Substitute parts and Alternate parts Concepts

BOM (Bill of material or parts) is a representation of information about the product. In my articles about the concept of BOM and its types, I gave details glimpse of Bill of Material. In this article, we will see the terms like substitute and alternate parts.

In BOM there is also a provision for information about replaceable parts in certain condition. The most used terms in BOM management are substitute parts and alternate parts. Now by reading up to this, we understand that both the terms are used for replacement of parts or material. Let’s see details about these terms and most important about the difference between these two terms.

Substitute Parts :

  • We change the original part with substitute part to a specific location or part structure of the assembly.
  • Substitute part does not have the same function, form and fits like the original part.

Examples :
Substitute parts are used when there is a shortage of material or parts. In this situation, we find a part or material which is a substitute for the original part. Instead of steel(SI) parts most company used fiber or composite material as a substitute in a product. Because of shortage of material in some location of industries, they find local material or parts for a specific location only. Substitute parts also called as local alternate.

Alternate Parts :

  • We can replace original parts with alternate parts in the whole assembly of product structure.
  • Alternate parts have the same function form and fit like the original part.

Alternate parts are commonly purchased from different vendors. The same part having the same form, fit and function can be made by different manufacturing industries. Nuts and bolts having ASME standards are manufactured by different industries can be used as alternate parts. We fit Tyre of different companies like CEAT and MRF according to cost and quality to our vehicles but the tyres of different companies have the same form, fit and function may be their quality and cost is different. These tyres are used as an alternate part. Alternate parts are also called as global alternates.

There are so many examples of alternate and substitute parts. Please share your experiences and comment if you know examples of alternate and substitute parts.

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