In this blog I would like to explain the role of SAP 3D VEIP in Product Structure Management (PSM).
Business case background
Product design process is a complex process and involves multiple iterations and responsibilities are divided between different teams. Based on product specifications designer makes the geometrical (3D & 2D) representation of the product and submits for approval. After the required number of reviews, the CAD structure (Engineering Bill of Material-EBOM) gets approved. Now this is the geometrical representation of a complete structure with different variants appropriately defined through CAD. This is called 150% BOM. (Alternatively the EBOM can just represent 100% BOM also).
The next step in the process is to create a document structure in SAP through CAD interface/ECTR. While the document structure is created the part/assembly files of CAD gets checked into the created Document structure in SAP. SAP VE generator will create the light weight files for the assembly/part components and assign them to the DIR’s.The product structure data (PSM) in SAP would be used to define the corresponding 150% engineering BOM with the product item and Variant details. SAP 3D VEIP is a tool that can enrich the PSM structures with the design data which would include the visuals and its geometric instances (position information / transformation matrices) derived from the lightweight files. This will enable to the designer to do a digital mock up for different configurations in PSM. The visual enriched PSM structure can then be used for handover from engineering to Manufacturing using SAP 3D VEMP.
The main Objects dealt with in the design process in PLM, are CAD structures, Document Structures and Engineering Structures. In the initial stages of product design, based on product specification, the product configuration team will set up a new product family. A new product family is created in PSM with a first rough structure, which contains the product item details, which are expected to be relevant for the product family. Also the high level configuration, which contains the relevant characteristics and characteristic values of the family, is set up.
The detailed design process takes place in the CAD-system, in which the designer creates the geometrical design of the product. The designer is responsible to deliver the CAD-data for the product according to the product specification. While trying to meet the product specifications the design engineer might come up with different technical solutions. These technical solutions may lead to different technical variants for the product. In order to optimize the CAD-work for family parts, the designer can use the configuration feature of the CAD-system. For each relevant part/assembly in the CAD structure, a new DIR will be created in ERP by SAP CDESK. For CAD-assemblies CDESK creates Bill of Docu Documents (BoD). These new DIRs will now have “fully resolved” BODs. The SAP VE Generator generates visualization files for each CAD file. These files are created automatically and are stored in SAP document info records. After the CAD-Design has completed, the designer delivers his different technical solutions to the product structure, which is managed in SAP PSM.
SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Instance Planner, will be used to visually assign the geometric instance information/light weight visual files (derived from CAD files) to the corresponding Product Item variants in PSM. Designer is able to do a digital mock-up of the different configurations in PSM after the Geometric Instances are maintained within the Product Item variant.
Key features of SAP 3D VEIP
- Create new Product Item variant if the user has sufficient authorization
- Create and assign Geometric instances to PIVs. (DIR + Transformation Matrix)
- User can optionally assign material master linked to DIR to the PIVs
- Maintain object dependency for variants and instances for each configuration using DMT table
Additionally, from SAP 3D VEIP the following can also be performed.
- Identify visually missing instances for a specific product configuration
- Searching for additional source files by document ID, description, or material
- Loading of additional source model within same planning session
- Swapping of a part with an alternative part taking over the target parts original position is supported. However the alternative parts must be modeled using the same base coordinate system as the target part.
- Source structural changes can be identified quite easily and quickly adopted
- Automatic assignment of Geometric instances to target using material or other identifiers in source. Identifier information can be configured.
- Detailed message logs in case of any errors in saving PSM structure.
- Uses SAP Engineering change management to manage the changes done to the product Item variants and Geometric Instances
Thus SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Instance Planner is a very simple, easy to use tool that can will supplement SAP PSM data with the light weight visuals. This data can take the visuals to downstream processes like manufacturing handover where the SAP PSM master data can be used.