Challenges Managing Duplicate Parts

Written By: Claire Cavanaugh
  • 3/15/2022
  • Read Time : 2:30 min

Take Control of Part Duplication with a Product Lifecycle Management Solution

Key Takeaways:

  • Part duplication can lead to costly scrap and high inventory
  • Creating a parts classification strategy can help you organize products, parts, and documents to identify opportunities for reuse
  • PLM technology optimizes parts classification to help you minimize duplicates, maximize reuse, and realize cost-savings

Managing duplicate parts to maximize reuse saves manufacturers millions of dollars per year. By classifying parts and maintaining them across the product lifecycle, you can minimize the costs, complexities, and delays associated with duplicates. Parts classification can also help you optimize reuse for greater cost-savings, manufacturing efficiency, and supply chain agility.

Parts Classification and Duplicate Parts Avoidance

Through parts classification, manufacturers organize products, parts, and documents to avoid waste. Classifying parts data helps you quickly identify opportunities for reuse and prevent the time and resources needed to create new, duplicate parts. As a result, your organization can bring products to market that much faster—at a lower cost. 

Challenges Managing Duplicate Parts

Managing parts without a classification system can lead to poor part reuse, increased scrap, and high inventory. A disorganized process for finding duplicates exacerbates the following common challenges, creating major roadblocks to efficiency:

Finding exact duplicate parts in an assembly: Identifying exact duplicates can be especially time-consuming when parts are small and difficult to differentiate, such as screws with the same thread size, length, or coating.

Decreasing duplicate parts to increase manufacturing efficiency: With a greater number of duplicate parts impeding the process of assembling and testing products, manufacturing and service engineers can’t work efficiently.

Critical Steps to Control Parts Duplication

The challenges of managing duplicate parts can feel daunting enough to delay creating a project for parts governance. But with a specific strategy in place, organizations can take control of duplicate parts. These key steps are a starting point for business-critical efficiencies and cost-savings:

Outline a classification scheme: This is the first step in creating a more organized process to maximize parts value and avoid duplicates. It helps you categorize parts using a standard structure for names and brief descriptions, which can be expanded upon later with additional attributes, such as:

  • Attributes specific to purchasing and the supply chain
  • Attributes specific to internal and outsourced parts

Reducing Duplicate Parts with Product Lifecycle Management

As the foundation of the digital thread, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technology allows teams across your organization to access product data that is contextualized, secure, and traceable. Your entire organization can leverage a PLM platform for parts classification initiatives that reduce costs, improve lead time, and increase manufacturing efficiency.

Windchill, PTC’s enterprise PLM software, offers standardized, out-of-the-box functionality that can reduce your lead time by 50%, lower non-quality costs by 40%, and improve R&D efficiency by 20%. With features and core functionality tailor-made for parts classification, Windchill helps manufacturers realize the many benefits of reduced parts duplication.

Key Parts Classification Product Features in Windchill

Windchill’s product features are made for seamless parts classification that maximize reuse. Configurable classification schemes allow you to establish a standard structure for naming and describing parts in a way that makes the most sense for the business. Once configured, Windchill automatically assigns names to parts and documents based on their classification. For new parts and documents, Windchill ensures their classification complies with company policy. 

Once parts and documents are classified, Windchill enables localized text and measurements for highly specific search functionality across multiple business regions. You can also use the software to assign part attributes that are specific to sustainability standards. And in case large amounts of data need to be updated, manufacturers can use Windchill to apply mass updates—while maintaining quality and accuracy. 

You can also achieve parts classification through supply chain agility. Windchill features such as supplier data management and engineering bill of material specifications ensure reference data is up-to-date and engineers are aligned with suppliers around quality control and compliance.

Manage Parts Duplication Challenges with Windchill

With PLM, you can avoid parts duplication, optimize parts classification, and realize critical cost-savings and efficiencies across the enterprise. See the process in action in an exclusive Windchill demo from the 2021 PLM Virtual Conference.


Save Millions on Reuse

Quantify the Value of Parts and Family Classification

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About the Author

Claire Cavanaugh

Claire is a Content Marketing Manager on PTC's Commercial Marketing team. She creates content in support of PTC products and solutions.