5 Key Benefits of Moving from GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
10 April, 2023 | 5 min for reading
5 Key Benefits of Moving from GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM

In recent years, many engineering and manufacturing companies have relied on GrabCAD Workbench as their simple and free PDM solution to store CAD files and collaborate with the team during product development. 

More background about GrabCAD, acquisition, and their loss of focus and attention to their Workbench product can be found on my Beyond PLM blog  – GrabCAD lessons and what is next for PLM SMB.

GrabCAD Workbench Will Go Offline on June 1st, 2023.

With the recent announcement of GrabCAD end of life, companies using GrabCAD Workbench are now left searching for alternative solutions that can meet their needs. GrabCAD will go off on June 1st, 2023. Last year, we shared articles about how OpenBOM can replace GrabCAD:

GrabCAD Workbench Alternative

From GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM product development platform

There is not much time left until June 1st, but I have some good news and I wanted to share our experience and benefits of users migrating from GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM. In this article, we will explore 5 benefits of making the switch from GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM and why it might be the right choice for your organization.

Companies Are Moving From GrabCAD to OpenBOM 

OpenBOM is actively replacing GrabCAD Workbench and providing support to everyone who is was using GrabCAD Workbench. Read a story from BloomX (formerly known as BumbleBee) – Bumblebee AI is scaling up its operation with OpenBOM by managing end-to-end data of all products

Here is a passage you might find integresting 

“With OpenBOM, we manage the data, of all our products, end-to-end. Bumblebee AI uses the powerful OpenBOM Reference-Instance model to create part definitions as items in catalogs and then use, and reuse, those master item definitions (as items) in many BOMs.

“The OpenBOM item definition is the key to our success”, he says, “allowing us to keep track of demand, vendors, inventory levels, and the overall flow of our design information to the production floor.” Bumblebee AI has found the inventory management features of OpenBOM to meet its growing needs as an ERP.

“OpenBOM is also our volume production management tool. We drive purchasing from the BOM using the Order feature, and release Orders to production to drive our manufacturing and assembly. OpenBOM lets us deliver our products to our customers faster.”

“OpenBOM has outstanding Solidworks integration and lets us take our designs from GrabCAD straight into OpenBOM.”

Benefit #1: Single Source for All Files

Managing files from multiple sources can be challenging and time-consuming. OpenBOM provides a centralized platform for managing all product data, including CAD files, BOMs, and other related documents. Files can be easily placed on OpenBOM Drive and it will become a central Vault for all engineering files allowing CAD users to manage changes, see the history of versions, and resolve conflicts by not enabling engineers to override each change. This single source for all files in OpenBOM simplifies data management, improves team productivity, and enhances organization, as all team members have access to the most up-to-date information in one place.

Benefit #2: Instant Files and Data Sharing with Your Team

Effective collaboration is crucial in product development, and real-time data sharing among team members is essential for seamless coordination. OpenBOM provides engineers the ability to collaborate in real-time while allowing control over who is changing the file. It is making it easy to share and update information across the entire team. This enhances communication, reduces delays, and ensures everyone is on the same page, resulting in improved project coordination and faster decision-making.

Benefit #3: Automatic CAD Derivatives (STEP, PDF, DWG)

Creating CAD derivatives, such as STEP, PDF, and DWG files, is often a repetitive and time-consuming task. OpenBOM automates the process using CAD Add-ins. OpenBOM automatically generates CAD derivatives, eliminating the need for manual file creation and reducing the chances of errors. All derivatives are automatically attached to Items and BOMs that can be later shared. This saves time and effort, enabling team members to focus on higher-value tasks and improving overall productivity.

Benefit #4: BOM and Change Management

Accurate BOM and change management are critical in product development to ensure consistency and prevent errors. OpenBOM Bill of Materials and change management is a big addition beyond what GrabCAD Workbench had provided. OpenBOM automatically generates and manages BOMs based on CAD data, streamlining the process and reducing the risk of errors. Additionally, OpenBOM tracks changes to BOMs, providing a comprehensive change history, and making it easier to manage revisions and updates. This improves data accuracy, reduces errors, and enhances the overall quality of the product development process.

Benefit #5: Inventory Control, RFQs, and POs

OpenBOM goes beyond what a typical PDM/PLM system provides by production and purchasing processes optimized and integrated with design and engineering functions. OpenBOM allows teams to manage inventory, generate RFQs, and create POs directly from the BOM, streamlining the procurement process and reducing costs. This integrated functionality in OpenBOM simplifies workflows, improves procurement efficiency, and enables better inventory control.

What is my conclusion?

Every change is hard, especially if you’re forced to be moved from your comfort zone of existing applications. Moving from GrabCAD Workbench is not an exclusion. At the same time, every change is an opportunity. Migrating from GrabCAD to OpenBOM is an opportunity to organize data management beyond the capabilities you had before. It is especially important these days when companies are looking for digital transformation, supply chain optimization and improving their customer service. 

OpenBOM can provide several key benefits for product development teams. OpenBOM’s comprehensive capabilities, including a single source for all files, instant data sharing, automatic CAD derivatives, automatic BOM and change management, inventory control, RFQ, and PO management, can streamline workflows, improve team productivity, enhance data accuracy, and reduce errors.

REGISTER FOR FREE to check OpenBOM out with your free 14-day trial.

Best, Oleg

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