Product Classification

Recognising and organising typical product properties

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Reduce the lead time

What do we have, and what don't we have?
Classifying and recording typical product properties related to form, fit and function present many advantages to everybody inside and outside an organisation, from engineering to product and client, because it is crucial to be able to clearly identify each component within the production process. Entering properties of components in the CAD model using a uniform method guarantees highly consistent metadata. This rapidly produces answers to the question: "What do we have, and what don't we have."

Re-use products and avoid duplicates
Using a uniform procedure and metadata enables you to search by class properties and to immediately find out whether a component with certain properties is already in stock, or whether an alternative component with similar properties is available, so that there is no need to order new items. You avoid duplicates (re-inventing the wheel) and encourage the re-use of available products. Product classification may increase your output by up to 80% in the lead time.

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Entering properties of components in the CAD model using a uniform method guarantees highly consistent metadata.

Pim Saarloos Product Manager - Manufacturing Pim Saarloos

Why product classification?

USP Rapid search

Rapid search

Complete metadata allows you to quickly find out whether a component with certain properties is available.

USP Detect duplicates in your design

Detect duplicates in your design

It is no longer necessary to re-invent the wheel. 

USP The basis for standardisation

The basis for standardisation

Product classification enables standardisation and product configuration. 


Why is classification so important?

Classification actually means creating order in differences and similarities, that is pattern recognition of a collection of objects with the same features (a class).

Do you want to know to which class a product belongs? Then we are able to better understand and manage the properties and features. It is easier to classify a product in a certain group than to assess it individually and to have to manage all its features. Classifying everything makes things easier and clearer.

For example, the class for fastening materials can be subdivided into 2 sub-classes: nuts and bolts. Each class has specific designs and specifications. Classifying your assortment opens the door to standardisation: In simple terms, you decide which Lego bricks you already have. How you can quickly retrieve and re-use them, via metadata such as a description and a product group.

Product Classification to Form-Fit-Function

If you want to start using Product Classification, you start by recording the physical properties related to form, fit and function. In practice, you will probably often not find it easy to communicate about a product with your colleagues. The essence of a product is not always directly visible. It is contained in the specific properties: Form, Fit and Function. These can then be classified.

Example: a typical, straight roller conveyor. It is electrically driven (function) using a chain (function), the motor is on the right (form) with a conveyor length of 1000m (form) in a RAL 9000 colour (function).


Applicable to all discrete products

Product classification not an option for you? It probably is! It is applicable to all discrete products. These are products that have been put together or processed on the basis of components, e.g. a car, an airplane, a machine, a watch or a chair. You can dismantle them, and re-assemble them again. This is unlike process products such as oil, gas or toothpaste.


Product Classification in Autodesk Vault

Our Cadac Organice Vault solution allows you to lay out and secure product classification in a PDM system such as Autodesk Vault. By setting up one fixed set of metadata for all product types that must be completed, you create a uniform method for completing this metadata. The result? The possibility to search rapidly and to detect duplicates.

Once a product has been designed, all metadata and relations have been recorded, and 3D models and drawings have been made, one thing is certain: things must be changed. Product designs irrevocably lead to product modifications. This means changes of product metadata, relations and/or documents describing that product. To be able to implement these modifications in a controlled, structured and predictable manner, there is an important basic principle that must be honoured, namely product revision exchangeability. You will also not be able to control this process without a PDM system such as Autodesk Vault.

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