Engineers have long sought to standardize the materials used in projects to realize cost efficiencies. However, with millions of individual parts to describe and each part needing to be described differently in each phase of the project, the complexity of standardizing material descriptions is significant. Material codes are an obvious answer to the standardization problem. However, a code that satisfies Engineering while ignoring Procurement or Construction requirements provides few overall benefits.
In many companies today, a commodity code is used to uniquely describe materials used in projects. These codes are company-specific and go to the heart of how a company conducts its business. While some companies are quite advanced in this area, there are even more companies saying, "Our Engineering and Procurement departments cannot agree on how to codify and define materials. How can Hexagon help?"
Defining commodity codes that can satisfy the requirements of the different phases of a project requires a significant effort by companies. To reduce that effort, Hexagon is delivering a comprehensive array of commodity codes with SDB that can be used to uniquely describe materials throughout a project lifecycle. In Smart Reference Data, SDB employs comprehensive rules within the database to maintain those material descriptions in a change-controlled environment.
In addition to commodity codes, there are idents, where an ident is a size-specific instance of a commodity code to describe an item. The commodity code with its rule-based description uniquely identifies the commodities. The ident relates the commodity code to specific size and other geometrics (for example, piping wall thickness) to uniquely identify the material for specifications, quantification, and traceability.