OpenBOM, of Newton, Mass., is making a move into manufacturing by giving users the ability to create an order bill of material, or order BOM, for production planning.
The cloud-based OpenBOM system takes bill of materials management into the cloud to allow small engineering companies and contract manufacturers to track and share data and offers easy BOM data import from design tools, said Oleg Shilovitsky, OpenBoM’s chief executive officer. The tool is targeted to smaller companies that draw from online parts catalogs for design and manufacture.
By adding the order BOM, OpenBOM is taking its first step to close the gap between engineering and manufacturing, Shilovitsky said. The new capability allows engineering teams and small manufacturing shops both to use OpenBOM as an alternative to complex PLM and ERP solutions.
After an OpenBOM user releases a BOM, he or she can create production batches to plan for the number of product units for manufacture. OpenBOM then creates an order BOM that includes information about the required quantity of each part. The order BOM can be shared with contractors and suppliers for follow up and for collaboration on parts delivery, Shilovitsky said.
The order BOM can also be integrated with bookkeeping and enterprise resource-planning systems for procurement and order tracking. When the order BOM is released to production, the inventory quantity on hand for each part is updated automatically in the OpenBOM part catalog, where inventory can be tracked.
With OpenBOM, users first populate the tool with catalog parts and part numbers, which are then used in future BOMs. The tool then makes use of templates or can be populated with part information specific to the user, Shilovitsky said.
The tool also imports CAD data from many popular CAD tool, so data doesn’t need to be re-entered, he added.
The BOM solution allows engineers and others in manufacturing companies to work collaboratively and have access to the most updated BOM information across organizational boundaries and geographies. It also helps track BOM historical records and generates change reports, Shilovitsky said.
“With OpenBoM, engineers can share a read-only BOM with contract manufacturers or can let them edit the BOM,” he said. “They don’t need to set up a BOM across the whole organization and then allow the contractor or supplier access to it. It can be emailed to the contractors.
“The advantage of our system over other, bigger BOM management tools that aren’t in the cloud is that ours is in a configurable environment and is also less expensive,” Shilovitsky added. “It automatically links the engineering and manufacturing BOMs and this becomes the master when it gets to manufacturing.
“I’m very excited with the steps we are taking towards helping engineers and manufacturing teams order parts and perform initial production planning,” he added. “Involving the creation of an Order BOM to manage the right quantities and collaborate ordering process internally in the company and externally with contractors and suppliers.”