How-To Guide: Properly Entering Your Semi-Components Into IMDS

Properly building your parts in the International Material Data System (IMDS) is crucial for success in the automotive industry. However, with the many parts, materials, components, semi-components, and sub-components that you may be working with, correctly classifying each aspect of your automotive part and entering it into IMDS can become confusing.

If you don’t add parts accurately or build a proper tree structure, you may face rejections from your customers. Here, we will explain what a semi-component is and how you can make sure you are correctly adding it to your material data sheet (MDS) tree.

What Are Semi-Components in IMDS?

When people think of semi-components, they usually think of smaller whole components that fit together to make a larger assembly. While this can be true, it isn’t always the case in IMDS.

In IMDS, a semi-component is a material or entity that needs or needed further processing in the past. This is not the same thing as a sub-component.

For example, you might see “Needle (cast)” in IMDS. This is a semi-component because it needs machining to be ready to either attach to the final product or become the final product.

Semi-components in IMDS are distinguished by this yellow circle symbol:

Entering Semi-Components Into IMDS

When entering a semi-component MDS into IMDS, you will begin with the name, trade name (if applicable), and the internal part number.

Unlike a component node, a semi-component will have not be measured in units of weight. Instead, semi-components are measured by specific gravity. Specific gravity is defined as the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a standard substance. In IMDS, the standard substance is water.

The specific gravity of the material used should be on the technical data sheet of your material. The units of measurement will be as follows:

  • For length: kg per meter
  • For area: kg per square meter
  • For volume: kg per cubic meter

To calculate the specific gravity of your semi-component, you would take the weight of the material and divide it by the specific gravity of water. You will enter this specific gravity into the weight text box in IMDS. Then you will internally release it as you would any other MDS.

When you add the semi-component to the parent component, you can add the semi-component by clicking on the calculate button:

IMDS will then automatically calculate the correct weight.

Now, when following the MDS tree, the semi-component is attached to a component node. It is acceptable for a component to be made of two semi-components. However, a semi-component cannot be above a component node in the tree hierarchy or on the same level as a material node.

Additionally, semi-components will not have any of the regulatory considerations that a component would, so you will need to answer regulatory questions on the component node.


Get IMDS Support

IMDS is a powerful tool for compliance, but correctly reporting the information about your parts can be daunting, especially if you are just beginning in IMDS. Tetra Tech offers wide-ranging IMDS solutions to support your company’s compliance, from training to reporting management and more. Contact us today at [email protected] to see how we can help you and support your compliance team.


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