Autodesk Inventor 2015 Yellow cell of hellJust a quick post today. I don’t know about you guys, but in the past I’ve spent an awful long time trying to track down the offending components causing the yellow cell of hell in the Inventor Bill Of Materials. You know the one, the one with the word varies in it. Yup, that one. Argghh. It’s only taken me a decade of Autodesk Inventor use to figure out how to pinpoint how to fix it in a few quick steps.

The Cause

By default Inventor wraps up BOM rows for the benefit of calculating quantity if the value in the part number property matches another row. If 3 rows have the same part number, then you get a quantity of 3. The setting responsible for this can be found within the BOM itself and its setting is saved with the file. So if you want to turn it off or on permanently then you need to do so in your assembly (.iam) template file.

Autodesk Inventor 2015 BOM Row MergeSo when you get two different files, and accidentally they share the same value in the part number property, it’s quite likely another property in the BOM will vary. Material or description are common ones, or in a lot of companies it will be one of the dimensional properties for the parts list.

Ok so that enough background, this is a short post remember.

The Solution

Right so how do you figure out which files share the same part number value?

Have a look at where in the BOM structure the problem is occurring. In the image below, I can see the offending BOM row has been promoted (notice the horizontal bar icon with the blue up arrow next to it). This tells me the issue likely resides in a sub assembly.

Autodesk Inventor 2015 BOM Row varies solutionSo with that in mind you can expand that sub assembly in the browser tree. In this example you will immediately see 4 components have been highlighted and my BOM row confirms there are only 4. Now I have dramatically narrowed down my search for the offending component and am able to correct the stray part number.

Some cases are more complex than this, for instance you may only see the yellow cell of hell in the Parts Only BOM. Which means the components could live in multiple sub assemblies simultaneously within the BOM. Fortunately the BOM dialogue is modeless, so with it active you are able to rummage through the Browser expanding and collapsing as required. It’s also worth noting that the components themselves are also highlighted in the graphics window. It’s possible that the offending component appears dramatically different to it part number sharing cousin.

Autodesk Inventor 2015 BOM Row varies solution

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