SOLIDWORKS BOM and Data Management with OpenBOM

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
4 April, 2024 | 6 min for reading
SOLIDWORKS BOM and Data Management with OpenBOM

Manufacturers of all sizes are looking to improve their processes. Digital transformation is a big topic in all organizations today. Companies are looking to improve their document-based data management and collaboration methods and processes to modern connected, data-driven and more intelligent. Last 15 months of ChatGPT explosive growth reminded everyone that they cannot stand still and believe that their businesses will remain competitive. Paradigms are shifting. Young generation of people is looking how to switch from files/folders to apps and data. In this interconnected and data-driven environment, efficient management of product information is crucial for engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain operations.

Today, I want to speak about OpenBOM experience of working with SOLIDWORKS customers. OpenBOM emerges as a powerful solution catering specifically to SOLIDWORKS customers, aiming to streamline data management processes, foster collaboration, and provide a comprehensive view of the product life cycle. 

Challenges of Traditional BOM Management in SOLIDWORKS and Why OpenBOM?

Let’s speak first about what problems OpenBOM solves for SOLIDWORKS customers. 

We found SOLIDWORKS users face numerous challenges when managing Bill of Materials (BOMs) using traditional methods. These challenges encompass:

  • Eliminating mistakes and inefficiency in managing complex product data for engineering, manufacturing, supply chain
  • Lack of single source of truth and real-time updates between multiple people and orgs (engineering, procurement, manufacturing).
  • Difficulty in handling large projects BOMs and configuration-specific BOMs.
  • Difficulty in BOM Comparison and revision traceability.
  • Complexity and time consuming of BOM Export with STEP, PDF, DXF, and other files.
  • Complexity of managing procurement, purchased assemblies and inventory for prototyping and small batches.

OpenBOM Product Overview, Features, and Capabilities:

OpenBOM addresses the challenges I mentioned above effectively by providing a comprehensive suite of features and capabilities.  

OpenBOM combines the power and simplicity of SOLIDWORKS with demands of an interconnected and data-driven environment to enable real-time collaboration, centralizing data, and providing a holistic view of the product life cycle.

These include:

  • Manage multi-disciplinary product dataset including mechanical, electronics, and software with all meta-data, revisions, and associated files (specs, CAD, drawings, etc.)
  • One Click BOM for SOLIDWORKS fully integrated and tuned to capture all information about the product
  • Automatic Part Number generation to support unique identification for EBOM, MBOM, etc
  • Create BOMs for complex products with multiple assemblies with automatic flattened BOM and Quantity Rollup
  • Intuitive rollup formulas for cost, weight, carbon footprint and other automatic calculations
  • Automatic real-time data and file sharing and ZIP export functions

Unique Value Proposition  

OpenBOM’s unique value proposition lies in its ability to eliminate inefficiencies in data management and integration. By providing unparalleled collaboration capabilities for manufacturing companies and supply chain partners, OpenBOM enables informed decision-making through graph data science and AI-driven insights.

  • Remove the pain of inefficient data management and integrations
  • Unmatched collaboration between manufacturing companies & supply chain
  • Decision support using graph data science and AI 

OpenBOM stands out in the market by enabling digital workflows, facilitating the design digital thread, and supporting agile new product development. These features empower users to streamline processes, enhance visibility, and accelerate product innovation. Here they are in a nutshell: 

Enabling Digital Workflow 

Digital Workflow & Design Digital Thread

Agile New Product Development

How different is OpenBOM from other solutions?

Compared to other PDM, PLM, and data management products, OpenBOM offers several key differentiators. Its Software as a Service (SaaS) model ensures simple registration and trial, while the state-of-the-art SOLIDWORKS integration provides seamless connectivity and integration. OpenBOM provides simple and intuitive user experience, which is reminiscent of Google Sheets. Moreover, OpenBOM’s blend of PDM, PLM, and ERP functions, openness with REST API and flexible export/imports, allows for seamless integrations with CAD and ERP systems, enhancing flexibility and scalability. Here is the list of differentiators:

  • SaaS, simple, instant registration and trial
  • State of the art SOLIDWORKS integrations
  • Intuitive and unique UI/UX (a-la Google Sheet)
  • Real-time data share and simultaneous updates
  • A unique blend of PDM, PLM and ERP functions
  • Open REST API, integrations w/ CAD and ERP

What Customers Are Saying?

You can check 500+ reviews on G2 and many OpenBOM user stories

Real-world success stories underscore OpenBOM’s effectiveness in diverse scenarios. For instance, Gates Underwater Products leverages OpenBOM to streamline collaboration across design, manufacturing, and supply chain teams, leading to improved efficiency and accuracy. Similarly, FlyPyka relies on OpenBOM to manage product development for autonomous electric airplanes, benefiting from its SOLIDWORKS integration and reliable BOM management capabilities. 

Here are some of these stories:

Gates Underwater Products Uses OpenBOM To Connects Design Engineers, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Teams Together

OpenBOM fits the size of his business as they scale, “I did not anticipate the overall benefit of the SOLIDWORKS integration. It was a big WOW!  moment.  Since then the scope of what we put in OpenBOM has grown.  We can control more information, specifications,and requirements. OpenBOM forces adherence to a process!” – John Ellerbrock, President of Gates Underwater

FlyPyka is Replacing Google Spreadsheets with OpenBOM Managing One Source of Truth For Autonomous Electric Airplane Development

“One thing that was attractive was the low barrier to entry. We could import directly from SOLIDWORKS, an existing Google sheet, or just type in data. Pyka relies on OpenBOM for SOLIDWORKS integration to reliably capture product structure and design intent.  That means a reliable way to create BOMs of designs that contain the expected items AND a reliable way to update them as they evolve” – Garrett Rini, Pyka Lead Mechanical Engineer

Does OpenBOM Provide Support, Training, and Implementation Services?

OpenBOM provides comprehensive support, training, and implementation services to ensure a seamless user experience. From seamless registration and trial support to online support via chat, email, and virtual meetings, OpenBOM prioritizes customer satisfaction.

The structured onboarding process includes access to an online training library and community resources, comprising thousands of videos, articles, and courses.

Conclusion:

We love SOLIDWORKS community. For years it was a group of hardworking and smart people that appreciate simplicity and ease of use combined with laser focus on solving design and engineering problem. That was how SOLIDWORKS was introduced to the market – taking simplicity of Windows user experience and coupling it with the power of professional 3D Mechanical CAD multiplied with humble approach of listening to customers.

Modern engineering and manufacturing environment is changing. Complexity is skyrocketing. COVID was a big changing event telling to companies that they need to transform their businesses to sustain their operation and be competitive in a new operational order. Companies and teams are operating in a distributed environment while demand for connectivity is super high.

At OpenBOM we learned from SOLIDWORKS customers about their challenges and pain. We provides a unique and valuable solution for SOLIDWORKS customers, seamlessly integrating SOLIDWORKS products and data and offering a simple and easy way to manage data and processes for engineering teams and manufacturing organizations. 

REGISTER FOR FREE and learn how OpenBOM can help you.

Best, Oleg

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