I think we found a problem with AE 2012. There are times when we generate a BOM of a panel, some items does not have all descriptions populated in the BOM for some reason. Everytime this happens we check and every description has been filled in. The only "fix' we found is to do catlog lookup and click on the part again and then the descriptions will appear like they are suppose to.
We are having this some problem consistantly with the din rail we use. All the information is there in the database but it does not appear on the BOM
Without seeing the drawings it is difficult to know what the issue may be. I know you said the data is in the database, but there must be something odd or missing with the data. Did you try a project database rebuild?
Would you please help to provide a simple project to reproduce this issue? and also if you can provide some screenshot for the issue, that will be very helpful for us to look into the issue and also provide the solution if there is.
In AcadE when a BOM report is run here is what happens behind the scenes -
1) get the catalog values on the component
2) determine the table in the catalog database that this catalog is from
3) pull out the extra fields like description
I believe that it is having trouble in step #2 - determine the table in the catalog database.
In AcadE this is done in one of two ways -
1) on schematic components it will use the block name and if it follows the naming convention described in the Help (http://wikihelp.autodesk.com/AutoCAD_Electrical/en
2) on components that do not match the naming convention such as all panel components, there is an attribute called WDBLKNAM or xdata VIA_WD_WDBLKNAM. The value on this is supposed to be the catalog table name. When you use the catalog lookup to assign the catalog value the WDBLKNAM value is also filled in. But, if you type the catalog and manufacturer values in then this is missing. (This is not to be confused with the WDBLKNAM column in the catalog database tables which has a different function).
So my guess is that sometimes you are typing in the MFG and CAT values rather than using the catalog lookup. And then the WDBLKNAM value is not there or not correct. Then when you go in and do the catalog lookup, the WDBLKNAM value is added, and next time the BOM report works fine.
You can verify if my guess is right by checking on a panel component that the fields are missing in the report. Look for either a WDBLKNAM attribute or more likely look at xdata using xdata editor (Project tab > Other Tools panel > expand panel) and see if there is a VIA_WD_WDBLKNAM. If it is missing you can add it manually in the editor and give it a value that matches the table name the catalog is found in. This is just to verify if my guess is correct.
This issue has been logged but I would recommend on panel components always using the catalog lookup to assign a catalog. This way the WDBLKNAM value is assigned automatically.
Principal Content Developer
Information Modeling and Platform Products Group