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219 Design, a product design consulting firm with clients around the globe, needed a faster, more efficient way to track the vast array of components within each product it designs. They found their solution in Bommer, a plug-in for top CAD/CAM software that automates and accelerates their BOM processes. Using Bommer, 219 Design achieved:

  • Cost savings. Streamlined processes cut BOM preparation time by 80-90%, reducing costs for the firm’s clients.
  • Efficiency. Time previously lost to manual BOM production gets devoted to high-value product design, engineering consulting and product development.
  • Timeliness. Bommer helps engineers build custom BOM data into their projects earlier in the design process, where complete component data is immensely valuable.

Challenges

219 Design is a consulting firm that helps companies worldwide bring high-tech manufactured products to market. The company’s three mechanical engineers create advanced designs under tight product-development timelines. Many of their development projects last several months with products that have hundreds of internal components, each of which must be documented with data on price, weight, dimensions and other key variables.

A perpetual headache for 219 Design engineers was spending hours building a Bill of Materials (BOM), which lists every component within a product design. When 219 Design shaves hours from their BOM process, they can pass the savings to their clients.

For 219 Design, the BOM process was so cumbersome that engineers would often procrastinate — doing the BOM near the end of a project rather than much earlier in the process, where it would be more effective because it can help engineers make smarter choices of materials.

219 Design’s engineers rely on the SolidWorks CAD/CAM design platform, one of the top CAD/CAM design platforms. “The stock SolidWorks BOM function works, but it’s annoying,” said Trevor Wesolowski, Senior Mechanical Engineer at 219 Design. The SolidWorks bill of materials tool required an external spreadsheet to list all the components, which had to be aligned to the parts in the design document. “Getting the whole thing to match just ate a ton of time,” he said.

How Bommer Helped

Bommer is a plugin for SOLIDWORKS that gave 219 Design’s engineers an easy-to-use and simple BOM tool to track all the components in their BOMs and export them into spreadsheets and other documents for estimates, RFPs and other needs.

Bommer provides a “live view” of a design document’s properties across an entire assembly. It supports “one-click” filtering and exporting of BOM information, which optimizes the process and makes it much simpler for 219 Design to provide accurate estimates of product costs to clients in the early stages of a design. “When it’s that easy, I can have that resource available much earlier in our design cycle,” Wesolowski said.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

Incorporating the BOM software Bommer into their design process helped 219 Design dramatically reduce the time spent on creating a Bill of Materials.

“Because we bill by the hour, we track everything down to the minute,” Wesolowski said. “With Bommer, we save several hours of time on a monthly basis.” The time savings compared to their old manual processes was a factor of anywhere from 5-to-1 to 10-to-1, he added.

“Bommer gives me time I otherwise would not have,” he said. “It’s not just reducing costs — it’s adding value.”

In years to come, these cost savings and added value will help 219 Design streamline their ability to help clients understand the economics of the products they’re bringing to market.

“A lot of my job is economic engineering and that’s where Bommer comes in handy most often,” he explained. Device designers must understand, for example, the interactions between battery size and how long the device should run on a single charge. Accurate, timely cost projections help them identify the optimum trade-offs. “That’s where the rubber really meets the road with Bommer,” he concluded.

“Bommer gives me time I otherwise would not have. It’s not just reducing costs — it’s adding value.”

— Trevor Wesolowski, Senior Mechanical Engineer, 219 Design.

Authors

Trevor Wesolowski - Senior Mechanical Engineer, 219 Design
Jesse Rosalia - Co-founder/CEO, Bommer, Inc.

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