Design Data: Organize to Optimize

May 30, 2017 David Haboud

 

You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link

As engineers, we tend to focus on the end technology and forget about the important ECAD design data that actually makes up our designs. The links between technology and design data create something greater than the sum of their parts. We often overlook the benefits of establishing solid links between our design technology and our design data.

 

The truth is data management provides organization, traceability, accountability, and reproducibility for your current and future designs. Your designs become a bridge to create new, accurate technology quickly and efficiently. When we link our design technology with design data, a system results that can generate returns on design repetitively. The well managed data removes any hassle of starting from scratch each time.

 

Altium Vault provides a powerful data management system that links all your ECAD data. Every piece of ECAD design data you store in Altium Vault provides recursive benefits because the user interface makes it easy to keep your design data organized and accessible. You never have to stumble around looking for parts. In other words, you can harness your ECAD design data quickly and channel it into your new designs.

Releasing verified design content

Do you ever worry about the integrity of your design data? When you don’t know the standards used to create components, how are you supposed to trust your design data? Component templates and types allow you to create components with incredible detail and integrity that are linked with other pieces of ECAD and MCAD data. You can be certain that all components were created to the same standards. The search capabilities of Altium Vault allow you to locate the perfect component to make your design process as smooth as possible.

Supplier Links

Ever dealt with a last-minute ECO because of a supplier issue? It is never “just replacing one component”. Replacing a component can alter your entire layout: traces, vias, and copper pours. Altium Vault minimizes the possibility of last-minute changes by directly linking dynamic sourcing information from over 100 suppliers. You get pricing, availability, and part number information from different sources, providing the ability to pick alternates suppliers when necessary.

 

 

 

Keeping your Workflow Intact

Nobody likes to have their workflow interrupted. How do you minimize interruptions when you constantly have to take time away from your design to address your data management needs? Workflow interruptions are imminent when you need to leave your design workspace to manage your design data. At the end of the day, we just want to work on our designs. Altium Vault can be accessed directly in your design environment, so that you can remain focused on your designs.

 

Single Source of ECAD Data

How many times have you run into local file revisions messing with your design? The bigger the team, the more likely someone starts up their own revision system. Data synchronization across engineering teams is a nightmare. When you have a single source for your ECAD data, you eliminate the possibility of data disparity across engineering teams. You can make all your changes in the source location and apply a single ECO to implement all changes. You don’t have to waste time tracking down correct revisions of your ECAD data, allowing you to stay synchronized with no added effort.

 

Don’t Get Lost in Logistics

With your organized, verified design data, you get organization, traceability, accountability, and reproducibility for all of your ECAD data without ever needing to leave your design. Once you have some ECAD data, you can find and reuse the same ECAD data in new designs. You can spend more time designing the technology you want instead of getting lost in logistics.  Interested in learning more about harnessing your existing ECAD data into your designs? Check out the Altium Vault white paper “The Four Challenges to Transforming Data Management and Documentation into Designs”.

 

 

About the Author

David Haboud

David Haboud is a Technical Marketing Engineer at Altium. He studied electrical engineering with an emphasis in computer architecture and hardware/software design at the University of Southern California. David began his career as an embedded software engineer in the aerospace industry and has always strived to make it easier for hardware and software engineers to communicate. During his tenure as an embedded software engineer, he focused on firmware development and data acquisition for auxiliary power units. In his spare time, David hosts and performs in improvisational and stand-up comedy nights in San Diego, California.

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