Building36 Simplifies Smart Home Products Design Using OpenBOM


Building36 enables leading HVAC, plumbing, and electrical trade companies to deliver cutting-edge smart home solutions. The Massachusetts-based company moves quickly and delivers new products often, when their previous methods no longer supported their velocity of change, they turned to OpenBOM.

The Building36 team is focused on design.

Products like their innovative Smart Thermostat are a collection of mechanical, circuit board, molded, artwork, and packaging design, all of which come together in a variety of ways to create the final consumer product.

According to Product Management Associate Neha Godbole, Building36 was using a variety of tools to manage their build and the process was not optimized for the efficiency the company needed.

“We needed to get out of the business of manually tracking BOM changes in a number of places,” she says. “We needed more reliability and accuracy.

The journey for a better toolset led them to a number of providers.

“We spent a long time searching for solutions, and while many PLM providers had great options, they often required an extra person to keep it running or had a long implementation cycle.” 

Neha goes on to say that “OpenBOM checked all the boxes for us because they were easy to set up and even had a free trial period to test it out”.

The engineering team likes the ease of use of OpenBOM. “It was easy to figure out how to use it and we didn’t have to sit through a long training day”, Neha says.  

For Building36, OpenBOM checked a lot of boxes; 

First, the Electrical team exports PCB and other electrical systems BOMs from Altium which load right into OpenBOM.  

Next, the mechanical team uses the Fusion360 plugin which makes the mechanical portion as easy as one-click.

And finally, Neha creates a top-level product BOM with a corresponding packaging sub-level BOM for all the specification links, artwork and much more.

The multi-level multi-discipline BOM is mastered in OpenBOM and shared with the design, planning, and manufacturing teams.

“We really like the way we can link our STEP and other spec files right into the BOM so our co-manufacturers and suppliers are sure to receive the correct version,” explains Neha. 

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