PCB Supply Chain Integration for the Military
If you’re a member of the military and you need to source your next PCB or electronic components, the regulatory and standards landscape can be daunting. The logistical challenges involve a number of entities that must be compliant in government systems, limiting your options for sourcing and design tasks. Thankfully, using the right software can help you source your components and give you full supply chain visibility from compliant vendors. Only Altium Designer gives you these important capabilities in a single design environment.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
A PCB design package that provides design and supply chain management features in a single software platform.
Most designers and electronics companies have specific distributors they prefer to work with. They carefully find a balance between lead time, price, and available volume. If you’ve ever used a large distributor to source your components, you may find that you are lacking information you need to include in your bill of materials. You’ll have to manually copy this information between browser windows, design and supply chain programs, or internal databases.
If you’re a procurement officer and you need to source components for an electronic device and contract with a manufacturer, you don’t have the same freedom as people in industry. You’re limited on your available choices of distributors and manufacturers to those companies that are properly registered in government systems and can meet stringent military standards.
With this in mind, PCB supply chain integration is easiest when your design software gives you direct access to supply chain information and integrates this data into your design interface. You need to use PCB design software that places your sourcing information, lifecycle data, and suitable replacement components all in one place, as well as allowing you to customize your list of distributors.
Your bill of materials contains all the sourcing information and volume information your manufacturer needs to produce your new product. The bill of materials explains what, how, and where to buy the required materials andcomponents. When it’s time to produce your device, you need to ensure that your manufacturer only sources components from compliant distributors.
Sourcing components from compliant distributors is critical, and this activity is much easier when you work in a design platform that unifies your design tools with your documentation tools. You’ll have the power to specify your desired distributors and include this information in your bill of materials for your contract manufacturer. You can rest assured that your next piece of military hardware will meet all industry and military quality standards.
Data Sharing Between PCB Design Tools
Working in a unified environment enforces a consistent data structure in all of your tools. You’ll have the power to create the most comprehensive documentation package for your manufacturer. Your design, verification, and simulation tools will communicate using the same data format, and all on top of a single, rules-driven design engine.
- When you need comprehensive sourcing information at your fingertips, you need to work in a customizable unified environment.Learn more about electronic parts sourcing for your next PCB.
- Working with an integrated design environment can help you avoid component shortages.
- You can easily generate documentation for your designs within an integrated design environment.Learn more about managing documentation options with integrated design software.
Component sourcing in Altium Designer’s integrated design environment
If you’re part of a branch of the military and you need to order electronic components or fully customized systems, you’re rather limited on the vendors you’re allowed to use to source your systems. Vendors must be properly registered in government systems, they must have valid DFARS reports, and some even require security clearances. You can’t just call up any large distributor and source your design, components, and manufacturing services.
This is where you need design software that allows you to fully customize your sources for your components. Similarly, if you are working with a vendor that supplies your designs and plans for manufacturing, your vendor needs to be able to get a full view of the component supply chain and lifecycle. They need to source components from ITAR compliant distributors, and distributors will need to be registered if vendors want to satisfy their ESRS requirements.
Managing Lifecycle for Your Components
So how can you get full supply chain visibility from your preferred vendors and prepare for manufacturing all in one place? third party services give access to supplier information databases, but they only aggregate data from the largest suppliers and do not give you any level of customization. You’ll have no guarantee that these distributors are properly registered as vendors.
Worse yet, these services exist in their own environment and they don’t integrate with your PCB design tools. You’ll be stuck searching for components and copying sourcing information by hand. By the time you finish your bill of materials, sourcing information may have changed and you’ll have to repeat the process all over again. Instead of relying on a third party service, your PCB design software should provide sourcing information for all the components that appear in your PCB. You need full customization over your component sources, ensuring that you only work with verified, compliant vendors.
Accurate supply chain management will enable customers to trust in your end-to-end supply chain, knowing that their circuit board will eventually become a printed circuit board through manufacturing instead of waiting in the tenuous cloud of circuit board design stages.
- The best PCB design software integrates sourcing features and makes it easy to manage your supply chain and component obsolescence.Learn more about taking control of your supply chain inside your PCB design software.
- Working in a regulated environment means keeping track of your MIL-STD/MIL-DTL compliant components and distributors.
- Documentation is critical when you work in a highly regulated environment. Your PCB design software should make it easy to customize all of your documentation and export it into popular formats.
Custom components with compliant footprints
Your PCB design software has a critical role to play in improving your productivity when you plan for production and sourcing. Working in the right design environment allows your design, documentation, and deliverable tools to pass data between each other quickly and easily, preventing data errors that plague other design software platforms.
A PCB design package that unifies these tools in a single interface with a consistent design engine and workflow keeps you from getting stuck moving between programs. You’ll be able to manage your component sources, create custom parts, and locate suitable compliant replacement parts within a single platform. Only Altium Designer includes design tools that are built on top of a rules-driven design engine. You can spend more time designing and less time moving between separated design utilities.
Altium Designer Unifies Your Design and Management Features
Unified design and management features help designers and procurement officials get a full view of their supply chain and design, all in one place. Compliant component sources can be easily integrated into the design interface, and your software will pass this information onto your bill of materials generator. You’ll be able to generate your bill of materials, Gerber fils, drill tables, assembly drawings, panelization scheme, and other deliverables in standardized formats.
- 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 managing components in Altium Designer.
- Live supply chain integration makes it easy to manage your bill of materials in real time directly from your design software.
- When you need to reuse your design outputs and manage logistics, you can generate deliverables in batches quickly and easily when your tools are integrated in a single interface.Learn more about batch output generation in Altium Designer.
Only Altium Designer takes the best design tools and integrates them with supply chain management, deliverable generation, and documentation features into a single package. The unified environment in Altium Designer is unlike anything in the PCB design software industry. You can take full control of your supply chain in a single, unified environment. This improves your productivity and gives you assurance that your next device is produced with authentic, compliant components.
A design software package that interfaces with your component management tools might seem like an odd combination. Luckily, Altium gives you the resources you need to get familiar with the design and management environment. If you need help getting started, you can access resources like the AltiumLive forum, Altium’s massive knowledge base, and webinars and podcasts provided by industry experts. You’ll have the tools and information you need to succeed.
Altium Designer is the only platform that unifies design, sourcing, and management into a single platform. You’ll spend more time worrying about building a great product and less time worrying about sourcing components from compliant distributors. Only Altium Designer integrates your supply chain management tools into your design environment.