Mark -your question has two components.
Totally 'NEW' items with new Boms and Routes you could use Simulated Production Orders to view results. Both the BOM and Route would need to be certified. These works well as Planning will not see the component demand and hours will not be loaded into Work Centers and Machine.
For existing items one option you might consider is creating the new bom or route by copying the certified bom or route under a temporary number testing number – Create the simulated Production Order and change the default BOM or Route to your test on the Production Order (not the item record).- refresh This might work well particularly if your process to evaluate changes takes several days. Once the changes look good you would of course need to update the Live BOM or Route.
Mark – one more note on this thread. Whenever you create a Planned or Firm Planned Production Order for R&D even if you would future date it to ensure your planning window doesn't pull components for the planning worksheet the component quantities will be in the totals on the item record (quantity on production orders) and when you run any of item availability views the demand will also be in numbers.
We have also experienced with integration to 3rd party warehouse systems that when a production order is created the data is sent to the warehouse system immediately which amplifies isolating the R&D process.
The use of simulated production orders prevents demand data (material and labor hours) from being available to others and is particularly important if the process is play over several days.
If you've found this thread useful, dive deeper into User Group community content by role