Altium NEXUS Documentation

Add Part Choices

Modified by Susan Riege on Jul 25, 2019


The Add Part Choices dialog

Summary

The Add Part Choices dialog is used to search for and add supply chain information when adding a new part to the BOM as it provides access to all of the parts available through the Altium Parts Provider. Adding and editing Solutions uses essentially the same process for both managed and unmanaged components. Regardless of whether you are adding a Manufacturer Link to add a Solution to an unmanaged component, or adding a new Part Choice to add a Solution to a managed component, you search for the part in the Add Part Choices dialog.

The Add Part Choices dialog offers a search feature based on categories and parametric filtering similar to the Manufacturer Part Search panel. 

Access

The dialog is accessed in the following ways:

  • From a *.BomDoc, select Create/Edit Manufacturer Links from the Add Solution drop-down menu.
  • From the Edit Part Choices dialog, click the Add button.

To add a new Solution:

  • Click the Add Solution button below the BOM Items list in ActiveBOM, and select either Add/Edit Manufacturer Link (for an unmanaged component) or Add/Edit PCL (for a managed component).
  • If you are adding a Manufacturer Link to an unmanaged component, the Edit Manufacturer Links dialog will appear. To add a new link click the Add button, the Add Part Choices dialog will open.
  • If you are adding a new Part Choice to a managed component, the Edit Part Choices dialog will appear. To add a new Part Choice click the Add button, the Add Part Choices dialog will open.

The dialog can also be accessed from:

  • The Explorer panel when adding supplier information to a Managed Component. Select a component entry and the Part Choices tab, then click the Add button.
  • The Components panel when adding Manufacturer/Supplier information to a Managed Component. Right click on a component entry and select Operations » Create/Edit PCL then the Add button from the following dialog.
  • The Component Editor (in its Single Component Editing mode) when defining part choices for a new/existing Managed Component. Select the Add button in the editor's Part Choices pane.

Options/Controls

  • Search - enter the desired search terms in the text box and press Enter. The Manufacturer Part results will be listed in the main region of the dialog. 
  • Main Results Listing - this shows the resulting Manufacturer Parts returned based on the search criteria entered. For each manufacturer part, the Description, Category, and Supply Info are listed by default. Additional parametric information can be displayed by right clicking on a column header and choosing the Select Columns command from the context menu. This provides access to the Select Columns dialog. 

For each manufacturer part, the suppliers that vend that part can be accessed by clicking on the SPNs (Supplier Part Numbers) drop-down. Each SPN tile includes a colored tile banner, which indicates the risk associated with choosing that SPN. The order of the SPN tiles can change based on the availability and the price data from the Altium Parts Provider. An SPN tile contains the following information:

  • Colored tile banner showing the supplier name. The color reflects the risk associated with choosing that supplier. The risk can change at any time based on the availability and price data received from the Altium Parts Provider.
    • Green = Best
    • Orange = Acceptable
    • Red = Risky
  • Supplier part number (linked to the part on the Supplier's website)
  • Country location
  • Part Source and last update - details displayed in the tooltip
    • Icon color indicates last update was performed:
      • White/Gray = Updated less than one week ago
      • Orange = 1 week < last update < month ago
      • Red = last update > 1 month ago
  • Stock quantity; red if no stock available.
  • Unit price; red if no price available. Unit price includes currency icon; currency is determined by the location of the supplier.
  • Packaging (if known)
  • Available price breaks with Minimum Order Quantities.

For the dialog's OK button to become available, you must select an SPN for the desired Manufacturer Part.

Component entries listed with an associated Component Available Icon icon have symbols and footprints, and are therefore ready to be placed in a design. To restrict the listing to those components that have associated model data, select the Yes option for the Has Model parameter in the Filters pane (accessed by clicking the Filter Icon button at the top left of the dialog).

Additional Controls

  • Filter icon  - click to access a drop-down menu (shown in the following image) from where you can set up desired search filters. 

Filters

  • All - use the drop-down to access a categories drop-down menu to restrict the list to a particular component type. 
  • Access a menu  - click to access a menu with the following options:
    • Currency - use the drop-down to select the desired currency.
    • Exclude Invalid SPNs - enable to display only those that include suitable Stock levels and up-to-date data.
    • Part Providers Preferences - click to open the Data Management - Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog, which provides controls to configure the available suppliers.

Part Details

Full details of the selected manufacturer part, including models if available, are presented in the dialog's Details section pane – on the right in the dialog's full screen mode. Use the dialog's Info button button (top right) to toggle the visibility of the Details pane. The information and options presented in this section depend on the available component data, where a part may be downloaded, acquired or placed (Download button menu) if associated models are available, and datasheets viewed from the Datasheet button menu or from the Datasheets list.

  

The Download button drop-down menu offers options to Acquire the component to an available managed content server (via the Create new component dialog and Component Editor) or Download the component locally as a Integrated Library Package in a zip archive. Alternatively, if models are not available for the selected component – it cannot be matched as a manufacturer part in the Altium Content Vault – the Part Request option is offered (if enabled at a server level).

Select multiple part entries to download or acquire those parts in a single session. The Download option will include all selected components in the saved Integrated Library Package, while the Acquire option will open the components for processing in the Component Editor’s batch mode. Right click on a selected component entry to access the Download or Acquire command.

Further options in the part Details section include:

  • Parameters that represent the current manufacturer data fot that part. 
  • Add selected parameters to a schematic component part using mouse cursor targeting (drag and drop, or from right click menu).
  • Copy all or selected parameter data as a tab delimited text list – right click menu options.
  • View alternative part suggestions in a list ordered by a suitability rating (Alternatives), where each entry links to its online part data.
  • Option to Report an Issue with a part. To report an issue, such an incorrect lifecycle state, scroll to the bottom of the Details pane and click the Report an Issue link.

The manufacturer part has an associated  vertical colored bar that indicates its fundamental suitability for use, based on the Manufacturer Part's Lifecycle Status. Hover the cursor over the colored bar to see its Manufacturer Lifecycle state, where:  

  • White/Gray = Unknown 
  • Green =  Volume Production
  • Red =  Obsolete
  • Orange = Not Recommended for New Design 
While the information for the default columns will always be available, any other information that can be displayed from the right-click menu options is dependent on information given and defined by the supplier. Whether there is information available for each non-default category may vary by item and supplier.
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