Make informed decisions with real-time electronic component sourcing data

An integral part of a PCB design engineer’s job is part selection. A lot of research and consideration goes into making this selection. As the design engineer, you know the part must be functionally correct for the design, and parameters such as values, tolerances and edge rates are the starting point in the decision-making process. In addition, other “non-electrical” parameters should be considered during the initial selection. These parameters can include:

  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Compliance
  • Lifecycle data
  • Minimum order quantity,
  • Supplier
  • Packaging type

In many cases, these additional parameters are not looked at until the design is complete, or when it’s ready to be sent out for manufacturing. If a part needs to be changed at this point because, for example, it’s not available for several months, an engineering change may be required, adding additional time to the design cycle. You might have to go back to your design and start over with a new electronic component. To make the best electronic component sourcing decisions early in the design process, you need all the information about the part right at the time of selection.

PADS Professional Premium includes PartQuest Supply Chain, (powered by Siemens’ SupplyFrame), a cloud app seamlessly integrated into PADS Designer. This app is connected to over 80 suppliers world-wide, and will instantly display up-to-date electronic component sourcing information, including price, availability, compliance, lifecycle data, and all the information needed to make educated decisions about your part choices.

Where the data comes from, and how it is displayed to you, is very configurable.  Rather than getting data from 80 suppliers, you can select your preferred/approved suppliers, and only see the data from those.  All the parametric information available may not actually be of interest to you, so what is displayed in the spreadsheet-like Supply Chain window within PADS Designer is easy to setup, so you can see only the information you need.

It’s likely some of the component information may change from the time of your initial part selection to the time you’re ready to go out to fabrication and assembly. PartQuest Supply Chain will continuously keep the parametric information populated with the most current details, so recognizing at risk parts becomes easier. Visual status indicators in the spread-sheet view will quickly identify any at-risk components for you and prompt further investigation on whether the part needs to be changed.

Design engineers are hired to design and innovate – that’s your expertise!  Having all the relevant information about parts as you are making component selections will minimize the time spent investigating and managing data and allow more time for you to work on the design, and meet your release deadlines.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at