Using openBoM formulas and rollups in BOMs and Part Catalogs [with Solidworks]

The purpose of this post is to share with you more details of how the new openBoM calculated properties (formula) can be used in a scenario where you want to manage Item Master data (in openBoM as a part catalog/inventory) and a Bill of Materials. If you want to learn more how openBoM formulas work, go here.

The overall data schema in openBoM includes the part catalog inventory. It may remind you of the spreadsheet you probably once used to manage a list of parts used in your team, project, or company. In openBoM you are not limited to a certain number of parts catalogs; you can organize as many as you need for locations, type of components, and so on.

Let’s look at a part catalog related use-case by illustrating a few features available in openBoM. We’ll start by importing a part catalog from a spreadsheet. Remember, in a few more sophisticated scenarios, openBoM supports a part catalog import directly from a CAD system. More integrations with other catalog systems will be coming soon. If you want to learn more about how to import an Excel inventory (part catalog) to openBoM, go here.

After importing a part catalog, it’s possible the data therein is already organized. However, you can still modify it to suit your needs, for example, you can add properties, move them around, replace text values with list properties, add references to online catalogs, and more.

Now that you have a part catalog available, the likely next step is to create a BOM. We will use a part list created from a SOLIDWORKS assembly. The following video shows how a BOM is imported from SOLIDWORKS to openBoM.

Next, let’s see how openBoM can create an augmented view of a BOM together with part catalog properties. You can assign multiple part catalogs to a BOM. openBoM matches (or maps) parts using Part Number. BTW, for the moment, simple matches are used, but more sophisticated ways to create matches will be coming soon. Learn more about assigning part catalog (inventory) properties to a BOM by clicking, here.

Finally, let’s add formulas to the BOM. We are going to add two formulas. One to calculate Cost per line Item (Quantity x Cost) and then we add a Rollup line and add a Total Cost formula. Watch this video to see how two remotely located team members collaborate on the BOM we’ve been working on, including adding a couple of formulas. All on the same BOM.

The outcome I wanted to get across in this post is how the different pieces I described above can come together. You can change the design, add/remove/update parts, update the BOM and the cost will be automatically recalculated. Moreover, in case some information such as Item cost changes in the part catalog it will be recalculated as well. Your team can work in a BOM at the same time maintaining access to BOM information whilst collaborating in real time.

Oleg, July 2017