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Placing componets in BOM that are not available to any 'Altium' sourced distributors

Lorien , 07-09-2016, 08:06 AM
Hello guys! I don't know if the topic title is the right one but please allow me to be more specific: I have a design (my first one made entirely in Altium Designer, thanx to Robert and all his Altium courses!) which uses most of the parts from TME, Farnell and Mouser. So far so good! But I have few that are not available from any of above mentioned distributors, like custom oscillators and few more. Those parts will be acquired directly from Microchip (through their MicrochipDirect portal) and from Codico.
So far I made a "live" BOM on my .OutJob file that will refresh the part prices when I click on "Generate Content" button. My goal is to include these "foreign" parts in that BOM too and when I made some changes to it - for example to change the number of boards made in a batch -, to reflect the changes for all of the parts in my BOM list!
Sadly, for now only the parts that are linked to Altium - provided distributors will work in my BOM, the rest of them will issue red / blank results.
I dig in a little bit and tried to add the required informations on my 'special' parts in the symbol library, like "Supplier 1", "Supplier Currency 1", "Supplier Part Number 1", "Supplier Stock 1" and "Supplier Unit Price 1" while the "Supplier Order Qty 1" and "Supplier Subtotal 1" I leaved them undefined - since should be filled by Altium based on the number of parts used in my design.

Well, all is good as long as I'll manually input the "Supplier Order Qty 1" => the total value for that specific part is correctly computed by Altium in related Excel file. If I leave this field undefined in schematic library for that specific part then when I'll go to => BOM properties and change the number of required boards, the "Supplier Order Qty 1" field for my special part remain blank.

I know there's a hunge mess possible causing a big headache but my question to you is: how you do define parts that are not bought from Altium "suggested" distributors?
mairomaster , 07-09-2016, 08:34 AM
I don't have much experience with the Altium components, but I could imagine how it is a problem for you. Because of the lack of flexibility and possibly creating a mess, in my company we only use a custom library of components. We have rules how to create every type of component and what parameters it includes. For example, for an IC we have the following parameters (if I remember correctly):

- Manufacturer
- Part Number
- Comment ("=Part Number")
- Description
- Reference Document ("Datasheet")
- Link to a document (link to the datasheet)

For other component we might have some other special fields as well. For example for resistors, capacitors, etc. we have a Value field. We might also have Tolerance, Type, Rating and other fields with some component types.

It might take quite some time to create a custom library in the beginning, but it gives you a great flexibility and future proofing if you make it right. Also if you don't work on many different projects often, you will not need to create many new components that often, and creating such doesn't require that much time anyway.

In your case, it might be easier to just manually modify the exported BOM files to make them consistent, if you don't have that many broken components.
robertferanec , 07-09-2016, 07:54 PM
Hi Lorien, I intentionally avoid using components from suppliers different than Digikey, Farnell or Mouser. From my experience, if I select components from these, it's simple to build prototypes (to buy small quantities), delivery time is ok and we do not have problems to source the components. In past I used to buy from many different suppliers and we kept having a lot of issues (impossible to buy, 16 weeks delivery time, minimum order quantity 1500pcs, ....), so I just do not use components in my design which can not be sourced within these three big component suppliers.

So, to answer your question, I would probably do it exactly the same way as you did - just add the parameters which you use in BOM template. I think, the price can be even specified for different quantities like "1=0.39, 10=0.354, 25=0.2548, 100=0.1983, 250=0.12456, 500=0.10616, 1000=0.07233 (USD)", and it should work, but I have not tried it, so I do not really know.

I use the Digikey Parameters as the reference - as that is our main supplier and most of the components is sourced from them.
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