Item Assembly Structures are used for three purposes:

  • For creating an asset assembly and/or spare parts of the asset
  • For creating part of a location hierarchy – models
  • For creating the set of items that make up a kit item

This article considers item assembly structures when used with assets.

An Item Assembly Structure (IAS) is a hierarchy of items, both rotating and non-rotating, which describe the sub-assemblies and spare parts which can in this example of the use of an IAS be applied to an asset to form an asset assembly structure.

It is only in the Item Master application where the Item Assembly Structures are created. The item will have to be a rotating item to have it applied to an asset, the asset will need to reference the rotating item.

There is an action called “Copy Item Assembly Structure” which derives a list of existing item assemblies that you might want to apply to your current item. I will copy the item assembly that is on the PUMP100 item.

The item assembly structure that has been copied consists of 7 items and the quantities of the item required. The remarks field might be used to indicate the position of the item. 

Some of the items might also consist of children. On the Item’s detail menu there is a “Move To xxx” action where xxx is the item number. This transfers the item to the Current Level field which allows you to see the children of this item. MOT10 belongs to the top-level item, in this case AJE05.

It is only rotating items which can have child rotating items. If you attempt to add a rotating item as a child to a non-rotating item, you will receive the error message “BMXAA2105E – A non-rotating item may not have a rotating child item.”

In the Assets application there is an action called Apply Item Assembly Structure which requires you to provide an asset number for any rotating items that exist in the item assembly. In this example MOT10 is a rotating item, and so we need to create an asset number for it, I have used the “Autonumber All” button which will create asset 2173.

Once applied the rotating items in the item assembly structure become assets and are seen in the Subassemblies table window, asset 2173 has now been created. The non-rotating items are copied as spare parts along with their quantities and remarks.

In the Subassemblies table window, you can use the “Move to xxx” from the details menu to make the subassembly asset the focus for the asset record, in this case asset 2173. The Spare Parts tab now shows the subassemblies and spare parts of this child asset, in this case the one item 117021 with a quantity of 2.

There are a few points to note with regard to an Item Assembly Structure:

  • An item can exist multiple times with the same parent item or at different places in the item assembly structure. However, multiple items which exist against the same parent item are not copied as additional spare parts, nor are the quantities combined.
  • A non-rotating item can have child non-rotating items in the item assembly structure, but they will not be copied across to the asset spare parts.
  • When creating an item assembly structure, you cannot add a child item that is the same as its parent, you will receive the error message “BMXAA2061E – A child item may not have the same item number as its parent.
  • On an asset you can use the action Apply Item Assembly Structure multiple times. If for example, you applied the same item assembly structure a second time, in the example above you would receive a second child asset, but you would not have duplicate spare parts, and the quantities would not be combined.

In the Receiving and Shipment Receiving applications you can receive a quantity of assets which require serialization. In this example the Receive Rotating Items action is used in the Receiving application when the received item on a purchase order line has reached WASSET status. The Autonumber button has been used to create asset 2175. The button at the right-hand end of the table window is Apply IAS. Note. If there are multiple assets you can also apply the IAS, but you need to do it to each asset in turn.

The Apply Item Assembly Structure dialog that opens is the same as you have seen before.

It is the use of the Autonumber All button in several places in Maximo which is why I much prefer to suggest to clients that the asset number, at least for rotating assets, is a generated number rather than bearing any specific meaning. Often the meaning attributed to the asset number is representing the sort of data contained on the location record where the asset exists.

You will not be able to use the Apply Item Assembly Structure action in the Assets application on an asset record that does not reference a rotating item, you will receive the error message “BMXAA0172E – Cannot apply IAS. A rotating item is not available.”

And finally, a couple of points with regard to tool items. 

  • There is no Item Assembly Structure tab on the Tools application and no Copy Item Assembly Structure action. The Apply Item Assembly Structure action launches for an asset associated with a tool item, but it will not find any assembly structure against the tool item. So, how can we easily create the spare parts for rotating tool assets? The answer is to use an Asset Template associated with the rotating tool item. When the rotating tool asset has been created you can then apply the asset template to it. 
  • A tool item can be added as a spare part to an Item Assembly Structure. However, a tool item cannot be added as a spare part to an asset. When the Item Assembly Structure is applied to an asset you will receive the error message “BMXAA4195E – A value is required for the Item field on the SPAREPART object.”. The tool item has been copied to the SPAREPART table but the item field (ITEMNUM) has failed its validation and the value has been removed. You will need to use the Clear Changes button rather than the Save Asset button or accept the spare parts by deleting the row with the missing item number. But then how do we associated the tools used on an asset? The answer is to include the tools in all job plans associated with the asset.