PLM Basics: Reference Designator and Find Numbers

Some time ago, one of my readers wrote me a comment with the question about Reference Designators and Find Numbers. With all our interest to talk about modern technological trends, mobile, social software, understanding and clarification of basics is very important too. In the past, I wrote few posts tagged PLM Basics. If you haven’t seen it before, navigate your brower to the following link.

Online Reference Information
You are pretty much out of lack if you are trying to find this information online. Here is short info from Wikipedia.

A reference designator unambiguously identifies a component in an electrical schematic (circuit diagram) or on a printed circuitboard (PCB). The reference designator usually consists of one or two letters followed by a number, e.g. R13, C1002. Thenumber is sometimes followed by a letter, indicating that components are grouped or matched with each other, e.g. R17A, R17B.

Another source of information, which is probably less known – PLMPedia. This is an online project of created byLEDAS. Unfortunately, PLMPedia has no information about what is a reference designator.

Reference Designator (RD)
RD is normally a text field that belongs to Component in Bill of Material, that helps you to specify what this component does and how to find this component. In most cases, used when more than one component with the same Part Number need to appear in BOM. Reference designators can be used in various reports and Bill of Material views. The most of Reference Designator usages is to simplify your access to a specific Component / Part Number. The usage of Reference designators can be different between various systems in the industry. Normally, the information about Reference Designator usage belongs to BOM module.

Find Number (FN)
FN is a number that usualy set by Bill of Material management module when create line item in BOM. For most cases, I’ve seen, Find Number usually set automatically or manually as the incremental number for every row in Bill of Material. Find Number is a simple way to search, sort and organize lines in Bill of Material module.

I found usage of Reference Designator sometimes overlaps with usage of Find Number. I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience and common practices. I didn’t find much online information about terms and practices in product development and engineering. The usage of Reference Designators can be different in electronic industry compared to mechanical engineering.

Best, Oleg

*** photo in this blog post was imported from Flickr user Dano. The original file is located here.


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