September 8, 2019
The question about what is BOM (Bill of Materials) sometimes drives controversy in manufacturing companies. It happens that different people see BOM different or use different terminology to describe it. Think about engineers, manufacturing planners, people making cost assessment, supply chain and purchasing.
I found an article in PLM Philosophy Blog speaking about what is BOM.
So let’s take an example of ‘Engine of a car’. After reading my first article of What is PLM, you may realize that this Engine belongs to a thousand parts from lots of nut to different types of piston rings. The few important parts of the Engine are a piston, cylinder, piston rings, crankshaft, crankcase, spark plugs, valves, springs, fuel-air injectors, etc. Now, if someone wants to do assembly or design of these parts, then he arranges these parts information in such a way that, he can get a simpler understanding of how these parts are assembled or design.
At OpenBOM we like the simplicity of how you can build a Bill of Materials and be able to express the way the product is built. OpenBOM is using an abstract Reference-Instance model that helps you to describe parts and usages of the parts in the product structure. Check OpenBOM data management fundamentals article.
The following video can give you an idea of how product structure can be created using OpenBOM and more specifically explains how data about the part and part usages will be coming together in OpenBOM model:
Another important aspect is how the multi-level structure is managed. Each level in OpenBOM is represented by an independent BOM. In such a way you can completely define each level, its properties, and access control. This is a very powerful concept especially when it comes to the definition of multi-disciplinary BOM. You can combine BOMs with mechanical, electronics and even software elements into a single consistent structure. But (here is a big and important BUT), also to keep them and edit them individually).
And now I want to come back to the topic of controversy about BOM, Part Lists and Product Structure. In my experience, the disagreement is mostly semantical. Engineers like to call the list of components placed in the drawing – Part List. CAD vendors put a lot of effort into renaming it to BOM and it largely worked, although you can see hear engineers saying “part list”. At the same time, PLM vendors always emphasize the importance of product structure and how the data is linked and intertwined between different elements of information.
Here is the simplicity and beauty of the OpenBOM model – you can keep each individual level as a part list, while OpenBOM automatically “stitch” them together to present it as a product structure. The flexible data model allows you to define criteria for filters and conditions to create (120% and 150% BOM) as well as manage views – engineering, manufacturing, supplier. .
OpenBOM created a flexible and universal model to manage parts and their usages in BOM called the OpenBOM reference-instance model. By using this model you can create any bill of materials, manage parts and related information about the product you design and manufacture.
Check OpenBOM today by registering to OpenBOM FREE user subscription.
Best, Oleg @ openbom dot com.
Let’s get to know each other better. If you live in the Greater Boston area, I invite you for a coffee together (coffee is on me). If not nearby, let’s have a virtual coffee session — I will figure out how to send you a real coffee.