New approach to creating a bill of material for the manufacturing industry using a methodology used in big data implementations
Researchers from a UK university school of computer science department have applied a methodology used in big data implementations to produce a new solution to the long standing problem of creating an accurate bill of materials that can be used in materials resource planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The university seeks partners for licensing or technical cooperation agreements.
Partner expertise sought
Researchers from a UK university school of computer science department works on big data and their applications in new fields as well as industry fields. In particular, they have implemented it in the regular activities of the manufacturing sector, where there is often a need for accurate planning of resources. Creating a bill of materials (BoM) needed to produce a product is a regular activity for the manufacturing industry. Current solutions traditionally use spreadsheets or relational databases. Research has proven that these traditional methods are not best suited to bill of materials generation and are prone to multiple errors with consequent cost implications. The implementation of a bill of materials structure in a relational database has always been a difficult task which has been attempted over the years using different database paradigms. A bill of materials is made up of components and sub-assemblies and its structure is complicated by the fact that some of the parts in the bill of materials can belong to other components, sometimes in a parent/child relationship and sometimes in recursive relationship. Bill of materials generation is often part of the MRP modules in an ERP system. This new approach could easily replace legacy bill of materials generation in existing systems leading to improved productivity and competitive advantage. Recently in the database world we have seen the emergence of large unstructured databases, often referred to as NoSQL databases and often linked to big data applications. These databases lack the rigidity of traditional relational databases and offer the potential to be applied in the solution to a more accurate bill of materials solution. This UK university seeks partners for the further development of this solution into a MRP/ERP system for a technical cooperation agreement or partners wishing to license the technology for third party application in a license agreement.
Advantages and innovations
The new system has significant advantages over traditional methods which usually use spreadsheets or relational databases and it does this by using a variant of a schema less database known as a document-based database which allows embedding information (with repetition) in a hierarchical structure with the possibility of referencing between collections of documents. This structure fits well with a bill of materials structure and overcomes the inaccuracies associated with the traditional methods of producing a bill of materials. The result being a more accurate BOM and costing of the necessary parts to produce a product saving time and money.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
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