There are several ways I can imagine going about creating and allocating "extruded hardware" using cut parts, solid stock, hardware parts, molding, profiles, or some combination of any of those. We have tried 3 approaches so far:
1) Creating cut parts with "profiled" edges (in order to make it draw correctly) that nest out of a "sheet" of material that is sized to represent one purchased length of the extrusion (so that it allocates an accurate"optimized" quantity). Our reports then show it as a sheet of material with a quantity, which is not really correct. Plus our I.T. dept has to do some extra work on their end to get that item to allocate as hardware instead of a "sheet" of material in our ERP system. (halfway automated but requires special programming)
2) Allocating a separate piece of hardware with a qty of 1 and then overriding that qty in SQL to match the "optimized" quantity, then zeroing out the "sheet" of material. Then it will show up on reports. (manual and somewhat error-prone)
3) Counting up the individual pieces and manually calculating the total we need to allocate in a separate product. (VERY manual and VERY error prone)
All-in-all, our methods are not very streamlined. Please let me know if there is a better existing apporach!
If not, I think it would be beneficial to have a separate type of hardware for extrusions, specifically. You could set up a material that was sort of a combo of a hardware item and a sheet stock item (since it needs a length). You then could attach it like any other piece of hardware but assign it a specific length and have the hardware (profile) drawing extrude to that length, perhaps? Then, it could optimize to return the correct qty after processing. This way, you would only need to allocate it in one place to get the qty and the image to come out correct. It would also significantly reduce the amount of hardware items we have to set up in MV and reduce a lot of manual processes for us.