Is Your Part Numbering Scheme Costing You Millions?

Best Practices for Part Numbering


Introduction to Part Numbering

Today’s manufacturers must create, manage, and track thousands of parts throughout the new product development (NPD) process. Every time a new part is added to a company’s library, it can cost thousands of dollars to qualify, design, and roll out. That’s serious money. And that’s why choosing the right part numbering scheme to reference your parts is critical to your success. Leveraging our experience implementing over 1,300 global customers, we will discuss the various approaches, offer insights, and propose best practices to consider when setting up the optimal part numbering system.

Part Numbering: An Overview

There are two different types of numbering schemes to consider.

Intelligent. This is a “significant” part numbering scheme where part numbers refer to information about each part (e.g., part type, product lines, parametric information). For instance, a resistor part may be assigned a number like RES-100-0003 where “RES” stands for resistor, “100” is the resistance value in ohms, and “0003” is a serialized suffix.

Non-Intelligent. This refers to a “non-significant” part numbering scheme. Part numbers are simply assigned from a sequential, non-significant scheme. There is no reference to part types, product lines, parametric, or other part details. Using this approach, a resistor might be assigned a part number 16782 and a capacitor might be 16783. Every subsequent part is given the next part number in the sequence regardless of part type.

It might be difficult to understand the consequences of each approach. You may even ask yourself why anyone would opt for a non-intelligent scheme. Each scheme offers advantages and disadvantages. You will need to consider your company’s requirements and goals, along with what type of system you have in place (manual, electronic, product lifecycle management, quality management system, etc.).

Examples of Part Numbering Schemes

Examples of Part Numbering Schemes