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A Cost Effective method and system to control shared P/Ns in a tightly integrated product Portfolio during divestitures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238826D
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a cost-effective control/locking system for shared parts, which enables a company to control shared product numbers during divestitures within a tightly integrated product portfolio.

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A Cost Effective method and system to control shared P / product Portfolio during divestitures

Companies with tightly integrated product lines, which share parts, do not have a cost-effective system by which to identify and control shared part numbers (P/Ns) during product divestitures. If P/Ns are not identified and engineering changes to the shared P/Ns are not controlled during and post divestiture, then huge churn occurs,

which may result in loss of design and manufacturing integrity for both companies . These must be controlled and eliminated in due course , resulting in zero shared parts toward the end of a contract period.

The novel solution is a shared parts control/locking system. Through information technology (IT), shared parts between products that are divested and remaining in-house products are identified and tagged. Engineering changes (ECs) to these tagged parts are monitored and prevented, maintaining the design integrity and ongoing project schedules. The system also has a way of soft locking that allows additional usage of the P/Ns in the product family, whereas hard locking prevents any further usage. Hard locking is IT-based, and soft locking is process based, but both soft and hard locking prevent ECs to parts. The system also includes a monitoring system to detect non-compliance and a reporting mechanism to communicate any violations to the affected parties.

The system tags parts that are identified as parts shared between the divested product and the rest of the products in the host company . This prevents unintended changes affecting the product line of both companies . Prior to implementing the locking system, parts are analyzed assigned to one of three categories:

• Parts to be hard locked (e.g., higher-level assemblies parts that are prone to changes)

• Parts to be soft locked
• Parts to be left unlocked but monitored

Analysis starts prior to divestiture and continues post-divestiture. Post divestiture analysis is necessary because either company may create new parts that may be used by the other company as long as the same design systems are shared . Priority is placed on product hardware parts. Other P/Ns are investigated to determine if locking is sensible (e.g., materials, publications, software, engineering documentation, equipment, tools, etc.).

Hard locked parts and soft locked parts are differentiated based on the part categorization in the Part Information Management (PIM) system. Assemblies of high complexity (e.g., card assemblies) are hard locked, and...