MISys Manufacturing is a comprehensive manufacturing software application used by small and medium sized businesses to manage their manufacturing operations: inventory management, production scheduling, material requirements planning (MRP) and purchasing, and shop floor control. MISys Manufacturing integrates with both QuickBooks and Sage accounting solutions. MISys features:
- Multi-Tiered BOMs with Revision Control which means you can modify BOMs to meet product needs of customers,
- Time-phased Material Requirements Planning (MRP) allowing you to reduce inventory levels and carrying costs while ensuring needed product is on hand,
- Inventory Control for management of raw materials and WIP in the warehouse, shop floor or for outside processors,
- Serial/Lot Tracking throughout assemblies permitting compliance with regulatory and quality control requirements,
- Integration with SOLIDWORKS® which saves time and reduce errors by importing BOMs from SOLIDWORKS® directly into MISys.
It has just been under a year since MISys introduced their integration with SOLIDWORKS® in a new feature that was included in their version 6.2 software. MISys has subsequently introduced version 6.3 of their software that included some minor changes to the integration as recommended by early adopters. At the time the integration was released, Dave Brown, CEO and President of MISys said, "The new integration makes it easy to create items and Bills of Material in MISys Manufacturing software from a product design in SOLIDWORKS. It will save customers an incredible amount of time and work when moving from design to production."
For manufacturers using both software programs, the integration of these two software packages is a tremendous plus. From a MISys standpoint, the start of the manufacturing process no longer has to begin with the production staff or materials support personnel, it can actually now begin with the SOLIDWORKS® design process and design engineers. One example of this is the ‘configurable logic’ MISys created to handle duplicate item numbers when importing designs and supporting data from SOLIDWORKS®. From a SOLIDWORKS® standpoint, the software makes use of a ‘design for cost and manufacturability’ approach and that approach fits perfectly into the integration with MISys including the ability to review and edit the MISys Bill of Materials before import as well as the ability to import SOLIDWORKS®. Design elements as MISys Manufacturing items and BOMs.
In fact, SOLIDWORKS® integrates design tools including industry-leading part, assembly, and drawing capabilities with built-in simulation, cost estimation, rendering, animation, and product data management—to help you get your design work done fast and easy. With innovative capabilities, SOLIDWORKS moves you through the phases of product creation (Design, Validate, Collaborate, Build) to achieve a more productive design.
SOLIDWORKS allows you to design products for a broad range of industries and manufacturing applications:
- 3D solid design: create and edit 3D part and assembly designs and create 2D drawings that automatically update with design changes
- Conceptual design: create layout sketches; apply motors and forces to check mechanism performance; import images and scans to use as a reference for creating 3D geometry
- Large assembly design capabilities: create and manage extremely large designs, and work in either detailed or simplified modes
- Advanced surfacing: create and edit complex solid and surface geometry, including stylish C2 surfaces
- Sheet metal: design from scratch or convert your 3D part to sheet metal; includes automatic flattening of sheet metal parts with bend length compensation
- Weldments: quickly design welded structures composed of structural members, plates, and gussets; includes a library of predefined structural shapes
- Mold design: design molded parts and the tooling to create them, including core and cavity, draft, automated parting surfaces, and mold base components
- Piping/tubing design: generate and document 3D mechanical systems, including pipe/tube paths, pipe spools, pipe slope, and a complete Bill of Materials (BOM)
- Electrical cable/harness and conduit design: generate and document 3D electrical route paths, and complete the BOM for your design
SOLIDWORKS allows you to communicate your design intent with production-ready 2D drawings:
- Automatic Drawing View creation: drag and drop the 3D model into a drawing to automatically create a view
- Automatic Drawing View updates: drawing views update automatically with 3D model changes
- Dimensioning and Tolerancing: automated creation and placement of dimensions and tolerances
- Bill of materials (BOM): automated BOMs with balloon note callouts and cut lists that update with model changes; includes output BOMs to Microsoft® Excel®
- Annotations: ability to create all necessary symbols, notes, hole callouts, and tables
- Standards checking: automatically compare your drawings to company standards to ensure consistency
- Drawing control: graphically compare drawings to understand differences and control revisions
Solidly Working Together
To begin the process of integration of MISys with SOLIDWORKS® the MISys Administrator must configure the Engineering tab of the Company Options within MISys software.
MISys Engineering Tab configuration
On the Engineering tab you must select SOLIDWORKS® as the engineering system with which you want to integrate, then select the SOLIDWORKS® Paths for integration including the Default Assembly Folder which will contain all SOLIDWORKS® assemblies (file type - *.sldasm), and the BOM Templates which must be the full path includign filename for the bom-standard.sldbomtbt file. (This file is part of every SOLIDWORKS® installation and will typically be in the lang\english\ folder within the installations SOLIDWORKS folder.
The Item Number Extraction group of settings allows you to set up how MISys Manufacturing will extract item numbers from your SOLIDWORKS assemblies and/or BOMs. The Item Delimiter represents the character that your company uses in filenames or item descriptions to separate the item number from other information. Ex: “I96 – Metal Pin” or “Metal Pin – I96” would use – as an Item Delimiter. The Item Number Position is the position of the item number in relation to other information in filenames or item descriptions. Ex: “I96 – Metal Pin” would be configured as Beginning and “Metal Pin – I96” would be configured as Ending. The Reserve Duplicate Digits setting controls how many digits at the end of the item number the system can use for incremental numbers to differentiate between items that may be different items. For example, if your item mask (defined by the length of the Item No. Format on the Formats tab of Company Options) was set to 10 characters and you had “#3 Bracket Left” and “#3 Bracket Right” during the same load with the Reserve Duplicate Digits setting set to 1 then the item numbers would initially set to “#3 Bracke1” and “#3 Bracke2”. If the items were actually the same item, you could then edit the item numbers back to “#3 Bracket”.
Once you have configured the Company Options, you are ready to proceed to the next phase of the process. MISys created a 3 step import wizard to import Assemblies & Parts from SOLIDWORKS®. This 'wizard' allows you to (1) select Assemblies from list in SOLIDWORKS®, (2) review and edit the MISys Bill of Materials before importing, and (3) import Assemblies & Parts from SOLIDWORKS® as MISys Manufacturing Items and BOMs.
Step 1 - Choosing Assemblies
You can save a huge amount of error-prone and time-consuming data entry by importing the Assemblies directly from SOLIDWORKS. From the Master Files panel, select Items or Bills of Material in the tree, click on File | Import | BOM(s) from SOLIDWORKS… and the following window will open:
Integraiton Wizard Step 1
MISys displays the path to the root folder used to store SOLIDWORKS Assemblies, you can limit the assemblies to be displayed using the Find Items options if you choose to do so. When you click the Find button, MISys will update the grid with SOLIDWORKS Items matching the specified criteria.
This grid displays all assemblies that meet the criteria specified in the Find Item(s) fields. The maximum number of Items displayed is determined by the Page Size setting in the Administration Panel, Company Options (defaults to 25) to improve performance. If the criteria specified would return more than the maximum as defined by the Page Size, only the maximum number are displayed and the Get More button will be displayed. The grid contains the Assembly Name / Item Number which will be used as the Item Number in MISys, you have the option to modify this field as appropriate. The Description defaults to read "Imported from SOLIDWORKS 'file name." The BuildConfig (build configuration) from the SOLIDWORKS assembly file that the system should use when importing. If no build configurations other than the default exist then only that one will be the one displayed and selected. If other configurations exist then the first one MISys finds will be the one it selects by default.
If you check the Use Template Item No. checkbox, and select any MISys Manufacturing Item No. by typing its name in the Item No. field or using the Item No. Finder, any Items that the system imports from SOLIDWORKS will have their Maximum, Reorder Level, Minimum, Reorder Quantity, Type, Serial/Lot Track Type and Account Set values copied from the specified templates MISys Manufacturing Item No.
The Prepare Assemblies button will tale you on to the 2nd (wizard) step of the import process. The MISys will read any items selected using generate a BOM to determine any items or subassemblies that will need to be created in order to fully import this assembly.
Step 2 - Defining Assemblies
Once Step 1 of the Wizard has finished loading all of the BOM information from SOLIDWORKS, it will present you with a list of all assemblies and subassemblies so that you can fill in any additional information to the MISys Manufacturing BOM header before proceeding.
Integration Wizard Step 2
Many of the buttons and controls on this screen were available in Step 1, but this grid contains only the assemblies you chose in Step 1, as well as any subassemblies that the system will create. This screen is designed solely to collect information for use in BOM creation. MISys will import everything listed on this page so there is no need to select the lines to indicate you want to import. The columns in the grid have changed so that you can easily edit the BOM header as appropriate, many of the fields shown here are typical of the header information captured when you manually create a BOM within MISys. The Prepare Import button will move you on to the 3rd (wizard) step of the import process.
Step 3 - Defining Items
In this step you will see a list of all items needed for the assemblies. On this screen you can define item specific settings to use during import. The Engineering Inventory Items grid now contains all items that the process will create when you click Import Assemblies BOMS and Items. Before continuing, you have the option of changing some of the values that MISys will use when importing these items. MISys will attempt to import all items listed, so there is no need to select the items you want imported.
Integraiton Wizard Step 3
Some of the key fields in the grid for this step include Name (Item Number) in MISys, Item type (Assembled, Raw Materials, etc.), Description as established in the Item Master, Reorder Level, Unit Cost, Stocking Units, Serial/Lot Track type, Reorder Quantity, Minimum, Account Set and Status. It is just as important that the information in these fields is correct when you import data as it is when you manually enter Item data in MISys, so verify and edit the information before finishing your import.
When you click the Import Assemblies BOMs and Items button, the system will begin importing the items displayed. If MISys finds any problems while importing, the import process will prompt you regarding the appropriate action to take. Once all items have been imported, MISys will ask if you want to import BOMs. After all BOMs are imported, MISys will notify you of how many items and BOMs have been successfully imported.
When you integrate MISys Manufacturing and SOLIDWORKS® you have a true ''design based' manufacturing system at your command. Heck, with a few more enhancements, perhaps the two systems will have 'you at their command.'
You can find more information about MISys Manufacturing at their website, and this is the website for more information about SOLIDWORKS®. If you would like to see the MISys integration with SOLIDWORKS® in action, you can review a short video here.