What is it?

OpenBOM provides a robust mechanism to manage documents and files. A good document management system can be a powerful and time-saving tool. With OpenBOM, you have two different options for managing your documents.

Depending on the lifecycle, you can either manage files in Drive or simply add any document to items or BOMs as attachments. Flexible data models facilitate this mechanism by adding reference properties to document records. OpenBOM also allows you to integrate external file and document storage (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, and others).

Why do you need it?

Documents are an essential part of every organization and process. Managing documentation is one of the key activities in product development and manufacturing businesses. In many ways, documents are an output of any engineering and design work.

From drawings when releasing engineering work for manufacturing, to the shopfloor and production planning, as well as technical specifications for products, components, and materials, documents are used in a variety of ways. Therefore, a document management software system is a key requirement of every product development process.

One of the most essential 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 give access to the right people. You can only do this with documents, that are connected together, along with other pieces of engineering and product information (product structures or BOMs).

Essentially, documents are extended pieces of product knowledge, which means they need to be managed methodically. This can facilitate a single source of truth, resulting in a more efficient control process.

Why is OpenBOM different?

Maintaining all of your files in the cloud (as opposed to storing them locally) negates the need for duplicating files. This means that there are fewer chances of errors occurring if everyone is using the same up-to-date documentation.

Proper management of documents also allows you to preserve comprehensive documentation on each item and final product. This documentation can be easily updated if there are any changes to suppliers, regulations, etc.

Furthermore, OpenBOM provides unique data. As well as storing files centrally, OpenBOM provides flexible data properties for files to be attached to. Thanks to this feature, documents that are related to a specific item, catalog, and/or BOM can be found more easily.

How does it work?

On the one hand, item attachments allow you to use OpenBOM Drive to manage documents and files used during the design and development stage. As you create, Design Projects, Items and BOMs, you can attach any document and file directly to the item using reference property types.

OpenBOM Design Projects function allow you to upload folders with CAD files, check-in/out and keep them in sync with the cloud storage. In a more advanced feature, you can use a virtual disk (Drive) that allows you to store any document and file and provides real-time collaborative access with integrated version control, locking mechanisms (including check out/check in options), and an integrated 3D Viewer.

Importing documents to OpenBOM Drive is as simple as just copying and pasting or dragging files to File Explorer. You can transfer any files to Drive from your device.

Adding files and documents to an item (or BOM) can be done by adding a reference property and uploading files as attachments later. The item revision function is integrated within documents and files. When you create a new item revision, all documents and files are copied to each revision separately (note, you need to use the OpenBOM storage option for that). You can switch from an item revision to a linked BOM revision using the “Item Revisions” panel.

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