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Should we have PN-Suffix when cherry picking parts in population?

Should we have PN-Suffix when cherry picking parts in population?

(OP)
Question about BKM to track same part with different specs: Our suppliers manufacture thousands of parts for my company and take measurements afterwards. Say, for just example, a supplier manufactures part whose dimension should be between 8 and 12 inch (that's the spec; target is 10). Now some of our top biggest customers want us to cherry pick best of best parts for them, so force us to send parts which only have dimension between 9 and 11 inch, basically parts with tighter spec. We have no choice but comply with their request and manually cherry pick the parts for them, manage logistics and inventory for them all manually. They do not want us to change the PN because they would have to qualify new PN on their end which is a big hassle for them.

My question is how to segregate physical parts for them? One idea is to engrave same base part number on physical part (all our parts have PN engraved on them so that’s fine) but have the packaging box with base part number with suffix. Suffix in this case would identify the population which this parts belong (9 to 11inch) instead of (8 to 12inch). In this way we can track which parts go where but our customers would get the same part number when they open the box. I understand that there are many downsides to this as well and we would need to create extra processes to make this work, so if you have if you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

RE: Should we have PN-Suffix when cherry picking parts in population?

Electronic parts distributors used to sell a similar service, running semiconductor parts through test stations and sorting them based on an extra narrow range of a measurable parameter.

They used automated test stations, so could do the sorting rapidly after setting up.
They did charge for the added handling and setup.

The point I was trying to make is that you shouldn't do the measuring, sorting, and segregation of inventory for free, especially if you are doing it all manually. You need to pay, er, Manuel. winky smile


Second, not having a unique part number for that customer's unique part is the edge of a slippery slope.
For small informal operations, you might tag the parts and/or packages with a paint pen spot or similar marking in addition to your normal marking. That should be sufficiently 'the same' so that the customer won't consider it a new part number.

... but your own people need to recognize the marking as special, so you have to document it.
How you do that depends on how large, and how organized, your outfit is.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Should we have PN-Suffix when cherry picking parts in population?

Suggestion 1: Find new customers so you don't need to cover for this one. It seems to me they are perpetrating a fraud somewhere by making a design change and trying to cover it up. I don't believe they would have to requalify based on a narrower spec than their original qualification allowed, but they apparently don't want to alert anyone that their product depends on a narrower spec item to function correctly. This is what GM did when they changed the spring on their ignition switches and didn't change the part number to match. There was also a TV maker who selected vacuum tubes so that the design could eliminate the need for other corrective circuits. It had the side effect that the casual repair was impossible, so any service had to use tubes from the manufacturer.

Suggestion 2: Add a MFR P/N that is the base number (their cage code?) plus their P.O. number. Without knowing what the part is, it's hard to tell how that could happen. Laser etch, rubber stamp, temporary tag, marked box if your workers won't foul it up. I suppose one could reduce it to a unobtrusive paint dot. It is possible they will change their minds and tying the parts to a P.O. will prevent them coming back later with earlier parts and saying they aren't suitable.

In real life these are dealt with using a Selected Item Drawing, as noted on slides 16-18 of http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2008/technical/GastonEngi... and entails removal of the original id marking and application of unique/new id marking.

RE: Should we have PN-Suffix when cherry picking parts in population?

Keep existing p/n for 9-11 parts
Set up new p/n for 8-12 parts
Existing inventory needs to be sorted and restocked
Only order existing p/n from your supplier and sort and stock the required number of 9-11 for your PIA customer, re label the balance for other customers 8-12

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