OpenBOM Digital Thread Platform Services

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
5 April, 2023 | 5 min for reading
OpenBOM Digital Thread Platform Services

Manufacturing companies operate in a complex and dynamic environment, where the speed and accuracy of product development and delivery are critical to staying competitive. A robust system to manage the product lifecycle and digital thread is essential to streamline operations, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve product quality.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a comprehensive approach to managing the entire lifecycle of a product, from conception to disposal. It includes activities such as product design, development, manufacturing, supply chain management, marketing, production planning, and support. PLM data management enables companies to collaborate across multiple engineering disciplines, different departments, and stakeholders, manage product data, integrate with ERP systems, and supply chain systems, and track the status of product development and production.

Product data management and PLM technologies have been around for the last 25-30 years, but for most of their parts, it has had very little change in the way the architecture of PLM systems was built and how these platforms are used by industrial companies. Most PLM systems were born to manage data for mechanical engineering and manage business processes around change management and release processes. A typical PLM software system is old and one of the biggest challenges of these platforms is siloed SQL-database-driven single-tenant architecture. This basically means all legacy PLM systems were created to operate for a single company with not much abilities to connect multiple companies and enable their multi-disciplinary and lifecycle collaboration. These systems have limited capabilities to share data and serve as a platform for multiple companies. At the same time, manufacturing these days looks more like a network. OEMs, suppliers, contractors, and customers – all of them are connected together. This brings a question about the digital thread platform.

Digital Thread

The digital thread is a concept that refers to the seamless flow of information and data across the entire product lifecycle. It involves capturing, analyzing, and sharing data and information from various sources, including design, manufacturing, and maintenance, to provide a complete and accurate picture of the product’s lifecycle.

Manufacturing companies that implement a robust PLM system and digital thread can gain several benefits, such as reduced time-to-market, improved product quality, enhanced collaboration and communication, and increased innovation. In today’s fast-paced business environment, a comprehensive system for managing the product lifecycle and digital thread is no longer a luxury but a necessity for companies to remain competitive and meet customer demands.

Network-Based Digital Thread Platform

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an essential business process that enables organizations to manage product-related information throughout their entire lifecycle, from conception to disposal. As products become more complex and are developed by increasingly network-based teams, the need for a robust network-based PLM platform has become increasingly important.

A network-based PLM platform allows teams to collaborate on product design, development, and management in real-time, regardless of their location. This is particularly important in industries where product development cycles are short and the time to market is critical. With a network-based PLM platform, organizations can reduce the time and cost associated with product development by enabling remote teams to work collaboratively, share data, and make decisions more quickly.

Another key benefit of a network-based PLM platform is its ability to improve data security and compliance. With network-based teams, data is often accessed and modified from different locations and devices, which can create vulnerabilities in the product development process. A robust network-based PLM platform ensures that data is securely stored, tracked, and managed throughout the product lifecycle, reducing the risk of data breaches and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

OpenBOM Thread Platform Services

We started to build the OpenBOM platform with the vision to connect companies into a manufacturing network, provide capabilities to manage information, and provide intelligent decision support for everyone in the manufacturing business.

OpenBOM technological stack relies on a modern cloud-based technologies, polyglot persistence data architecture, the use of scalable and flexible databases, openness, and REST API. The technology foundation of OpenBOM is capable of scaling globally and provides services to multiple industrial companies connected together. It is a foundation for digital transformation with robust data management, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platform functions.

In the beginning, it was a system to manage bills of materials and collaboration, but as we expanded we added multiple services and functions to OpenBOM allowing us to support different functional segments – document management, and CAD files lifecycle (PDM), xBOM management, analysis and procurement, integrations with CAD, ERP, CRM and many other enterprise platforms. If you missed my earlier blog about OpenBOM 2023 roadmap, please check it out as we speak about many OpenBOM platform enhancements such as custom type, graph navigation, and analysis, EBOM to MBOM processes, BOM comparison services, and many others.

In my article today, I wanted to present how different OpenBOM functions and capabilities are all connected together to provide support for New Product Development which is very typical for industrial companies and manufacturing businesses of different sizes.

Check the picture above to see the main elements of OpenBOM: flexible data objects, platform services such as collaboration, data sharing, and analysis as well as OpenBOM platform services for CAD integrations, xBOMs, Sourcing, Procurement, and others.

This is just the first draft of presenting the breadth and richness of OpenBOM services. In my following articles, I will come up with more specific examples, functional descriptions, and videos of each OpenBOM platform service.


A robust network-based PLM platform is essential for organizations that want to remain competitive in today’s global market. By enabling teams to collaborate in real-time, reducing time-to-market, and improving data security and compliance, a network-based PLM platform is a key element of modern digital organizations that want to stay ahead of the curve in new product introduction, product development, and customer-focusing services.

REGISTER FOR FREE to check OpenBOM and start your 14-day trial to explore OpenBOM services online.

Best, Oleg 

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