Electronics > Altium Designer

Setting up a library for in-house manufacturing - how to?


Greetings, everyone.

We're having a new pick-n-place line set up at work, and I've been tasked with finding ways to create a good component library that encompasses all we'll have to feed thru the PnP machine. Thus far, our component library in Altium uses the components' MPN, which is reflected in the bill of materials, and of course, the PnP will want to see a match - that is, whatever is fed into the machine has to have an exact match in the BoM.

Now, if we have to use a different supplier, then the part number is no longer the same. Of course that's gonna be an issue - no match, no component placed by the machine. We'd like the library to be generic and allow for substitutions. What are the best approaches I can take in building a broad library? Should I just go for "component_type-value-rating-package-tolerance-variant" like "CAP_TANT_10u_6.3V_3216_10%" or "IC_74HC245_SO16" on passives and generic jellybean parts, and stick with the MPN for more specific bits? I feel like that would work, but perhaps someone has a more elegant idea than those mouthfuls of a string. Does anyone know if the IPC has anything to say about that?

Thanks in advance!  ;D


What you want is to use a "Company" or "House" part number in your BOMs and for stocking parts.

This requires a database/system that takes the company part number and maps it to something you can order.

The beauty of this is that you can create a company part number for a 1k-ohm 0402 1% resistor and engineering doesn't have to worry about exactly what is being bought this week. Someone has to approve the real parts that are attached to the house part number, but you do that irregularly, like when you create the part number or if you need to substitute.

So for example part number R-1000-4k75. The R means "resistor" mainly because we like things to be obvious. 4k75 means "4700 ohms." The 1000 in the middle means "family of parts that vary in only one parameter." The value is how they vary. Everything else: tolerance, case size, power handling, all of it, must be the same for every part in the family.

There are many ways to do this.

You definitely want to start using in-house part numbering.
As you need will a parts database of some sort, while you are at it consider using PLM system like Arena or PDXpert.
You can just use a spreadsheet, but it will quickly get unmanageable.

I set up Arena for one client - it was a bit of work, but had a lot of nice features (most of which we have never used).
PDXpert looks nice as you can run it locally, and can buy either on a monthly subscription or perpetual license.

Arena have published a eBook on part numbering schemes https://www.arenasolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/eBook-is-your-part-numbering-scheme-costing-you-millions.pdf


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