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Are any companies using OpenBOM

My small startup company is looking for a BOM package as our first product gets further in development and closer to market release. Besides mechanical parts in OS, we have pcb design using Altium, and we will have things like instruction manuals and packaging materials that will eventually be tracked on a BOM.

We had a call/demo with OpenBOM a few weeks ago, and it looked nice. I think it will work for all the non-OS stuff. My question is: does it mess up the OS integrated BOM generation, part properties such as PN, descripton, etc., Rev managment, ECN process? Does it "overtake" the OS built-in stuff? Does it improve it? Does it make it worse? Does it "replace" the OS built in stuff?

We have the professional license of OS.

Should we use the OS built-in tools for everything, including managing BOMs for non-OS stuff instead of a 3rd party BOM tool? Is there something better than OpenBOM? I really liked that it was all cloud based and seemed to mesh well with OS.

Thanks for your insight.


  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 1,984 PRO
    We're in the process of evaluating OpenBOM and Arena (PTC owns Arena and Onshape, so you might be able to imagine the possibilities there).

    In the App store there's Duro Cloud PLM. Propel has an integration with Onshape. There may be others, but those are the ones I'm aware of.

    I also recently had a call with OpenBOM. It seems like it's supposed to be bi-directional and syncs well, but I have yet to test it out. I'm still discovering some of the pain points of Onshape's BOM table since this is all new to me.

    OpenBOM's integration seems to be the most direct and mature so far, but I haven't looked too deep into Duro, and my sense of Propel is that they aren't really promoting this any more. It's probably most interesting if you're already in the Salesforce world for other things.

    Arena is definitely much more mature and powerful overall. If you need to do a lot of work with EE parts, it's known for that. There's an integration in the works, but it's only in EVP so far.
  • wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member, Simulation EVP Posts: 369 PRO
     I use OpenBOM some for my work. They have some nice features. The integration is decent. I have complained about some things and was told that they are some changes coming, this is actually teased on their web page. 
     One thing I have learned is you need to figure out the absolute best setup at the start or you will end up with a struggle keeping your bi-directional data flow working right. You'll wonder why some catalogs sync well and you can push data back and forth with little problems and others will shed data every time you do a sync. 
     One thing that needs to be corrected is, currently, you are not able to pull a BOM from a released version of Onshape. So if you need a BOM of some legacy project I have not found a way to get it. This is something that is supposed to be fixed in the upcoming update but I was told that quite some time ago so... Also note that if you follow the OpenBOM blogs there is a lot of effort being put into integration with other CAD platforms and it seems limited effort in the maintenance of Onshape-OpenBOM... makes one wonder.  
     All in all, I think if you need a better BOM solution than what Onshape offers OpenBOM is probably about the best there is currently. I was not aware that there was work being done on Arena integration, I have often thought that a cloud BOM platform by PTC outside of Onshape could be an ideal solution.   
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 746 PRO
    I've been creating what I need to manage BOMS in appsheet.  If you are creative, you can get it to easily catalog things a calculate totals, flatten structured boms and give where used results.  You can create po's and such from bom data.  For me what I always found lacking in anything I looked at was getting a total of used materials in a product.  Admin in my company has no interest in seeing all the parts in a bom.  They want to see what kind of material each part is made from and a total of each different material.  We use a library of materials and purchased items that have a stock number.  When a material is applied to an onshape part, this stock number is assigned to it.  The only issue is that ATM I don't have a solid way to automatically get thumb nails into the system.  Boms go in with a csv import.  Also not great but better than nothing and better than not getting the exact results you want from a premade system.
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