A bill of materials is used for price estimates, inventory control and parts tracking. It provides the manufacturer's part number (MPN) and the quantity needed of each part. At its most complex, the bill of materials (BOM) is a multi-level document that provides the information for various sub-assemblies and delineates the appropriate part number, approved manufacturers list (AML), mechanical characteristics and other information. Part specifications, CAD files and schematics might also be included.
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A bill of materials program is the software system used to automate the BOM management process. It is also known as a BOM program.
Originally used within a company, the bill of materials was used to track product changes and maintain an accurate list of necessary parts. As outsourcing in manufacturing has become more common, the bill of materials has become more significant. As costs have soared for both labor and materials, companies began searching for a better way to control this process. They turned to automation and found that bill of materials programs met their needs.
According to the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, BOM program errors typically fall within three categories: completeness, consistency and correctness.
For more information about bill of material programs, please feel free to contact a MasterControl representative.