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How to find where a component is used in your BOMs: Arena PLM vs. Excel

BOM With Components CircleIf you make a change to one of the components on a bill of materials (BOM)—say you’ve found a superior component or your current component is going end-of-life—you need to know with complete confidence whether the component appears in other BOMs. Not knowing where a component is used isn’t just inconvenient, it can also cause scrap and rework if a modification intended for one BOM continues to cause problems in another.

How do you find where a component is used in your BOMs in Excel?

If you manage your BOMs with Excel or Google Sheets, you have to open each spreadsheet and manually search for the component. Keep in mind that searching in Excel is no picnic—I know I’ve missed things because Excel searched the cell I was in rather than the whole spreadsheet. And in a company with active new development, multiple engineers each consulting spreadsheets on their own desktop, and multiple products with multiple revisions—just finding the right BOMs to comb through can be a hassle.

How do you check where a component is used in your BOMs in Arena PLM?

When you drill into a component in Arena PLM, you get a single aggregated list of every BOM that contains the component, whether at the first level or the fifth.

Here’s an example of what a BOM looks like in PLM every BOM line has a pop-up that tells you where else a component is used.

Arena PLM even tells you if the part is used as a substitute in another BOM.

And if you include a component on a change order, Arena automatically notifies you of other assemblies that reference that component, and give the option to include those assemblies on the change order before submitting.

When comparing Arena’s BOM management capabilities with Excel or Google Sheets, there’s simply no competition. Better where-used functionality is built into PLM, helping you make informed part choices and save time searching through spreadsheets.