An Alternate Item is an Engineering Item that can replace an existing one (called also “Primary Item”) in a specific usage of the Primary Item. This relation between the items is defined in the engineering phase and is used later in the manufacturing phase where alternative components might be required, instead of the primary ones. The Alternate Item has the same function as the Primary one, but can provide an alternative for specific needs, such as in the following:
- Engineering: weight, reliability
- Procurement: cost, delivery time, availability
- Manufacturing: machine capabilities
The Alternate Item has to be qualified for a specific usage in the enterprise as an official alternate before it can be used as such.
Three levels of alternate definition are managed in the Engineer Release Management widget:
- All usages:
- The Alternate Item can replace the Primary Item in all usages of the Primary Items (= regardless of which parent this Primary Item is defined under)
- All instances of the Primary Item
- The Alternate Item can replace all the instances of the Primary Item (under the current parent)
- Selected instances of the Primary Item:
- The Alternate Item can replace one or several specific instances of the Primary Item (under the current parent)
The last two cases also can be referred to as the “substitute” cases as they are valid in a specific usage of the Primary Item (= under a specific parent).