Live “visual” BOM and eliminating silos

Data silos are nasty. They have been a big problem for manufacturing organizations for many years. The root cause for silos is multiple databases and products organizations running different data driven systems such as PDM, PLM, ERP, SCM, and so on. The list goes on…

A traditional way to solve the silo problem is to integrate systems together. Meanwhile, innovative PLM vendors look for different ways to solve the silo problem. The article, PLM digital twins offer virtual view of manufacturing touches on some points regarding integration. Companies like Dassault Systems are developing new architectures to eliminate silos…

“Innovation efficiency is often impeded by multiple hand-offs across disciplines and functions, due to discontinuity in processes and systems, resulting in elongating timelines and rework,” Green said. “The older generation electronic PLM systems connected the silos together, whereas in a digital platform, the silos are eliminated.” The V6 digital architecture, introduced by Dassault in 2008, defined a common data model across CATIA for design, Simulia for simulation, Delmia for manufacturing and Enovia for governance applications, Green said, allowing users to connect online to a single digital definition and collaborate in real time.

Data proliferation has made every business dependent on data, and every business needs to transform its methodologies to become both data-driven and analytics-driven in order to make sure that every business decision will maximize global performance, Green said. The challenge of today’s business is both how to handle the data chaos and proliferation of new sources of information, and how to make sure every business decision is based on this data chaos, he said.

A specific piece of information in the article caught my special attention: graphical BOM.

The first pic is from the article. The second is from openBoM and why “graphical BOM” caught my attention; we’ve given it much thought.

Graphical Bill Of Material Navigation with modern, integrated, browser-based 3DPlay (no plugins required) in the latest Dassault Systèmes PLM.

Visual Live BOM provides simultaneous collaborative BOM editing by multiple users in openBoM (works in a browser, no plug-ins)

I found the notion of a visual BOM most interesting. While talking to users we discovered that visualization is often missing in the BOM. Often enough, users told us that it is not unusual to find one giant Excel spreadsheet on top of information managed by PLM, ERP, CRM and other databases. At openBoM we innovate by allowing a combination of Excel like flexibility with data handling:

  1. To create virtual spreadsheet-like representation of multidisciplinary data from multiple CAD and PDM/PLM systems; and
  2. Make it visual by including simple previews of data and allowing to add any number of “image properties”.

By way of illustration, watch this video showing multi-level BOM created from both Solidworks and Onshape represented together:

However, that is not all. Because openBoM allows you to collaborate in real time (simultaneous editing and change processes), you can get a virtual “live view” of data. In an upcoming blog, I will show you how users can work in parallel on two BOMs simultaneously and apply changes.

Conclusion. There is demand for better data visualization and the elimination of silos. openBoM is using a familiar user paradigm (Excel) for users and also creating a new experience: visual live data collaboration.

Let me know if you like it!

Best, Oleg @