How Integrated PCB Libraries Lower Development Costs
With development schedules becoming tighter and technology advancing at an ever faster pace, designers and engineers need tools that help them cut development costs and stay competitive in every way. There is one element involved in design that is the core determinant of all costs throughout the design process: time. The time required for initial designs, verification, testing, redesigns, and production planning needs to be decreased for designers to remain competitive going into the future.
So what is the best way to do this? All of the aforementioned portions of product development are indispensable. This means designers need to tools that make them more productive during the design phase, that expedite testing, eliminate unnecessary redesigns, and expedite manufacturing planning.
Integrated PCB libraries have an important role to play, but they are useless without the right design data management system. With Altium Concord Pro, you can rest assured that your design data stays current and that your PCB libraries always include the freshest data. All this gives you the tools you need to remain competitive by reducing design time.
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ALTIUM CONCORD PRO®
A unified data management platform that integrates with Altium Designer® and other mechanical design tools to make your design teams more productive.
Design time accounts for the lion’s share of new product development costs, and project managers and companies should do what they can to keep these costs in check. This can be done in a variety of ways, including improving productivity, enabling efficient design reuse, and eliminating unnecessary or redundant steps during the design phase. All of these will contribute to lower overall design and product development costs.
Integrated libraries have long been a great way to help reduce design time as they allow multiple schematics, component symbols, PCB footprints, and other documents to be bundled into individual packages and shared across your design team. You can pack up these different pieces of information in one design and quickly import them into another design. This aids design reuse and adaptation as you can quickly bring this data into a new design.
One challenge to creating integrated PCB libraries that are useful over the long term is ensuring that your data does not go stale. Over time, new versions of components are released, components go obsolete, and new components become available on the market. These supply chain issues and the unnecessary redesigns it requires create productivity bottlenecks that can only be overcome with the right data management and supply chain visibility tools.
There are a number of problems that can trigger a redesign during the PCB design and development process. Whenever a schematic symbol is updated, a component becomes obsolete, PCB footprints are updated, or a model is revised, the library containing the old data needs to be updated. Once integrated libraries and the data they contain are updated, they can be quickly reused in new projects, hopefully preventing a redesign in the future.
The process for updating component data and populating integrated libraries with new design data can be as time-consuming as a redesign, unless you have access to a reliable data management system. The best process and software will give you access to this updated data within your PCB design software. This is a much better choice than using a 3rd party tool or manually downloading new data from a component manufacturer or distributor.
Expediting Redesigns as Part of Product Lifecycle Management
Redesigns often occur as part of managing a product’s lifecycle. Redesigns may be required as part of lifecycle management, or when a product needs to be updated when planning a new manufacturing run. Data in your integrated libraries, PCB layout, schematic, and bills of materials will need to be quickly updated with new data.
As every product has a finite lifecycle, it will need to be updated with new data and technology if it wants to continue to have a place in the market. When it comes time to redesign an old product for a new release, you can quickly import important updates to component data and PCB footprints into your design with the right data management solution. Connecting your data management solution to your PCB design software and integrated libraries helps you stay competitive and expedite any redesigns when updating an old product.
You shouldn’t have to manually search distributor websites for supply chain information or search for components online to complete a redesign and plan for a manufacturing run. Instead you need tools within your PCB design software that automatically supply chain information and data updates at the click of a mouse button.
- Working with automatically updating libraries helps you anticipate supply chain changes and ensures your PCB layout always contains the newest technology.
- You can synchronize your design and data management processes when your design data passes easily between your schematic, PCB layout, and component management tools.
- The right data management tool will help all your design variants stay synchronized with updated component data.
Schematic and component models in Altium Designer and Altium Concord Pro
When you import data from a library into your new design or use existing data as part of a redesign, the data in that library needs to be current if you ever want your design to come off the production line and make it to the marketplace. When you have access to real-time supply chain information, you can immediately add these updated components to any design you want to reuse. This speeds up development times and ultimately reduces development costs.
Reusing design data is a great way to hasten redesigns of existing devices and get a head start on new product development. Design reuse suffers from the same problems of stale data that can occur in any integrated library. This is another area where a data management tool will help you control costs and keep your PCB footprints, schematic, PCB layout, and component data up to date.
System Design and Verification Solutions During Design Reuse
A platform that offers full unification of your PCB design tools with data management and sourcing tools should also interface with your design rules. As you reuse portions of an old schematic and use a schematic capture tool to recreate a PCB layout, some of the data in your design may have gone stale. Once you update your schematic and PCB layout with newer components, you’ll need to check that your layout still complies with your design rules and ensures signal integrity.
When your design and data management features are built on top of a single rules-driven design engine, any updates you apply from your data management system can be instantly checked against your design rules. This allows you to identify problems before you finish a redesign and helps you adjust your schematic and PCB layout as necessary. This greatly improves your productivity while enforcing harmony between design tools.
- When reusing an old design, you need to make sure that any component in that design is actually sourceable. Data management tools that provide supply chain visibility allow you to quickly select replacement components that are sourceable and not at risk of obsolescence.
- Smaller service bureaus and huge electronics companies can all benefit from a managed supply chain visibility solution.
- Keeping up with design data updates helps you stay current with industry standards, including IPC standards.
Sourcing and footprint information in Altium Concord Pro
Cost effective product development takes more than just CAD tools for printed circuit layout. You’ll need verification and simulation features that interface directly with your design data in a single interface. You’ll also need tools that allow you to quickly generate bills of materials from your design and prepare documentation from your manufacturer. What if all of this was integrated with a single data management tool in a unified environment?
With Altium Concord Pro and Altium Designer, your design tools will be fully integrated with a complete data management solution that provides data updates and sourcing information in a single program. The days of scanning component distributor websites and searching for updated component models online are over. You can have access to all of this and more instantly with Altium Concord Pro.
Improve Management and Your Design Process Altium Concord Pro
Working with a managed data solution like Altium Concord Pro saves you a significant amount of time and allows you to eliminate redundant design and management processes. This helps you expedite new product development, eliminates unnecessary redesigns, and helps you stay cost competitive. Placing updated information alongside your design tools is the best way to improve your productivity and reduce development costs.
Altium Concord Pro is uniquely designed to integrate directly into Altium Designer. Your schematic design, schematic capture, PCB layout, and verification tools will all have access to the design data updates provided by Altium Concord Pro, and you won’t have to move to another program again. You’ll also have access to indispensable features like version control, access control, and supply chain visibility tools.
- Altium Designer’s unified environment includes all your important design and verification tools in a single platform. Now you can enhance Altium Designer with Altium Concord Pro, giving you access to a complete data management solution in a single program.
- Altium Concord Pro perfectly complements Altium Designer as a complete data management tool. Your PCB libraries and design data will remain up to date with Altium Concord Pro.
- Altium Concord Pro passes data updates directly to your design tools and your designs, providing unrivaled productivity.
Other ECAD platforms offer little to no data management support, leaving you to manage data updates manually or with a 3rd party service. Other platforms also separate your design features into different programs, forcing you to send data between programs and leaving you prone to design errors. Altium takes design unification to the next level with Altium Concord Pro, the only data management solution that synchronizes all aspects of design, supply chain management, and MCAD integration.
Altium continues to be a radical innovator in the PCB design industry, and you’ll have all the resources you need to keep up with the pace of new design technology. Altium wants you to be successful and gives access to webinars and podcasts with industry experts, the AltiumLive forum, design tutorials, and an extensive knowledge base with plenty of design tips. No other PCB design software company gives you this level of support.
Altium Designer has set the standard in the PCB design industry, and Altium Concord Pro only enhances your capabilities. Integrating data management and PCB design features into a single platform helps you work at peak productivity and ensures your new products will remain competitive. Anyone that uses Altium Designer can watch their productivity skyrocket and their costs plummet with Altium Concord Pro.