The innovation BOM describes the list of parts that engineers are considering for a prototype. It is primarily made up of possibilities for critical components that will define the product, and notes about how these parts may be sourced.
Because the contents of this list need to be able to change frequently and rapidly as design decisions are made, electrical design engineers have traditionally kept these lists in paper format or on disparate spreadsheets to avoid the overhead of a revision-controlled system. But with PartsList, engineers finally have a way to organize the design process that doesn’t slow them down.
“We want to remove the presumption that all BOMs are equal,” said Steve Chalgren, Arena vice president of product and strategy. “The BOM you keep when you’re prototyping is not the same BOM you keep when you’re ramping to production—and so you need different tools to manage it. When you’re prototyping, you need to move as fast as you can without making mistakes. So at this stage in the game, the idea of redlining and routing changes is ridiculous—it’s just too much overhead. But you do need something to manage the output of innovation (the ‘innovation BOM’) and we’re happy to see that PartsList has become an incredible way to manage it.’”
PartsList makes conceptualizing, prototyping and documenting the innovation BOM easy. With PartsList, engineers finally have a low-cost, flexible way to quickly compare and choose parts, and collaborate with design partners and potential vendors during prototyping. By managing the innovation BOM in PartsList, engineers can actually save money because they are encouraged to do more part comparison, and are more likely to select parts for their designs with the most optimal technical fit, availability and cost.
PartsList automatically pulls documentation for parts design engineers are considering, and gives easy access to availability information, so engineers can conduct a comprehensive component comparison as a natural part of the innovation process. According to Steve, “It’s been long accepted that the earliest phases of conceptual design determine 80% of a product’s cost and influence quality, reliability and serviceability. So why are electrical engineers and architects left to fend for themselves while they make some of the most important analytical decisions for their new products? When you’re innovating, it’s important to have flexibility, but there is value in having helpful tools designed for this creative phase in product development rather than napkins or generic spreadsheets. Introducing PartsList to manage the innovation BOM gives you more control without slowing or limiting the flow of your ideas.”
PartsList, the first tool designed to manage the innovation BOM, is a cloud application that can be accessed at https://www.arenasolutions.com/products/partslist/ and is free for personal use.
About Arena Solutions
For over a decade, Arena has been redefining PLM with a suite of cloud applications that enable engineering, manufacturing and their extended supply chains to work better together—from first prototype to full-scale production. Arena helps innovative manufacturers bring better products to market faster with cloud PLM offerings that speed prototyping, reduce scrap and help manufacturers collaborate on product changes with strategic partners across the globe.
Arena cloud PLM products simplify bill of materials (BOM) and change management, and offer manufacturers the right balance of flexibility and control—at every point in the product lifecycle. PartsList and PDXViewer are lightweight single-user applications that allow manufacturers to move quickly and efficiently while designing, documenting and sharing a prototype. When scaling to production and beyond, the Arena core application provides full PLM functionality so manufacturers can control revisions, manage the engineering change process and selectively share accurate, up-to-date BOMs with partners, suppliers and contract manufacturers.
Founded in February 2000, Arena Solutions is headquartered in Foster City, California.