Onshape is a great and unique cloud-based 3D CAD system for product development. Onshape unique browser-based technology allows multiple users to collaborate on designs in real-time. However, there are some challenges for Onshape customers when it comes to managing the Bill of Materials (BOMs), organizing multi-disciplinary product development, and integrating with other software applications (eg. ERP). OpenBOM is a new cloud-based application that overcomes these limitations and makes it easy to manage BOMs and integrate them with other software applications used in product development.
OpenBOM, is a collaborative product development platform that helps to manage parts, bill of materials, inventory, and purchasing has announced a major update for integration with Onshape, the leading cloud-based 3D CAD software. This new development allows companies to manage their product development processes in a more streamlined and efficient manner. With OpenBOM and Onshape working together, users can take advantage of real-time collaboration for creating and updating bills of materials, and release processes and focus on a seamless data handover between design, engineering, and manufacturing lifecycle. Plus, they can integrate manufacturing data into their designs for a more comprehensive product development workflow.
In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using OpenBOM with Onshape, and show how it can help improve your product development process. If you missed the recent OpenBOM What’s New, April 2022, please check this out. In my article today, I want to focus on OpenBOM for Onshape enhancements and how OpenBOM helps to organize an integrated information flow experience.
Design Changes and Product Lifecycle Management
Any product development process contains multiple steps and includes activities that can usually be performed in multiple systems. Therefore the main role of product lifecycle management is to connect data and change processes to support the following important activities
- Design and design data management
- Multi-disciplinary Bill of Materials
- Release and change management process
Silos is one of the biggest challenges in the product lifecycle, therefore organizing a seamless data handover and change process across multiple systems is the function that usually requires effort and a substantial amount of integrated interfaces.
Both Onshape and OpenBOM are modern cloud-based SaaS environments and in the recent OpenBOM update, we introduced many enhancements of how OpenBOM allows seamless integration of both the design process, with BOM management and change process.
A very special part of this process is seamless data management and data handover between systems to support functions that can happen simultaneously in both systems and allow users to keep data and changes in such a fully integrated interface and user experience.
OpenBOM Integrated App For Onshape
Although both Onshape and OpenBOM are seamlessly available via browser, OpenBOM provides a full Onshape integration flyout-based integration with user experience allowing you to get data and update information in Onshape Part Studio and Onshape Assembly.
Here is the Onshape Item flyout, which is seamlessly available in both Assembly and Part Studio and allows you to perform data management tasks such as – automatically generating part numbers and saving data directly to OpenBOM catalog(s) based on predefined settings. By supporting Onshape categories, OpenBOM allows you to automatically save data directly in multiple catalogs. The data later can be used in downstream processes in the OpenBOM inventory management tool, production planning, and others.
The second flyout for Bill of Materials functions is available in Onshape assembly and can be used to create or update bills of materials from Onshape workspace and Onshape versions. By doing so, OpenBOM allows you to support the Onshape release management process and keep both the design and product lifecycle in sync.
Integrated Product Development
In the following diagram, you can see the overall picture of how both the design data management and release process is integrated with OpenBOM data management, multi-disciplinary BOM, and change management process.
As you can see in the picture above, both processes are independent and connected at the same time. The information can seamlessly flow from Onshape to OpenBOM as well as in opposite directions automatically and on-demand. OpenBOM supports automatical Part Number generation and seamless data sync between both data environments (keep in mind both systems have rules when data becomes immutable and cannot be updated).
Video of End-to-End Experience
In the following video, you can see the same demonstration of how OpenBOM for Onshape can be used to create an initial data set, generate P/Ns, and send updated information from both the Part Studio environment and Assemblies.
A new OpenBOM Integration with Onshape provides extended support to organize data management and seamless synchronization between both design and product development lifecycles. Seamless Onshape flyout user experience combined with unique OpenBOM real-time collaboration and flexible data management platform allows you to establish a fully integrated management process, to support the Onshape release process and OpenBOM change management process while keeping data in a synchronized and connected digital thread. It is a great example of how to organize modern connected data-driven processes using the Onshape Application extension mechanism. Usually, PLM systems integration is an outdated document-driven process. However, OpenBOM and Onshape provide manufacturing companies with a completely new behavior to manage design data, optimize the downstream processes and extend Onshape based product development process with OpenBOM’s advanced Bill of Materials.
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