Documents are important. It is an essential part of every organization and process. Manage documentation is one of the key activities in the product development and manufacturing business. In many ways, documents is an output of any engineering and design work.
Why documents are important in product development and manufacturing
Drawings are the main way to release engineering work to manufacturing. Technical specifications is a way to present requirements for products, components, and materials. Documents are used for shopfloor and production planning. A variety of instructions are written as documents too. So, to have a document management software system is a key requirement of every product development process in design, engineering, manufacturing, and procurement.
At the same time, documents without the right context are very hard to use. One of the most important requirements of every manufacturing company is to provide a way to access information in a contextual form. We need to have the right information at the right time and in front of the right people. To do you can only by placing documents connected together with other pieces of engineering and product information – product structure and bill of materials. Think about documents as extended pieces of knowledge about the product.
How to manage Documents in OpenBOM
OpenBOM is a flexible tool. It allows you to manage documents in the contextual form connected to various parts of product information – items in catalogs, bill of materials, order BOMs, product planning, purchase orders, and even vendors. In such a way OpenBOM users are able to perform a full document control management for all information records associated with product information.
OpenBOM is managing documents using Reference property type. By extending object records in OpenBOM using Reference property types, users can add documents to these records.
OpenBOM provides you three main ways to manage documents
- Link OpenBOM to one of the configured cloud file storage (eg. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
- Load file to OpenBOM integrated file storage.
- Integrate with corporate file storage (only for enterprise subscriptions and custom).
How to attach documents to Items or BOMs
To attach a document to BOM or Items, you need to add a property with Reference types. You can add as many properties as you need and by doing so, you can add as many files as needed. It provides a lot of flexibility because it is not limiting product records to only one file. Examples – add tech specification, drawing, and visual 3D file to an item record.
Read OpenBOM Property online document to learn how to use reference property type in OpenBOM. Navigate here to learn more.
Using the reference property interface you can upload files to OpenBOM storage or upload data to one of the connected cloud files storage. Also, you can just put a link.
How to upload documents to OpenBOM directly from CAD systems
Another way to upload documents and other files to OpenBOM is by using CAD add-ins. Several OpenBOM add-ins allow uploading 3D native files as well as derivatives (eg. PDF, STEP, Drawings, etc) directly to cloud-file storage connected to OpenBOM (Eg. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, Onshape, Autodesk Forge). Custom storage integration is possible as well.
Document versions and Bill of Materials
OpenBOM is not managing document records and document versions. This is the role of a PDM system or document management system. In such a way PDM systems, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other systems are managing versions of the documents.
OpenBOM is managing revisions of Bill of Materials and items and by doing so, you can link (attach) files to a specific BOM revision. So, in such a way, you can have different versions of documents connected to the right revisions of Items and BOMs.
The advantages and benefits of OpenBOM usage
OpenBOM integrated cloud storage will allow a simplified mechanism of attaching files to Part and BOM records. It is simple and powerful.
OpenBOM gives to customers a lot of flexibility in managing your documents and files connected to product information records – items, bills of materials, purchase orders, etc. Here are five unique capabilities of OpenBOM flexible data management:
- Manage multiple documents connected to item / BOM record
- Flexible link and file uploaded / download
- Link/ upload documents to a specific Item/BOM revision
- Automatically upload files and derivatives when loading data from CAD systems