Demystifying Effectivity with Aras Innovator Version 12

Many companies use “150% Bills of Materials”, also called “overloaded BOMs”, to manage multiple part choices in complex products and to handle different product configurations in one place. 

Effectivity is the condition determining whether to include or exclude an item in a valid configuration.  Aras Innovator Version 12 manages Effectivity in a clear and streamlined new way: with an intuitive user experience, a simple and straightforward expression editor, and fast, powerful filtering. Check it out right here:

Defining Effectivity

A single product structure can handle many different configurations by using effectivity.  When an item is to be included in in some – but not all – of the configured structures, effectivity identifies the valid conditions for inclusion.  Managing an overloaded, configurable structure via the use of effectivity is much more efficient than managing a separate BOM structure for each unique configuration instance.

The above image represents an overloaded, configurable BOM.  There are two different Landing Gear Assemblies, and three different Engines that have effectivity conditions.  One of these Landing Gears and Engines will be used in a specific configuration.  The effectivity condition includes the product Model as well as a Unit number range.  In the Unit number “5” configuration of “Model_A”, Landing Gear Assm 1 and Engine 3 are valid to use.

An Overview of Effectivity in Aras Innovator

Delivered standard in the Product Engineering application in Version 12, effectivity on Part-BOM relationships  includes Model, Unit, and Date effectivity variables. For effectivity conditions using the Model variable, a simple way to think of it is: “For a given position in the Bill of Materials, Model A uses one part and Model B uses another part (and Models C and D can use other parts still)”. For Unit effectivity: “Units <= x use one part and Units >=x+1 use another part”. Finally, for date effectivity, “On or before date y, use one part; after date y use another part,” and so on. What’s more, you can combine effectivity variables. Use one part for Model A, or for Model B unit ranges 1 to 10, or for Model C until 12/31/2011”.

Model, Unit, and Date are not the only effectivity variables you can use in Aras Innovator. Administrators can easily create additional effectivity variables, of different types such as Date, Integer, List and Item. These variables can be used in combination with the standard effectivity variables, Model, Unit and Date. What’s more, users can create new Effectivity Scopes – not just use the Part/BOM scope we’ve been discussing so far. For example, Part-Document scope is another scope that companies can configure and customize. Put simply: this document is effective for this part under these conditions; and another document under those conditions. The possibilities are endless.  

Viewing and Authoring Effectivity

With the necessary permissions in Aras Innovator, you can manage effectivity on any level of the BOM structure: against a single part or against a complex, multilevel assembly. The process is the same in both cases. Parts under the same parent item do not all need to have effectivity assigned to them.

In Aras, you will see any assigned Effectivity conditions listed in the Effectivity column in the BOM Structure relationship tab. To view one of these conditions in more detail, right-click on an expression listed in this column and select View Effectivity. A split-pane view opens, to view all effectivity conditions applied.  From this view, effectivity conditions can be added or deleted. An existing effectivity condition can be edited by right clicking it and selecting Edit Effectivity. Ability to change a part’s effectivity is subject to permissions.

The effectivity editor helps you write valid effectivity expressions by offering the next logical option in the effectivity condition expression. In the below example, with “Model” effectivity variable selected, the possible values in the system for “Model” are offered. And with a valid selection for “Model”, continue typing to see the next logical parts of the expression: “AND” or “OR” to add another effectivity variable, like “Unit” or “Date”. With “Unit” selected, choose a starting unit and see the next logical step: greater than, equal to, greater than or equal to, less than, and so on. In this way, continue entering your effectivity expression with guided help from the system to ensure its validity.

Filtering on Effectivity

With effectivity conditions set on the BOM, it is time to filter the overloaded, configurable structure using your effectivity criteria. The new Set Effectivity Criteria button in the BOM Structure tab lets the user filter the 150% BOM with the criteria they just set. This command lets you filter down the 150% BOM to a 100% BOM. You can also partially resolve the structure.

To view the “100%” BOM, choose Set Effectivity Criteria and select a value for every effectivity variable used in the effectivity conditions on that BOM. The parts that are not valid for the selected values are filtered out in the resolved structure. To view a partially resolved BOM, leave some of the effectivity variables on the Set Effectivity Criteria dialog blank. Again, the parts that are not valid for the partial selections are filtered out from the resolved structure.

Using the Export to Excel button on the Tree Grid View tool bar, you can export the resolved structure to a spreadsheet.

Further Topics in Effectivity

Effectivity is not limited to the standard effectivity variables (Date, Model and Unit). It is easily configurable by your administrator to add other effectivity variables that fit your business needs. Effectivity can also be configured and customized on other relationships, like Part Document. These topics will be explored in future blogs.

  • For me, the mystery of Effectivity is still how it is supposed to incorporate with other Aras functions or applications. Would be really helpful to have more insights of how to use Effectivity on a larger scale. E.g.

    - BOM revisions vs. Effectivity filtered BOM. How does it stick together and how can we track the differences?
    - How to use Effectivity filtered BOMs in Change Management or Process Plans?