Altium Vault Primer Part 1: Making the Case for Centralized Data Management

June 9, 2016 Petr Tosovsky

 

Altium Vault is an invaluable resource to PCB designers, allowing your teams to store and share a vast array of projects and components and access them instantly whenever needed. But before we dive into the specifics of the Altium Vault in our Vault Primer series, we need to look at how your design team can benefit from a centralized data management solution.

Altium Vault is an invaluable resource to PCB designers, allowing your teams to store and share a vast array of projects and components and access them instantly whenever needed. But before we dive into the specifics of the Altium Vault in our Vault Primer series, we need to look at how your design team can benefit from a centralized data management solution.

Collaborative Design Effort

Centralized data management should be of interest to any type of collaborative team. However, there is often a lack of motivation to implement it, since projects are usually on a tight deadline, and centralized data doesn’t visibly speed up the process at first glance. In fact, taking extra steps to store data in the system for the rest of the team can even slow things down.

That’s only in the short term, though. In the long run, centralized data eliminates a number of common problems that cause design projects to slow down or get stuck. Have any of the following situations ever happened to your design teams?

  • You fix an error in the component library, but it continues to come up on other boards, again and again, sometimes years after the initial fix.

  • One of your team members is out of the office, and you need to access their work in order to complete a project by its deadline. You go through their files and immediately get lost in a bizarre and complex file naming system that includes suffixes like “Old,” “New,” “NewNew,” and “NewNew1,” making it virtually impossible to access the project you need..

  • A new team member is building their own library, separate from the rest of the team and the rest of the project. Or they’re using the circuits that are common to your company, but with slightly different components, creating issues when combined with the rest of the team’s work.

  • The manufacturing data for a new PCB release accidentally overwrites an older revision, which is still valid and in production.

These are just a few common examples of how poor communication among team members can lead to time-consuming problems and project delays. You probably have at least a few of your own stories as well.

By creating a centralized database for your team’s work, it improves communication, making the components and other data you need easy to find quickly, saving time and money. While it’s true that data management has some requirements during its building that make it daunting to implement, it’s an investment with a short return cycle, which will pay off greatly in the months and years to come.

Solving Your Data Management Problems with Altium Vault

Altium Vault is an invaluable resource to PCB designers. It allows your teams to store a vast array of projects and components and access them instantly whenever you need them. But how does Altium Vault work? How do you implement it in your company and get your design teams to use it? Tune in next week where we’ll be answering these questions in more detail in our Vault Primers Part 2 and Part 3.

Want all the answers now? Download our free Altium Vault Primer ebook.

About the Author

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