Updating the Bill Of Materials manually is tedious and error-prone, especially for PCB designs with many different components. The alternative is exporting a new BOM after every design change. The downside is that you will lose all manual edits, such as formatting or pricing information.
We use KiCad for our PCB design. Fortunately, Kicad supports scripting in python. We have developed a custom BOM script that can create/update excel spreadsheets. This provides us with a number of benefits:
The script does not silently update the spreadsheet, it highlights all changes it makes. You can then verify whether everything is as expected:
When you finish reviewing the updated BOM, simply remove the highlights.
Our KiCad BOM Sync script is open-source and available on Github.