I love SOLIDWORKS PDM and how it makes life easier for an engineer to do their job and keep their files in one secure location. With that said, I’ll admit that there are times when you just need more from PDM with regards to the Bill of Materials (BOM). I mean, who wants to model oil, glues, etc. just to have them be on a BOM? I get it, I really do. Having those materials accounted for ensures that when the assembly person goes to grab the grease, it’s there, but having to put blank models inside an assembly?
This is where SOLIDWORKS Manage shines. You can add items inside Manage that do not have any 3D model associated with them. Once you have done that, you can then edit a BOM inside Manage to add the item even with a quantity.
Duplicating a BOM
What if you need to create a BOM for a system that is physically the same, but has some extras that are different? Maybe a version that gets shipped to a different country needs to have a different manual, packing materials or vendor-specific items. These things are easy to accomplish in SOLIDWORKS Manage. Simply create a second BOM from the original and make the needed changes by replacing or changing properties.
Now that you’ve done all these things, how do you know what is different? SOLIDWORKS Manage has an intuitive comparison tool. It will take two BOMs and color code them based on what has changed. You can compare different revisions, two Manage BOMs or even compare the Manage BOM to the Assembly inside PDM. Now you do not have to pour through exported BOMs just to see what is different.
A bonus is that when you make changes to the assembly, Manage will catch those, but not erase the extras you’ve added. So, if your company needs to modify BOMs, and you find yourself adding extra blank files, or adding lines to a BOM on a drawing, look into SOLIDWORKS Manage to solve your problems.
Learn more details about the BOM tools available in SOLIDWORKS Manage in our on-demand webinar, "How to Use the BOM in SOLIDWORKS Manage."