Altium Designer Documentation

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Управление составом изделия с помощью ActiveBOM_AD

Created: 30.05.2022 | Updated: 02.09.2022
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Parent page: Capturing Your Design Idea as a Schematic

Good component selection underlies the success of every electronic product - so just how does the designer go about choosing the most appropriate component? Gone are the days of the design engineer thumbing through their dog-eared component data book, jotting down a part number on a paper parts list, and throwing that parts list over the wall to Purchasing for the first production run.

Not only are the components chosen to fulfill the necessary technical requirements, but the designer must also consider the price, availability and lead time, as well as the requirements of that component during the assembly and testing phases. Choosing the wrong component can be costly, not just in terms of the final unit price, it can also impact the product delivery schedule or even the ultimate success or failure of the product in the market.

While the highly compressed design/test/manufacture product development cycle means the designer has very little room for error as they select the components, the tightly enmeshed nature of the component information stream - from the manufacturer, to the supplier, to the search aggregation portal, means that accurate component-choice information can be placed right on the designer's screen, as she scrolls through a list of potential components. Altium recognizes the critical role that component selection plays in the design process and develops software technologies, products and teams that help deliver easy-to-use, detailed and accurate component data and component selection systems, directly into the designer's workspace.

In the design process, the project BOM is one of the first documents created, as the key components are costed for the initial project pricing estimate, and it is one of the last documents to be finalized as the project is handed over for fabrication, assembly and test. And that BOM is much more than a list of the electronic components fitted to the board - it must also detail every screw, standoff, sticker, heatsink, and tube of glue required to finish the sub-assembly that the PCB becomes a part of.

ActiveBOM is a powerful Bill of Materials management editor that combines comprehensive BOM management tools with Altium's powerful part-information aggregation technologies, helping you manage the component selection challenge.

Solving the Component Management Challenge

Ultimately, every single part used in the design must have detailed supply chain information. In the past, designers had to add this information into each component during library creation or design capture or post-process their design BOM to add the supply chain details in later. ActiveBOM removes this constraint - the designer can now add supply chain information to the components at any time during the design cycle, entering it directly into the BOM instead of the schematic components, if they choose.

This ability to inject supply chain details directly into the BOM changes the role of the BOM document in the PCB project. No longer a simple output file, ActiveBOM raises the component management process to sit alongside the schematic capture and PCB design processes, where ActiveBOM's BomDoc becomes the source of all Bill Of Materials data for the PCB project, for all BOM-type outputs. ActiveBOM is now the recommended approach to BOM management.

As well as the components placed in the schematic, additional components and BOM-specific data can be added directly in ActiveBOM, for example; yet-to-be-detailed parts, fasteners, the blank board, or the mounting glue. Custom columns can also be added, including a specific Line number column, which supports both auto and manual numbering, with full copy/paste support.

The BomDoc is the master list of all items needed to build the board
ActiveBOM presents the list of Items in the grid at the top, with the supply chain status of the selected Item shown below.

When connected to an Altium 365 Workspace, note that lifecycle management is not supported with the Altium Designer Standard Subscription. As such, the Component's Revision State will not be displayed in the ActiveBOM with this level of access to Altium 365.

Managing the Components

Not all design components are crafted to the same standard. In days gone by the component started as a simple symbol in a symbol library, with qualifying details such as the value, the footprint and the manufacturer part number, being added during the design process. An easy and flexible system for an individual designer, but a nightmare to manage and maintain in a team, over time. Why was the manufacturer part number changed? Who changed it? Will the looser tolerance on that new part work in all the products that the part is used in? There's a long list of potential issues awaiting the design team when their components are created and organized in this way. Altium refers to these components as non-Workspace Library components.

As the design community came to understand the hazards of working with components in an ad-hoc manner, better approaches were developed. The design teams developed checking and sign-off processes for the design components and built databases to better manage the components used in their designs. The design-software developers helped by delivering better ECAD library systems, such as database libraries, which allow the design component to couple to the component record in the company database. But these solutions were custom-crafted and often required the design team to interact with and manage the design data through multiple software tools. And they also did not solve the ultimate question - we're just about to go to production, is that part actually available??

Altium has a solution to the entire, idea-to-purchasable part challenge. From the design component with revision control and lifecycle management, through to supply-chain selection with real-time pricing and availability, all aspects of the entire component management process are handled from within the design software, by using Workspace Library components, stored in a Workspace.

Learn more about Workspace Library Components

Refer to the following pages to learn more about ActiveBOM:

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