Bespoke procurement and part tracking software for RAL Space

Key elements

  • Parts procurement for scientific manufacture
  • Multi database silo integration 
  • Powerful search with save options

RAL Space is an integral part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC)
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). RAL Space have to be very careful about the tracking of components used in spacecraft assemblies and were running into difficulties logging the whereabouts of thousands of very valuable scientific parts.

The brief

The client required a system that could take a bill of materials (BOM) exported from their design software and allow components to be matched to parts procured from their suppliers or held in stock.

As with many organisations, this client had a number of undocumented processes and many different systems holding silos of information controlled by different departments.

RAL Space bespoke procurement and parts database software by Achorda

The solution

This project involved a number of different departments and stakeholders and the first phase of the project involved mapping out exactly what the current processes were and where there were bottlenecks. We then worked with stakeholders to analyse the requirements missing from the current procurement and database systems and designed a new solution.

A bespoke Intranet application was developed in Microsoft ASP.Net MVC with a SQL Server database.

Bespoke import software was written to import the native file format from the circuit board design software to identify the design part numbers and quantities for each board.

A method was developed for grouping boards into an assembly and then allocating these to projects to allow parts to be procured on a project basis.

Mapping between design part numbers and procurement part numbers was built in with the ability to store favourites for mappings where alternative parts may be used.

The software identifies where parts can be procured from stock and reallocated from other projects. Procurement of non-stock parts was accommodated including the production of orders and handling good in inspections with photographic evidence.

The resulting solution allows the client to be able to pinpoint the location of any parts down to individual serial numbers and also allows full tracking of the history from procurement to final assembly for auditing purposes.

 

RAL Space bespoke procurement and parts database software by Achorda

The results

The solution brings the following benefits to RAL Space:

  • Easily pinpoint the location of any part down to individual serial number
  • Eradicate the loss of valuable space parts and therefore save huge costs
  • Save valuable time tracking and procuring parts, freeing up resources for more productive activities

 

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