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Alternate components in BOM / grouped by other parameter

przemek , 04-21-2021, 10:21 AM
Hi all!

I'm struggling with creating BOM in which I can see alternative components for those used in project.

Here's what I mean:

I use "Part Number" as a unique parameter definig components in my database. For example, if I want to use 100nF 16V 0603 capacitor, then it can be found under 02-00699, 02-01530, 02-02429 - I can use any of those three components.

My customer is going to use my database, but additionally he wants his own part number "Customer Part Number" to be added. When he needs 100nF 16V 0603 capacitor, he searches for xxx0001, and then he sees all three above capacitors. In next step the customer chooses which component he wants to use and it's done.

Attached is screenshot showing how it works (Customer Part Number needed to be blurred).

And now what I don't know how to achieve is to show all this in BOM. For example, the customer chooses 02-00699. So in BOM there will be Part Number = 02-00699 and Customer Part Number = xxx0001. Moreover, I need 02-01530 and 02-02429 to be shown as alternatives.

Any ideas how can I do this? @robertferanec maybe you have done something like that? I tried with variants, but they are not the way here, as it's too much work for every project...
qdrives , 04-22-2021, 10:24 AM
If you want to add alternatives (that the EMS can select) then you have to add parameter(s) to the component that state this. There is no Altium method.
1) You could add parameters like AltMfg1: Kemet, AltMPN1: C0805C103K1GAC, AltMfg2: TDK, AltMPN2: CGA4C2C0G2A102J060AA.
2) Add a single parameter which describes it
3) Add a note to the BOM that states alternative to components.
For 1 and 2 you add these columns to the BOM.

Altium does allow different parts for variants.

I personally never allow alternatives, but that is because I am very strict and want to know what I get.
robertferanec , 04-23-2021, 04:59 AM
I agree with @qdrives, that is how we sometimes do it. Once you add alternatives, update your BOM template and add columns for the alternative manufacturer / part number / etc.

PS: Have a look also at Active BOM, maybe you may be able to generate the BOM what you need directly from there.
przemek , 04-23-2021, 07:09 AM
thanks for your replies!

I was thinking of adding new parameters that would be shown in BOM as new columns, but this is probably not a good solution for me. This would result in adding new parameters to all 47k components in our database. Nobody would be happy to do that

I was also trying with active BOM, but this is manual work - I need to add alternatives as new solutions to every component in the project by myself. And the best would be to use parameters already existing in our database. I was using it for the first time, so maybe I'm missing something here? Maybe some script would do that...

Anyway, now I got an example of how BOM with alternatives is generated using Cadence in my company. Attached is a screenshot and if possibe, I'd need to follow this pattern: alternatives are added in new rows, all using the same parameters. And the EMS can choose any component they want.
qdrives , 04-23-2021, 11:24 AM
@przemek with that many alternatives I would almost go to the BoM's I have seen from 30 years ago: R1, "1k 1% 0805" 😉 Actually, the 0805 was even missing, the EMS company had to look at the gerber to find the matching size 🤔
robertferanec , 04-24-2021, 01:26 AM
Hmm ... then I am not sure how you would like to list the alternatives if you are not planning to add them to the components?

BTW: This is very tricky, because some components may be alternatives but they may not be 1:1 replacements (e.g. very simple example is, that you can replace 25V capacitor with 50V, but not 50V capacitor with 25V .. but there are more complicated examples e.g. temperature range, materials, manufacturer, etc ....). Be careful, sometimes components can't be replaced so easily.

PS: Often we do not list alternatives in BOM. For mass production, alternatives are selected from the offers received from suppliers - we tell them values and they will offer all the kind of alternatives with prices and availability.
przemek , 04-27-2021, 05:29 AM
I can't add new columns for every alternative component (e.g. Alt Manufacturer PN 1, Alt Manufacturer 1, Alt Manufacturer Status 1, ... Alt Manufacturer PN n, Alt Manufacturer n, Alt Manufacturer Status n). I mean I know I can do it in Altium, but I have to figure out another way to do it, because it would mess out too much with our database (we use common database for Cadence and Altium).

But what I could do and I did is adding new parameter "Alternatives". And now for each component this parameter lists all alternative Part Number parameters from my company's database (see G column in attached image).

What now needs to be done is to add new rows (instead of columns) showing parameters of alternative components. Example of how it could look like is attached.

I'm looking for an "Altium way" of doing this, but frankly I can't figure out anything. I was trying also with Active BOM, but I don't see any possibility to add new solutiution/alternative parameters from already existing database to components existing in project.
qdrives , 04-29-2021, 10:16 AM
Then perhaps your only solution is to start writing a script to export the BoM that way.
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