How openBOM “cloud enable” your existing Solidworks BOM Table

Unless you lived last few years under the rock, you’ve heard about digital transformation.

It is an important trend these days. Things we knew for years are disappearing and replaced by new technologies and tools. When was the last time you opened a paper map when driving to a new destination? How many times have you bought things online?

There are many examples of digital transformation. However, what is important to note is digital transformation could not happen in a vacuum. It starts with existing processes and then enabling, extending, and enriching them with new digital possibilities and tools. The 3dEngr blog brings a nice and simple tutorial of how to create an exploded SOLIDWORKS assembly and Bill of Materials. The process is simple and clean. It is probably part of every SOLIDWORKS 101 course.

What struck me the most was how this process ends with a Bill of Materials created in a SOLIDWORKS file. This is what most of you using SOLIDWORKS are doing. Then, you take this BOM and print it on a paper or most probably, export it to Excel. Why? Because most likely you need to send it to somebody who will buy parts for you. Or, you (as an engineer) will have to call somebody to buy the parts.

And here’s the a point. openBoM offers you a natural extension for this process. Don’t change what you do already. You probably have a good reason not to. However, openBoM picks up a BOM in a Solidworks file and turns it into online BOM sharable, traceable and controllable.

You can add more data, share it with other engineers and contractors. Track deliveries and calculate cost. The follow videos give you an idea:

As you can see in the video, the SOLIDWORKS BOM table is extended by openBoM. The integration between Solidworks and openBoM captures all changes and keeps openBoM data in sync with all changes in Solidworks. Whatever changes are done in the Solidworks BOM, they are reflected in openBoM to follow up with part orders, collaborate with suppliers, add part cost, calculations and rollups. At the same time, openBoM allows you to extend your BOM with non geometry parts you don’t normally put in Solidworks.

Conclusion. Digital transformation starts with a simple step. You take an existing process and extend it with a new tools. As a result, a new process is set eliminating the complexity of tracking data manually. You can still export data into Excel and PDF, but you can control the digital thread of changes in a BOM, history and all changes done to a BOM.

If you haven’t tried openBoM with Solidworks yet, try it today and tell me what you think. You can do everything I explained above in 10 minutes. If not, I will buy you a coffee. Deal?

Best, Oleg

PS. We should know each other better. If you live in a Greater Boston, please let’s have a meeting (coffee is on me). If you’re located in other places, let’s have a virtual coffee session — I will figure out how to send you a real coffee for our virtual coffee session.