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Altium 365 BOM Portal

What Is Altium 365 BOM Portal?

The BOM portal is a relatively new application that has significantly impacted the PCB industry. It's been described as a game changer for PCB designers and many other areas and roles of the design process, especially procurement. It is the newest addition to the Altium 365 platform.

What is the Altium 365 BOM Portal?

It is an advanced PCB design tool for creating and managing BOMs, listing various items for review, and providing vital information for procurement purposes. The BOM portal has several panels where you can see all the vital information you need regarding your BOM. 


MAIN VIEW PANEL

The first panel to consider is the Main View, where we clearly and concisely see the raw data from your PCB project related to the components you have chosen from your library and their part choices. This is the first view of your BOM, where we look at your manufacturer's lifecycle, manufacturer part number, and other vital information. 

Fig. 1 - The Main View Panel

Supply Chain Panel

In this panel, we look at the supply chain details. Remember that pricing with your BOM is based on the number of components you intend to purchase, either for a prototype or production run. You can set up production metrics based on the type of run. This allows you to see the cost and determine if it falls within the profit margin for your product. You can now quickly identify components that are out of your price range and which might impact the increasing price of your PCB design.

BOM Coverage
The BOM Coverage identifies vendors from which you intend to buy components from. You can see how much of your BOM is covered by vendors and how many are unprocured or not covered by a specific vendor. It may be that you have one of your favorite vendors or a selection of, let's say Mouser or DigiKey, and can easily set those as your preferred vendors. You can look at the availability from those vendors and the stock of the components and determine if you need to change any of the vendors.

Fig. 2- Supply Chain Panel

ISSUES PANEL

In the Issues Panel, we examine specific problems in your BOM. First, we look at your manufacturing lifecycle, identify components that are not recommended for new designs, are end-of-life, or may be obsolete. These situations are often prevalent in a BOM since the procurement side of getting components changes constantly. It's essential to understand that this data will change constantly.

The first indicator that your component has an issue will be that it is not recommended for new designs; then, it will move into the end of life and finally become obsolete. If you have a situation where the component is not recommended for a new design, you are recommended to take action.

REACH and RoHS
Identify components that are REACH or RoHS non-compliant so you can bring them into compliance with your design. We are looking at adding other compliance criteria in the future.

Supply Chain
With the Issues Panel, we can look at the supply part numbers to see if they have an insufficient stock for your request of how many boards you're building. The BOM Portal identifies those components that have no suppliers. A robust library with good part choices and alternates available for each component is recommended prerequisite for using BOM Portal.

Sourcing 
A significant problem designers have is procuring the components in the BOM. The BOM Portal identifies components that have an extended lead time. This is determined by setting the due date in your BOM Settings. The BOM is analyzed for the estimated due date and the components that are out of specification. 

BOM Data
BOM Portal identifies duplicate designators and other problems that might happen when your BOM has missing information. The overshoot feature is fascinating. What can now be done? You have consolidated data in your library, and you can identify components outside the period for your factory lead time. 

Fig. 3- ISSUES PANEL

Release Panel

When working with a PCB design, your internal teams or Assembler expects preliminary releases for either review purposes or the assembly process. With BOM portal, you can quickly release and manage your BOMs. You can also download the BOM, change the lifecycle state, or revert to another release. You can also compare BOMs, which is helpful because you can verify if all the changes have occurred or are correct.

Fig. 4- Release Panel

Dashboard Panel

The Dashboard is one of the most exciting panels in BOM Portal. It provides, all in a single location, vital information for everyone to work from. First, you have a BOM health monitor that looks at the health of your BOM based on manufacturability, procurement, and compliance. You can identify what items are at risk for manufacturing, procurement, and compliance, and then fix those issues in your BOM.

Improving a BOM by proactively fixing issues will be much more beneficial because you can understand which factors will delay your board's production. It's straightforward, for example, to put a particular component on a design. But then, as you're getting to the main problem, procuring that component becomes another story. It is essential to see the weak areas of your BOM clearly and precisely. 

There's also manufacturability; we look at the lifecycles for each of these components, and can determine if a component will be around for a considerable amount of time. You don't want to just look at the prototype run you are running now, but rather if you can run this product maybe a year later. 

There's also alternate coverage; this looks at alternates that you may have chosen and determines if there are any replacement options for the manufacturability issues you might have.  

There's a supply chain that looks at procuring your components precisely from your preferred suppliers. It looks at identifying who you intend to buy these parts from. Then, it will look to see if have any unprocured parts or anything a vendor does not cover. 

Then, it's also looking at those vendors and their availability. Remember that this is all based on the number of boards you wish to run and the quantity of components you intend to purchase. Of course, it will change your price break on those components and the pricing, as we saw on the previous panel. Now, we see the compliance issues and the complete breakdown of RoHS and REACH components.

The factory lead time was the most exciting part of this panel for me. It breaks down your components and determines the time you'll need to purchase them all.

If you can set that vital information, have a set date. This is then where you determine the sourcing overshoot we saw earlier. This allows you to identify the components that will take longer and may be a problem for you

Fig. 4- Dashboard Panel

Why should we use BOM portal?

Reason #1 to use Altium 365 BOM PortalFirst, it allows faster BOM completion with enriched supply chain data. You can leverage enriched part and supply chain data for better-informed BOM decisions. Bringing in early collaboration between the engineering and procurement teams ensures that the latest part specifications, compliance information, and supply chain data like manufacturing lifecycle, availability, and pricing are considered. This helps to accelerate your product's time-to-market without compromising on quality or efficiency. 


Reason #2 to use Altium 365 BOM PortalBOM Portal ensures your supply chain's stability and sustains your designs that are already in production. As we all know, supply chain fluctuations can affect part availability and costs. In this situation, you will always be one step ahead as BOM Portal will proactively track your part's supply chain and provide warnings and errors based on up-to-date supply chain information.



Reason #3 to use Altium 365 BOM PortalWith BOM Portal, you can manage and edit your BOMs with the ease of a spreadsheet and the robustness of an advanced document control system. You can keep data organized with archive folders and confidently and securely share it with internal and external stakeholders. You can also create and store BOM releases as separate revisions with customizable lifecycle states, which simplifies your BOM management while utilizing the benefits of enhanced functionality.


Reason #4 to use Altium 365 BOM PortalFinally, with BOM Portal, you can improve your part management. With a comprehensive component library that fosters reusability and traceability, you can create and edit library components from your BOM items and adopt part choices. You can use proactive reporting on BOM and library health and utilize where-used tracking. Another advantage is accessing the same library as the designers if you work with your PCB team in Altium 365. This allows you to track down components to the exact project where they are used.

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