How Assembly Planner Can Flexibly Set Images Based on Item Configurations
Given the industries that Assembly Planner is used in, there is sometimes a need to vary instructions based on the different configurations of a product. For example, many manufacturers make similar products across different brands, regions, or languages which causes issues where the product might be technically identical but have different requirements on color, decals, or other characteristics that don’t fundamentally change the product.
In these cases, some systems (including previous versions of our own) would have you create a new instruction with an image showing the correct color/language or note that it might be either and hope the operator can tell which one using other information provided. We recently did a video on the subject, with the objective of showing how Assembly Planner has a way to flexibly set images based on an item’s configuration. In my example, I took two pump assemblies (one white, one grey) and ran through a few different situations.
It doesn’t matter if the color is different, the operator knows which to use.
Same part number, color varies by option and I want my instructions to show that.
Different part number, show only the correct part number and the correct image.
#1 Set the image on the activity and always show it
This one is the simplest and oldest version. For each page in your instruction (this could also be each webpage if using the MES/Shop Floor digital instructions) I want to set an image, called SOP Image in Assembly Planner, and show it for this activity every time.
Find the activity and set SOP Image.
Figure 1. SOP Image ID
Run a work instruction report or publish the digital instructions and see the image.
Figure 2. The work instructions image has parts, tools, and steps for the operator.
#2 Change the image if the option is different
For this option, we added the ability to override the image on the activity IF a certain option is present. If the brand is different, I find the option that is only called on that brand, and I set SOP Image on that option accordingly.
In the model/option mapping tab I find the options in question and set the image accordingly. One grey, one white.
Figure 3. Setting the SOP Image ID to the grey pump
Figure 4. Option Variations
I run the report again and see the relevant image if I filter by that option, or have an order with that option.
Figure 5. SOP Report
Figure 6. The image shifts to the white pump option
#3 The part number changes if the color changes. The instruction should show one or the other.
For this option, we leverage the consumption tab. All we must do is add our two parts to the activity, set which options they apply to (this can be derived as well by Autobuild in Assembly Planner) and which image is relevant to the part.
This image shows that I have set two parts up to be called only on an option by option basis, and when they are called, I will overwrite the image with the part specific image and the parts required on the activity with only the row that was called.
Figure 7. Consumption Tab
As stated above, this is intended to be a way to be able to re-use activities to minimize maintenance tasks. The way different customers use this feature is different and highly configurable. For instance, our default setting is an override by detail level, so I set the image based on the activity, then overwrite with the option level, then override with the part level, but the reverse is possible as well if needed. This is just a quick introduction and example on the topic, there is more detail in the video, and as always, please contact us if you have any questions or comments.
If you have questions about our software solutions we'd be happy to help.
Join our mailing list to be informed of the newest blog posts.