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Today’s smarT buyersneed smarTer sofTware

Smart software can help procurement specialists add value and contribute to overall success on the factory floor By Julian Coates and Bruce Isbell, Valor Division,Mentor Graphics

Many tools are available today to assist purchasing professionals in component selection. But an end-to-end solution thatmanages component data fromthe design stage through consumption at the factory enables buyers tominimize the cost of components and maximize the flexibility of purchasing sources; quickly validate these components and sources; compare form, fit and function of alternative parts andmaximize the probability of the best quality and selection ofmaterials.

In the first part of a series of articles on howsoftware tools help

buyers do their jobs better, the Valor Division of EDA tool vendor Mentor Graphics Corp. describes the six benefits of smart software and howit contributes to overall success on themanufacturing floor.

1. build up of alternative components list

Software tools can support the rapid selection and validation of alternative parts to be used fromthe first-creation of the design BOMthrough the handing of ECOs at themanufacturing or end-of- life stages. Bymaximizing the alternatives for any part in a design, the buyerwillmaximize their opportunities to reduce cost and sustain quality at themanufacturing stage. The other benefit is that supply-chain risk (supply drying up)will beminimized.

Keys to success:

• Validation of alternative parts according tomultiple form/fit/function criteria, including:

a. Package shape, height, and outline b. Pins pitch, length, contact area c. RoHS/WEE compliance d. Pin-map, pin-functions, signal tolerances e.Moisture-sensitivity

• early visibility into component requirements at the point in time the schematic is first developed for the product and the

The key to accurately tracking inventory on the shop f loor is first capture the supplier trace data on every reel or tray as material arrives on site

26 | June 2010

component placement layer is created in the PCB layout. These two steps together create the definitions for form, fit and function.

Valor's Julian Coates

• sustained visibility through the NPI cycle,manufacturing ramp-up and end-of-life so that component changes required through ECOs are continuously known to the buyer.

2. Validmanufacturability of all components

Smart software helps validate themanufacturability of the components at the placement level. By performing an analysis of every component placement in the product design data, manufacturability and/or testability problems can be identified and fixed. The problems have to be fixed either by a change to the design, or by a change in the component selected for the BOM.

The component buyerwill participate in the trade-off decisions whether to change the design or change the component.

Keys to success: • Timing. Communication ofmanufacturability issues as soon as components and test points are “placed” in the component layers of the circuit during the early stage of PCB design is crucial.

• Correct detail analysis. This type of analysismust include conformity of pin contact area, body shape and height based on themanufacturer’s part numbers, including alternates, to the land patterns and component positions chosen by the PCB designer.

3. Incoming inspections linked tomanufacturing database

Tools enable good inward validation of the components to eliminate “surprises” on the factory floor. All components should be checked into a database to ensure that they are as intended or, if there are deviations fromthe purchase-specification, that the differences are known and taken into account during product planning.

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