BoM needs to travel fluently through the different product development stages

The modern manufacturing landscape is undergoing profound changes. Today, many manufacturing organizations find their engineers, supply chain managers, suppliers, contractors, etc. part of a broader geo-dispersed network of multiple databases, multiple tenants, countless spreadsheets, disconnected communication and data synchronization challenges characteristic of distributed systems.

My attention was caught by an article asserting #BoM needs to travel fluently through the different product development stages: Where is the Bill of Materials? Getting things right first time with PLM and BOM, via @geofft61 and @DesignRuleLtd.

The following passage resonated:

Best practice dictates that the BoM needs to travel fluently through the different development stages, evolving and changing as products are designed, built and eventually, circulated.

In today’s complex manufacturing environment, a bill of materials can include a set of hundreds — or even thousands — of separate items.

What’s more, even after the first product has been manufactured, the BoM will continue to change. Whether it is due to fixing potential design faults, substituting materials, reducing resource costs or simply switching suppliers, it is highly unlikely that the BoM will remain the same from the design phase through to the end of the product lifecycle.

One of the common challenges engineers face comes from changes being required after the design BoM has been finalised. During the design process, it is relatively easy to swap and change product specifications without causing any substantial financial implications.

In fact, PLM was considered as a silver bullet to solve the problem of communication between teams, companies, contractors, suppliers and engineers. This is how an idea of “single PLM truth” was born. But since that time, many changes happened in the manufacturing environment. Therefore, even when PLM is involved, the overall data handover process and application landscape looks like this:

Depending on the complexity of manufacturing organizations and its dependencies on other OEMs, suppliers and contractors, a company might be able to run a single instance of PLM. However, the more granular the job, the greater the complexity, communication, and collaboration is between them.

At openBoM we are thinking how to simplify data collaboration and communication between organizations and individual engineers, contractors and suppliers by establishing cloud data management systems capable of managing data on a very granular level defining properties, Bill of Materials, items and inventories. As well as integrating with CAD systems helping engineers to create and maintain a consistency of Bill of Materials across distributed environments.

Check what openBOM can do for you. Register to use openBOM and see how your communication improves from that moment on.

Best, Oleg @ openbom.com