Using cloud technology to replace spreadsheets and paper for the Bill of Materials is a small but vital advance for manufacturing.
Start-up Newman Cloud has announced an update to its cloud-based engineering management software OpenBOM which includes new tracking features, CAD synchronization, and visualization enhancements.
The OpenBOM team says the new additions are designed “to help teams working across distributed environments collaborate more effectively on their BOM [Bill of Materials] and avoid the pain, communication errors, and manual data entry mistakes which occur with managing and tracking BOMs using spreadsheets.”
Improved features include:
Improved BOM visualization: An active BOM can now be filtered by any property values; this is useful when working on specific components in a large BOM or for mass-replace scenarios. The order and position of BOM properties can now be changed with drag and drop techniques.
Improved BOM and Inventory management: Augmented BOM and Inventory views allow users to select and add desired item properties from an assigned inventory to a BOM view. A BOM can now be marked as “Released” and locked as read-only.
Improved CAD/BOM integration: There is now smooth (“seamless”) merge of design changes into a BOM when changes are made in CAD. OpenBOM says this new feature gives users the ability “to make simultaneous changes to a shared BOM between engineering and manufacturing teams while at the same time, automatically update changes in the BOM made by design engineers in CAD.” CAD systems compatible with this upgrade include: Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360, Dassault Systemès SolidWorks, and Siemens Solid Edge ST9. For enterprise customers, support for PTC Creo, Siemens NX and Dassault Systemès Catia are available as on-demand services.
What do we think?
So many start-ups in engineering software tackle the biggest challenges. It is refreshing to see somebody take on what sounds like a small challenge. In reality, the BOM is the gauntlet through which every aspect of manufacturing must pass. Too many companies are still relying on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to control this vital function. Using cloud technology to replace spreadsheets and paper for the Bill of Materials is a small but vital advance for manufacturing.