Customer Success Stories

How HMS Networks Streamlined Component Management with Altium Enterprise Solutions

"When selecting a part from the centralized library, I can be very certain that this will work in my product because someone has already done the testing, someone has already done the prototypes, so it should work."

Victor Hlelm, HMS Networks Hardware Manager

HMS Networks – a global leader in Industrial Information and Communication Technology – creates products that enable industrial hardware to communicate and share information with software and systems. When HMS needed to centralize their unmanaged electronics part libraries and optimize disjointed component processes across widely distributed business units, they turned to Altium enterprise solutions for help.

"HMS has seen extraordinary development over the past 20 years, and there is still much to do…with our unique knowledge of industrial network technology, our strong corporate culture, and our committed employees, we have all the criteria to continue to be successful."
Staffan Dahlstrom, CEO of HMS Networks

HMS Networks’ Part Library Challenges

HMS Networks operates across multiple geographically-distributed business units. Each unit was responsible for its own electronic component selections and parts library upkeep.

Typically, unmanaged libraries and processes are fine for smaller-scale engineering teams. While larger, global engineering teams experience significant cost and productivity challenges as the scope of disjointed libraries grows exponentially, especially as a company grows with additional product lines, incorporates acquisitions, or expands to new geographies.

As the industrial industry and HMS continued to grow – even in challenging times – two main challenges associated with unmanaged and disjointed component libraries began to emerge.

  • Duplicate part requests created unnecessary inventory and risk: Global inventory management became overwhelmed with duplicate parts. With no insight into part libraries and component data available from other HMS business units or design teams, many newly created parts were an unnecessary duplication of engineering time and potentially contrary to corporate requirements.
  • Inconsistent component information reduced efficiency and increased costs: A lack of standardized component data stemming from ad-hoc part creation processes led to a chaotic assortment of supply and inventory management issues. Procurement teams had to address unoptimized bills of materials containing numerous parts from different vendors and suppliers that performed the same function, making fulfillment more time-consuming and expensive.

“We would have requests for different components from different business units that were more or less the same, but one was from Texas, and one was from analog. We can’t have twice the number of components that we actually need. We needed to harmonize.”

Victor Hlelm, HMS Networks Hardware Manager

Unmanaged component and library approaches create challenges for enterprises. Highly distributed organizations like HMS Networks with independent design teams and far-reaching operations face incredibly demanding difficulties in this regard. It was essential for HMS to have a centralized library methodology and a greater level of control over their component processes. They wanted to ensure that the engineers and design teams could easily share information about libraries and components data, as well as have a consistent approach for part requests. Centralization would also empower design engineers to use parts that had been approved by the firm and were suitable for production.

Altium Digitally Integrates HMS Component Libraries

The electronics team at HMS Networks turned to Altium for a comprehensive, digitally integrated solution to manage their ECAD component libraries and connect all their design teams and engineers. With Altium enterprise solutions, HMS Networks could meet their objectives to streamline library management and new part creation to reduce design time and improve procurement and manufacturing operations.

By leveraging Altium enterprise solutions, HMS automated and seamlessly integrated distributed, independent libraries into one unified component management solution. This digital integration allowed engineers to share part data and information and quickly understand what is available when deciding which components work best in their design.

"When selecting a part from the centralized library, I can be very certain that this will work in my product because someone has already done the testing, someone has already done the prototypes, so it should work."

Victor Hlelm, HMS Networks Hardware Manager

Altium enterprise solutions also enabled an actionable feedback loop with the production team by building tight integrations with the HMS ERP system. This digital connection immediately impacted product quality and sped up the fabrication process.

“We now have a feedback loop from the manufacturing teams producing the prototypes. Now we are getting a report from the manufacturing team saying, ' Okay, for these new footprints that you have added for these new components, we have problems with these. Please do something." 

Victor Hlelm, HMS Networks Hardware Manager

Altium Is Transforming Electronics Design for Enterprises Of All Sizes

Altium is transforming electronics design by offering companies like HMS Networks the ability to bring digital transformation to life with comprehensive, digitally-integrated electronic design solutions for enterprises of all sizes and maturities.

Altium enterprise solutions are the most lightweight, easy-to-implement electronics design solutions for enterprise organizations of all sizes or maturity, making the last mile of digital transformation not only possible – but easy.

To learn more about Altium enterprise solutions, contact us or take the tour.

Learn More About Altium Enterprise Solutions for Your Business