused across multiple productsIt also means that there’s just one, consolidated source to change and update a child process plan when it needs to be adjusted – rather than repeating the change wherever the part is reused – creating efficiencies and boosting quality to help improve the manufacturing process overall.  

New Relationships 

Parts under design and development have a completely different set of relationships from the processes used to manufacture them. Processes include multiple parts from engineering or sourcing, together with new, manufacturing-only information required to create each assembly: manufacturing resources, skills, tools, and machines. Building each process requires the steps – in order – to complete it, the parts used throughout the steps, the tools needed for assembly, and any specialized machinery or skills required.  

Each of these elements – resources, skills, tools, and machines – are managed in the Aras Manufacturing Process Planning application, which leverages libraries of tools, machinery, skills, and resources, and makes it easy to “drag and drop” the ones that are needed into each process plan operation. Managing all of these manufacturing resources centrally promotes reuse with one, single source for changesThis, combined with the ease of “drag and drop” process plan building, makes the application intuitive to use while promoting efficiency and consistency across all manufacturing processes. 

Unique Structures 

Perhaps the most important – and most complex  step during manufacturing process planning is generating an MBOMor, a Manufacturing Bill of Materials. This is because an MBOM differs from an EBOM – or, the engineering bill of materials. Think of a car: while the engineering design may reflect an assembly including axle, wheel, tire, and hubcap, the MBOM would likely instead reflect 2 axles; then, after a lot more of the car is assembled, 4 wheels; and, again after many steps; 4 tires and their 4 hubcapscreating a completely different structure from the EBOMThe complexity of transforming one structure to another requires traceability and accountability: both structures need the ability to account for whether the other structure uses its parts, or not. Otherwise, manufacturing risks forgetting something engineering designed in!  

In Aras Innovator, a “produced part” from engineering is connected with the manufacturing process plan that creates it. During process plan creation, its component parts are associated to the process plan and used automatically by the tool to generate the MBOM – including the new parent / child structure – on the fly, while you workAlternately, you can start by building the MBOM, which populates a structure in the Process Plan for you to then detail the assembly processes, tools, resources, tools, and so on 

The choice is up to you. Either way, assigning an engineering part to the process plan creates a relationship between the EBOM and the MBOM that tracks the use of each part, including its quantity. This means that, if a part is overused or underused in the MBOM, a flag will appear on both the EBOM and in the MBOM, letting you know of the need to reconcile the two. A part in the EBOM that is not used in the MBOM will also be flagged, and the flag will be removed once it is used. These visual aides are interactive, intuitive, and easy to use, helping promote accuracy and completeness in production.  

Critical Connections 

Our previous blog in this series highlights the critical connections Aras Innovator maintains between the manufacturing process plan and the engineering parts, CAD visuals, requirements, project deliverables, and other key assets that relate to it. The next blog in this series will explore the relationship between the process plan and the process quality planning application in Aras Innovator.  

Traversing these critical connections gives manufacturing planning teams key information they need to build the plan accurately and efficiently, while keeping other teams – like engineering and quality planning – informed as to the progress and changes made in the manufacturing process plan that could affect their work. Accelerating the transition from design to production through improved collaboration and traceabilitywhile improving product quality through increased accuracy and accountability, is key to successful process planning.  

To check out a full demonstration of the Manufacturing Process Planning application, watch this webinar from Aras product management: Harnessing Data to Create Connected Process Plans