Xtend Robotics Is Using A Magic Duo – OpenBOM and Onshape To Deliver the Service Robots of The Future

Xtend Robotics

Xtend Robotics is literally making the service robots of the future! Their robots can and will be assisting doctors and nurses in hospital and care facilities, providing telemedicine to those in remote facilities, and taking orders and delivering dinner right to the table at a restaurant near you.

Xtend Robotics was founded in 2020 by CEO Harry Fox and a team of forward-thinking technology and business veterans who understand the role robots are to serve.

David Rubli joined the US and Israel-based company in 2021 as the Senior Mechanical Engineer and is responsible for not only what the company designs but how they design as well.

“I came to Xtend Robotics with a proven set of tools that delivered productivity immediately,” David tells me. A “magic duo” as he calls it. 

OpenBOM and Onshape. 

More on that in a moment……

The Xtend robots provide solutions in three primary categories of service: Hospital or Nursing Facility, Nurse Companion, and Restaurant, and will soon be expanding into other important areas of service. The role of each is to alleviate stress on humans, improve the level of service for patrons, and complement and enhance the skills of the existing staff.

Xtend robots can learn a facility, develop a routine, and are extendable with a full set of apps to independently accomplish specific tasks. Xtend writes all the code, designs the PCBs and controllers, and, of course, 3D models all the hardware in Onshape.

“Over the years I have come to understand the value of a single source of truth, especially in design,” says David.  

“With OpenBOM and Onshape I can join a team, and, with a relatively small amount of capital, ramp up a CAD, PDM, and PLM lite in a very short amount of time. The benefits to the organization will be immediate.”

“For CAD the decision was simple. Replace our legacy, PC-based 3D tools with Onshape,” he explains.

“For BOM’s and production planning the challenge is a bit more complicated”, he explains.

“Many companies see the activity as Excel-based. This works fine to start, and many CAD tools even promote this workflow, but the business will quickly require more than Excel can offer and the realization often comes at the worst time, the very moment the company is scaling to manufacturing.”

“With OpenBOM and Onshape, we have a scalable solution from the start,” he explains.

“Even with Google Sheets or Office 365 you still have Excel.”

“Important product design details are hidden in the spreadsheet or a macro and often cannot be found when the design is updated. Excel can’t do cost rollups, flattened or subassembly views of the BOM, three absolute requirements for proto buys, long lead time items or simply planning a production buy.”

“Just as Onshape is a single source of truth for the CAD design, OpenBOM does the same for manufacturing production planning, purchasing, and inventory control. It is a perfect relationship.”

“One of the greatest benefits is the tight integration of OpenBOM with Onshape. Everyone who consumes the data does so through OpenBOM. If I need quotations, even for engineering, I can easily share a list of items we need, including images, to my buyers even if they don’t have access to CAD.”

“If we need part numbers, we get them automatically from OpenBOM and they are saved in Onshape. When we save an item or a BOM, the OpenBOM integration automatically organizes the data in OpenBOM by Category.”

As so many do, Xtend Robotics found unexpected value in the visual BOM with product structure and images.

“When we go to supplier meetings with OpenBOM, every item in the BOM has a thumbnail image and everyone gets it.”

“Even more, the company leadership uses OpenBOM to communicate our progress and projections. The design and planning progress can easily be understood using OpenBOM and Onshape.”

“Since both OpenBOM and Onshape are cloud products, the connection between them is different than with a desktop application”, David explains. “My team and I are not tied to a particular PC or location. We have a distributed set of resources all looking at the latest design or planning information and making key decisions based on accurate information.”

“We designed our three robot variants in just 3 months, including all the part numbering, revisions, and product structure. We never could have accomplished that with conventional CAD and Excel.”

As with most products designed and manufactured today, Xtend Robotics products are a mixture of several engineering and design disciplines.

“What I like the most about Onshape and OpenBOM is the ability to model and plan for ALL aspects of our robots, and not just those items confined to traditional CAD.”

David goes on to say, “our wire harness and PCBs are all designed separately and then brought together in OpenBOM to form a complete multidisciplinary BOM of our entire buy-level product. We can manage non-modeled items like adhesive or labor easily in OpenBOM, create a new purchased BOM and manipulate options and variations.”

“As our company and products mature, we are managing inventory and creating external and internal POs to drive manufacturing. All with one item master definition and never any duplicates!”.

The impact on the business is important to the company leadership and engineering team.

“Reducing disparate tools speeds processes. We can go into manufacturing with confidence.” 

In the past, component and supplier RFQs were done by hand and were a burden to the team.

“OpenBOM and Onshape combined to reduce the RFQ and PO process by 75% while greatly increasing the quality of the overall activity. The individual RFQ was significantly more accurate and well understood by everyone involved.“

“In my experience, R&D is not just about the big things… even the minor changes must flow to the supplier.”

To learn more about Xtend Robotics please visit www.xtendrobotics.com 

To learn more about OpenBOM please visit www.openbom.com

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