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Once you’re ready to send your next PCB off to your fabricator, you’ll need to prepare a bill of materials. It’s time to gather component specifications and sourcing information and send it off to your manufacturer. If you’re stuck working with component distributor websites to source components for your PCB, it might be time to upgrade to the latest and greatest PCB design software. Only Altium Designer includes all the component information you need in a single design environment.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
A PCB design package that helps you source your components within a single software platform.
While Digikey component sourcing, or sourcing electronic components and parts from Digi Key Electronics, you may find that you are lacking information you need to include in your bill of materials. Worse yet, you have to copy information directly from the website into your bill of materials by hand. Companies like Digikey or Mouser are reputable company and industry leaders, so it’s important to have other tools to accommodate for this gap. Especially if you want to compare data from multiple distributors. If you want to keep your productivity level high, you need to keep all this information in one location and seamlessly integrate it into your bill of materials.
Not all design software can give you the information you need to properly source your electric components. If you use sub-standard PCB design software, you’ll be stuck browsing distributor websites and using third party services to get the electronic component sourcing information you need to move your PCB to the production line. Instead, you need to use the only PCB design platform that places your sourcing information, lifecycle data, and suitable replacement components all in one place.
Your bill of materials contains all the information compiled into a single document that your manufacturer needs for the PCB assembly of your new product. The bill of materials explains what, how, and where to buy the materials and PCB components required to manufacture your device. When combined with your PCB documents, your manufacturer has a full picture of how to produce and assemble your product. Manufacturers in every industry start building new products by referring to the bill of materials.
When you’re compiling the information in your PCB layout into deliverables for your manufacturer, you’ll need to include sourcing information for your components in your bill of materials. Sourcing information shouldn’t be hard to come by. Sure, you can browse distributor websites, compile information by hand, and spend the rest of the day comparing prices and lead times. This is where PCB design software with integrated component libraries become critical.
Any CAD program that can interface with a electronic component and parts library can be used to build a schematic and layout for your PCB. But not all PCB design programs are created equal, and you can save yourself a huge amount of time when you use software that integrates your component library with multiple distributor databases.
Your PCB design software should make it easy to import this critical information directly into your bill of materials. You won’t have to search distributor websites, copy information into a spreadsheet, and compare information from a limited number of suppliers. Integrated design software has solved this problem by giving you access to extensive component databases and incorporating this information directly into your bill of materials.
Component sourcing in Altium Designer’s integrated design environment
Creating a bill of materials for your manufacturer takes more than just selecting parts and electronic components for your PCB and compiling sourcing information. You need to include information on lead times, obsolescence, suitable replacements for your components. The supply chain moves quickly, and you’ll need the most up-to-date information about your components in order to ensure your PCB can get off the production line without delays.
So how can you get full supply chain visibility all in one place? Some third party services give access to multiple supplier information databases, but these services exist in their own environment and they don’t communicate with your PCB design software. You’re still stuck searching for components manually and copying down sourcing information. By the time you finish your bill of materials, sourcing information may have changed and you’ll have to repeat the process just to update your bill of materials.
Instead of relying on a third party service or hoping your manufacturer will source authentic components, your PCB design software should provide sourcing information for all the components that appear in your PCB. This alleviates the need to search through component lists on distributor websites and compare information manually. Even better, you can choose suitable replacements directly from your component library and import this information into your bill of materials.
Schematic, layout, and bill of materials tools in Altium Designer
Most PCB design software programs separate your design, deliverable generation, and supply chain utilities into different programs and enforce different workflows. Your PCB design software should make it easy for your tools to pass data between each other, ensuring error-free communication between utilities. Your bill of materials generator needs to access data directly from your design and component libraries in order to ensure that you remain producti
Building complex PCBs takes more than just a great CAD interface, you need tools that integrate every aspect of your PCB into a single program. A unified design package links your design, verification, and deliverable generation tools into a single program. It’s never been easier to design the next revolutionary electronic device, manage your supply chain, view component lifecycle information, and verify functionality of each PCB part and electronic component.
Unifying these tools in a single interface with a consistent design engine and workflow keeps you from getting stuck moving between programs or using features with inconsistent workflows. Only Altium Designer includes design tools that are built on top of a rules-driven design engine, ensuring consistent communication between all your tools. Now you can spend more time designing and less time moving between separated design utilities.
Plenty of other software programs claim to be unified, but they still separate features into different interfaces with inconsistent workflows. Only Altium Designer makes it easy to link your design tools with your component libraries and deliverable tools, and all in a single interface. Altium Designer helps you ensure consistent communication between design teams, your manufacturer, and your design tools.
You need the most powerful design, verification, documentation, and management tools all in one place. You’ll be able to move through the entire design process and on to production painlessly when all your tools are placed in a single design environment. Altium Designer includes all of these features and more in a single interface using a single rules-driven design engine.
Altium Designer takes all of the best design, deliverable generation, management, and documentation tools packages them into a single, unified design platform. Integrating your deliverable tools with your component libraries and supplier information improves your productivity and allows you to spend more time designing.
Using a new design software package might seem daunting at first. Luckily, Altium Desigern gives you the resources you need to get started and build the latest and greatest PCB assembly. If you need help getting started, you’ll have access to resources like the AltiumLive forum, an extensive knowledge base, and podcasts and webinars provided by industry experts. Altium gives you the tools you need to work towards design success.
Altium Designer can help you efficiently manage all your parts into a bill of materials and assist in component lifecycle, and sourcing. This gives you more time to worry about designing the next revolutionary product and less time worrying about sourcing the components you need to bring it to life. Only Altium Designer incorporates your component sourcing information and design tools in a single interface.