Intelligent Bom

iBOM Part 1

I found my self in conversations recently around the progression of OpenSource Hardware development and moving it’s production forward. I have long been interested in distributed open production and have talked about this for some time. In a recent conversation with one of my colleagues (Ken) about how his project Nanode could be moved forward and made more accessable to a larger audience. We were wondering in particularly about solving the production problem, in the nanode’s case it was kit based. We came to the conclusion that it would be cool if we could produce a BOM as part of the project that would be more enabling to potential participants in the project. I suggested to Ken the idea of an hyperlinked BOM, in it’s simplest form being a link to a preloaded basket at different distributor suitable for each geographic location. After thinking about this some more I came up with the concept of the Active or even the Intelligent BOM (aBOM/iBOM). with an iBom you basically have a hyperlink (hBOM)to a web based service which takes a standard BOM, creates multiple baskets and chooses components from a range of suppliers and best choices. It could also offer basket optimisation like cheapest, or fewest suppliers etc.. dependent on the BOM contents and or quantities/preferences you might provide. For it to work you would provide a standard file format BOM text file in your project repository (on say github) you could then create a REST based link to the thrird party iBom provider e.g.

Whe the user clicks on this link they are taken to the third party and presented with various competitive baskets to buy the projects components (or vitamins as RepRapers call them!). You could even produce PCB with the URL (even QRcode/barcode) on them so folks can populate them more easily, or produce the PCBs themselves and then populate using the iBom.

So who could provide such a third party

I will expand this further in Part 2

Would love your thoughts as usual..


One thought on “Intelligent Bom

  1. One thing that should be considered in the BOM description is that a lot of parts (often called jelly beans) have to comply to certain constraints (value, packaging, minimum power rating, minimum voltage rating) but the discrete part itself is not important (it does not matter if the 10k 0805 resistor comes from Yageo, Tyco, Vishay or whoever). For the basket handling it would be great to just get everything from a single supplier, the cheapest, fitting, available part.

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