Instead of Using Digikey Try Sourcing Components in Altium Designer
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.
If you’ve ever used a component distributor like Digikey to source your components, 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, and you won’t be able 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 components. If you use sub-standard PCB design software, you’ll be stuck browsing distributor websites and using third party services to get the 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 your manufacturer needs to produce your new product, all compiled into a single document. The bill of materials explains what, how, and where to buy the materials and 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.
Sourcing Components For Your PCB in One Place
Any CAD program that can interface with a component 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.
- Working with the best design software makes it easy to create a bill of materials for your PCB.
- You might be tempted to use an external program like Excel or Access to compile your bill of materials and sourcing information.
See why integrated design software is the best choice for compiling a bill of materials.
- Altium Designer unifies your component libraries, design tools, and bill of materials generator in a single environment. You’ll have all the sourcing information you need at your fingertips.
Learn more about electronic parts sourcing for your next PCB.
Component sourcing in Altium Designer’s integrated design environment
Building a bill of materials for your manufacturer takes more than just selecting 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.
The Best PCB Design Software Gives You Supply Chain Visibility
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.
- Your PCB design software should make it easy to customize your bill of materials and export it into popular formats.
- The best PCB design software with integrated component and sourcing features makes it easy to manage your supply chain.
Learn more about managing your supply chain with your PCB design software.
- Integrated PCB design software does more than just help you compile a bill of materials from your design data. This type of design software will compile changes from your designs into standardized documents so you can share modifications with your collaborators.
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.
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.
Let Altium Designer Unify Your Design and Management Workflow
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.
- Your component libraries will eventually expand to a huge number of parts. Altium Designer makes it easy to locate the parts you need and import them into your design and your bill of materials.
Learn more about searching and managing components in Altium Designer.
- Some fabrication procedures require specific component placement and orientation rules, and these rules are easy to implement in Altium Designer.
- When your design tools are integrated with your documentation and management tools, you can manage every aspect of design releases.
Learn more about design release management in Altium Designer.
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 gives you the resources you need to get started and build the latest and greatest PCB. 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 your bill of materials, 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.