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Parts creation workflow in Altium

octal , 01-18-2021, 07:10 AM
Hi everyone,
Hi Robert,
thank you for all the incredible work and videos you'r sharing on Youtube with us.
I just have one question intriguing me. When you create parts in Altium, you always create a separate and unique part for each value (for example, for a 10K resistor you create a new part from scratch, for 20K you do the same...).
Why don't you create a single symbol R and change only its value field in schematics? if we create a single part R and add fields to it like Digikey Part Number for example, we can just select all 10K parts later and associate a DigikeyPN and ManufPN for example and we can got a correct bom.
Is there a specific utility to the way you create each part separately as a unique component?

Again, thank you for all the knowledge you are sharing with us.

qdrives , 01-24-2021, 10:16 AM
If I create a part, it is unique in the library.
For resistors and capacitors, I copy the most matching one and change the parameters. For resistors I stick (where possible) to one family type of a manufacturer. Capacitors differs more.
What parameters are unique:
- Name and comment (identical)
- Value
- Manufacturer part number
- Digikey and Farnell numbers
- Product page link
- Datasheet / spec sheet link
- Voltage / power rating
- Date created
- Engineer who created it (when working in a team)
- Datasheet version number (mostly for capacitor spec sheet)
- Package (standardized in the footprint library, created with PCB library export pro)
- Marking (if applicable)

Part data can be managed with the parameter manager within the library.

So, not from scratch, but definitely not only changing value in schematic.
octal , 01-24-2021, 12:39 PM
This is the question: all those are just fields in a part. What would be the benefits from having those fields affected to the part itself instead of just filling them in the shcematics? both techniques works, what's the advantage of your workflow? (I really want to know, as I can't figure it out by myself).
qdrives , 01-24-2021, 03:15 PM
I put the information in the library so that I have the data complete when the schematic is created. If you fill it in the schematic, you may 'select' different components from project to project.
Also, when I search for the part, I already have all the details at that time. In the past I had found some components, which I could not find later on.

- Details already are known when placed in schematic
- Easier for re-use
- Less duplicates (if done correctly, but that is always the case...)
- Not optimal to draw 'principal schematic'. Details must be known before placed in schematic. For documentation I created a special library that has kind of blank components.
robertferanec , 01-25-2021, 06:16 AM
As you said, you could fill up this information into component which is directly in schematic, but, that would not make sense - why not do it in library then and you can simply re-use this component with all the information in all future projects.

What your question may be more about (and what many beginners do) is instead of including full information about component, they just add value (e.g. 1k) and then when they generate BOM, they add information about the specific resistor (e.g. exact par number and supplier part number)

If you include all the information in library, then the simple answer is: it will save you time (a lot of time) and it prevents making mistakes.

When you design a lot of project or very complex projects, you really do not want to go through BOMs for every project and assigning part numbers manually to each part every single time when you create a new BOM (including BOMs for different variants and versions of board). For example, one board may have easily 3 variants and 3 version, that would be 9 BOMs. Of course, you could simply copy BOMs and manually adjust them (adding specific part number and supplier part number manually), but you could make a lot of mistakes + you would have to do this every time you generate a BOM.

So, it is much easier and much safer to place components with all this information directly into schematic and then BOMs are basically created automatically. And once you create this component, you can use it over and over in other projects and you do not have to search for part number of supplier part number anymore - just the very first time you created the component.
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