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January 31, 2018

OpenBOM Users Can Upload BOMs to BOX

OpenBOM, a collaborative bill of materials (BOM) and inventory management system for engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain now offers its users the ability to also upload and link CAD data BOM to the cloud content management platform Box.

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 it offers easy BOM data import from design tools.

With the link to Box OpenBOM now offers CAD users a useful and secure path to the cloud, said Oleg Shilovitsky, the company’s chief executive officer and cofounder.

The BOM system is targeted to smaller companies that draw from online parts catalogs for design and manufacture.

This is a view of a desktop displaying an OpenBOM page. The cloud-BOM company has teamed up with CAD-maker Onshape,to make BOM records shareable and reference-able across distributed environments. Now it’s also teamed with Box for further cloud sharing.

With Box, all a team’s files are securely and centrally managed in the cloud so all members of a team can access the cloud-connected information in their BOMs. The link between the BOM system and BOX gives users of CAD systems—including SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, and Solid Edge, the ability to automatically link and share items in their BOMs using Box. CAD users can store and share 3D CAD files and auto-generated neutral geometry file formats in the cloud. These can be shared with remote team members, contract manufacturers, and suppliers, Shilovitsky said.

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 tools, 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 to 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.

Last fall, the company made a move into manufacturing by giving users the ability to create an order bill of material, or order BOM, for production planning.

By adding the order BOM, OpenBOM took its first step to close the gap between engineering and manufacturing, he 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, he added.

With the new Box integration, the company extends third-party cloud file storage access in BOM Shilovitsky said.


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