A phantom assembly is typically a non-stocked assembly that groups the components needed to produce a subassembly. For example, compare a phantom assembly to folders on a computer. The folder represents the phantom and the individual files are the components. They are called phantoms because they are not counted as inventory items, but are created to fulfill the requirements of a higher-level assembly.
Phantom assemblies provide the following advantages:
No need to create multiple work orders. The phantom assembly is added to the higher-level work order.
They work as build-to-order instructions. Components do not have to be issued from stock beforehand.
They simplify Bill of Materials (BOM) management. If a component is changed on the Phantom BOM, it is automatically reflected in all BOMs that use the phantom as a sub-assembly.
You can use them as configuration options for manufactured products when it would not be cost effective to keep the assembly in stock.
While phantom assemblies are typically used as components in a larger assembly build, they can also be used to create stock items. For example, as part of a warranty claim, a batch of replacement wheels could be manufactured using a phantom assembly.