OpenBOM: Whats It Do? Whats the Value?

In today’s solution review, we are taking a look at OpenBOM.

OpenBOM is a solution targeted at the creation and the dissemination of the Bill of Materials, the list of parts that you need to make a product.

OpenBOM has the capability to connect to many different CAD Solutions. Usually, when building up a 3D model of an assembly of a product, it represents the beginnings of the Bill of Materials, which represents the components that need to be bought or that need to be made internally.

Once this is complete, the Bill of Material will have to be augmented. Some have Bills of Materials have add-in labor that it requires to assemble or make a product. Some include lubricants and similar features that are not necessarily a physical part that is modeled in the 3D assembly.

This is not just about mechanical computer-aided design (CAD). This may be used in combination with electrical CAD (ECAD) for circuit boards. These act as an input where you can then make changes, augment it, and tweak some of the metadata around it. There’s also other information you can pull in from a part definition that has nothing to do with geometry. You can pull in information from other systems, such as information on quantities so you end up with a list of the parts that need to be ordered to make the product.

That is the OpenBOM that lets you manipulate Bills of Materials. Now they have a design that procures a solution to build on this function. This will automate the process of taking the quantities, assigning the delivery of the components from different suppliers, and generating purchase orders to buy the parts that make up the product.

But even with a single product, there might be 10, or up to 100 purchase orders. It depends on how complex the product is. This new solution, this designed-to-procure aspect of OpenBOM will automatically create purchase orders. The developers of OpenBOM are looking to enhance it so it will engage with certain websites like Grainger where you can submit a purchase order online and automate the whole process.

This is a very targeted, very granular solution. Though it integrates with other solutions from a CAD perspective, particularly on the front end, having a complete integrated suite is interesting. There’s value in integration because it can automate processes, making it easier for the user. However, having a granular solution that fixes one problem exceptionally well cannot add much value to product development.

This wraps up our solution review of OpenBOM. Have any reviews of your own? Leave it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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