Cloud PLM gets personal

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Arena PartsList

If you’re part of an organization that’s scaling to production, we’ve got you covered with our scalable cloud PLM solution.

But what if you’re just starting out? You need to capture and document parts, but without changes and a supply chain to manage, you may not be ready to implement a full-service solution. You may just need something that helps you design and document a prototype, or turn your parts into BOMs.

For people like you, we created Arena PartsList.

Why PartsList?

In the last year, we noticed a lack of engineer-focused systems that individuals and small teams could use to document and share their designs. We hope to change all that with PartsList—a new cloud application that makes it easy to document, organize and share BOMs.

PartsList is a low cost tool for engineers who just need to find parts, document a BOM and get it to doc control (or a partner, vendor or friend). Since we launched in January, we’ve been getting an enthusiastic response, and a lot of early traction, which has been really exciting to see.

As the product manager of PartsList, I’d like to give you a tour of PartsList, so you can see how it can help you get your prototype built. At this point in time, we’re letting new users try PartsList for free, so if you think you might be interested, set up your account today.

What are some cool things you can do with PartsList?

When we created PartsList we had design engineers in mind.

The use case for PartsList begins with an engineer who needs to get his/her full circuit design from EDA or ECAD documented. (Or an engineer who needs to document a napkin drawing, reference BOM or a parts list in a spreadsheet.) From there, PartsList can be used to:

Complete the documentation process for an existing bill of materials

Export a BOM from ECAD, import it into PartsList and use Autofill to collect datasheets and vendor site information for your entire BOM in one click. For any given part, all you need is the manufacturer and manufacturer number to capture the rest of the information—including datasheets and links to purchase—with the click of a button.

When you’re done, export the BOM to CSV or PDX to share it with whoever needs it. (And if you’re unfamiliar with PDX, here is more information on how you can use PDX to share build packages.)

Consider multiple critical component contenders

PartsList comes with PartSaver—a bookmarklet that you can use to capture and save critical part information with one click. If you’re browsing parts online, you can use the PartSaver browser button to capture critical component information—including datasheets and vendor information, and make comparative evaluation easy.

Create a new Bill of Materials

If you want to start a BOM from scratch, you can find the parts individually online, and use PartSaver to capture all the data into a unique list.

It’s also easy to build out a napkin-drawing or sketched BOM with PartsList. Just load the basic information—part number and manufacturer—into PartsList, select Autofill and PartsList will pull the rest of the information you need to complete your BOM.

If you have a BOM in EDA or ECAD, or a reference design from a partner or manufacturer, you can import the old design to PartsList, remove the components that you want to replace, and use PartSaver to clip replacement parts.

Create a new part request form

PartsList gives you a full list with supplier item information, which can be passed to document control for creation of internal part numbers and inclusion of parts into another system—if you have access to PLM, or an ECAD library.

It’s never too early to be organized

If you’re an engineer at an early-stage startup, two guys in a garage building a prototype or even a serial inventor with a ton of ideas to document, a comprehensive cloud PLM solution might feel like a bit much. But if you want to be prepared when it’s time to scale, it’s never too early to adopt a simple, effective way to collect part data, as well as build and share simple BOMs. So I hope you give PartsList a try.

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About the Author

Kathy Davies
Kathy teaches at Stanford University, where her students use Design Thinking to design cutting edge products and to reshape their lives, at Stanford and beyond. Kathy has worked with Arena ... Read More 

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