Let’s review the role of the Item Master in managing components and all of the relevant documentation in Autodesk Vault. There are three main uses for the Item Master in Vault:
- Container for all relevant documentation – Items as a concept in Vault are really nothing more than a container for all the relevant documentation related to a component. This could be a PDF file, AutoCAD drawing, or Inventor part and drawing. This is most commonly done by promoting a document to an Item, where it is assigned an item number. If an Inventor part or assembly is promoted, the associated drawing is also captured, and this begins the process of capturing all the relevant documentation.
- Mechanism for release management – Like individual files, Items also have their own workflows and release process. So rather than trying to manage the release of each individual file, the entire package of relevant documentation can be released from the item level instead.
- Common BOM format for communication to other business systems – Items also allow the management of a Bill of Materials (BOM). A BOM can be built from scratch from multiple items; however, this is more commonly automated from Autodesk Inventor file relationships. An Inventor top-level assembly will automatically generate the beginning of a BOM in the Item Master. This BOM can then be edited to add extra items or change quantities if desired. This BOM can also be exported to a neutral format for communication to other business systems such as ERP or MRP.