Including labor time and cost in assemblies

Last update 2019-09-24

PDXpert PLM software includes the ability to calculate the cost of an assembly by summing part quantities and unit costs. This note describes how to create and use "Labor" pseudo-parts for calculations within PDXpert and other computer applications like MRP.

Create a part type related to labor§

Individual labor items are all constructed using a time-based part type template.

Choose an appropriate unit of time

Labor is usually purchased and consumed in time units, and this unit is specified in your new part type, applied to your labor items, and used on your BOMs. Consider the precision you prefer to manage: it's likely you acquire labor by hour/day/week, but perhaps it's consumed in minutes.

Decide which is more useful: for example, labor cost $30/hr and 0.1 hr on the BOM can also be represented as labor cost $0.5/min and 6.0 min on the BOM.

If the Lock part default unit of measure on BOM system rule is not marked, then users can specify different units of measure, such as hour on the item and minute on the BOM. Use caution: downstream software applications may not understand the change in unit of measure, and labor quantities may need to be normalized as they're exported.

In the Units of Measure collection, open the appropriate member of the Time category (such as hr) to verify that Active: Users can select is marked.

Add a new Labor collection member

In the Part Types collection, add a new member:

  •  The new part type is called Labor.
  • Clear the Show Materials tab, Show BOM tab, Show Sources tab and Show Files tab checkboxes, unless you have an intended use for any of these lists.

On the Attributes tab:

  • In the Default unit of measure, select your preferred unit of time, such as hr.
  • In the Default lifecycle phase, select Production or your system's equivalent.
  • In the Identifier sequence, you can specify using regular part numbers, or a unique sequence for labor items.
  • Assign the Part name template as Labor, [skill] or similar.

Create labor items§

On the Item Explorer's New tab, click the Labor part type to create new labor items.

If you only track assembly time or use a standard labor rate for all production activities, then a single labor item is sufficient. You can, however, be more specific: each assembly may potentially include time required to assemble, inspect, test, calibrate or package the item; these can all have different skills with unique labor rates.

On the General tab:

  • Assign a Number to the item.
  • Assign a Part name, such as Labor, assembly.

On the Attributes tab:

  • The Default unit of measure has already been assigned your preferred time (say, hr).
  •  Enter the labor rate as the Unit cost per default unit.

Applying labor items§

You can use the new labor item(s) as you would any other part. A cost roll-up includes the total labor cost in a multi-level product, and a pick list sums labor time per skill.

Changes to a specific labor rate (say, increasing the Labor, assembly cost from $24/hr to $26/hr) will automatically affect all assemblies that use that labor item. New cost reports will immediately show the results of the new labor rate.

Adding labor items to BOM§

Add the labor item to a BOM and set the Quantity of time required per assembly.

If you import your BOMs from CAD, then you'll need to manually add/restore the labor item(s) each time, unless you include each labor item and its quantity in the import file.

Exporting labor items§

Unless you specify otherwise, your labor items will be included in normal file exports, and will appear in PDXpert's public views. If downstream systems should not see labor items, update your transforms to exclude items with part type of Labor.

If your manufacturing system requires special commodity codes for labor, these can be applied as custom attributes to each labor item, and included in exported lists. Labor routing numbers (say, all labor rows must be located at Find values above 900) can replace the existing values during the export.

This application note was relevant to the PDXpert software release that was current at time of publication. Product changes since that time may affect its utility. We'd be happy to assist you in assessing the applicability of this note to your situation.

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