Bill of Materials (BOM)

What is a bill of materials?

A bill of materials (BOM) lists all raw materials, instructions, and components needed to manufacture, construct, or repair a product. The BOM often lists the finished product at the top, then the individual elements that make up the final product.

The items included in a BOM include:

  • Part name
  • Part number
  • Quantity
  • Unit of measurement
  • Method of parts construction
  • Assembly references
  • Additional notes

BOMs are generally designated as engineering BOMs or manufacturing BOMs. Engineering BOMs define the finished product’s design, including all alternative and substitute part numbers. This BOM is a part of product lifecycle management.

The manufacturing BOM includes all the assemblies and parts needed to construct an item ready for shipping. This includes the packaging materials to send the product to a consumer.

How does a bill of materials improve medical device manufacturing?

A bill of materials makes the medical device manufacturing process run more smoothly. First, it ensures that all parts are available when needed because the materials required to complete the project are clearly listed. An inaccurate BOM, or no BOM at all, may cause production to halt while materials are waited upon, which can increase operating costs.

A BOM also allows for more consistent production, as the parts and instructions are clearly defined.