Come ottenere le informazioni necessarie per creare rapidamente progettazioni efficaci - AltiumLive 2022

Dwight Morse
|  Creato: February 3, 2022  |  Aggiornato: August 23, 2022

Le interruzioni alla catena di approvvigionamento, i tempi di consegna sempre più estesi e le normative in continua evoluzione possono minare la buona riuscita di un progetto. Raccogliere tutte le informazioni necessarie per scegliere il giusto componente PCB può richiedere molto tempo. In questa sessione ti mostreremo come ottenere tutte le informazioni di cui hai bisogno in un unico luogo. Inoltre, ti mostreremo come gestire i rischi legati alla catena di approvvigionamento, come trovare alternative idonee, rispettare le normative vigenti e infine progettare prodotti validi.

Temi trattati:

  • Come attenuare i fattori di rischio durante il processo di progettazione;
  • Impatto delle normative sul processo di progettazione;
  • Prepararsi per evitare interruzioni in fase di produzione;
  • Perché è importante utilizzare un unico software capace di gestire tutti i componenti contemporaneamente;
  • L'importanza della conformità.

Additional Resources:

Transcript:

Dwight Morse:
Hello, my name is Dwight Morse and I work for a company called SiliconExpert. If you haven't heard of SiliconExpert before, we have a database of over 1 billion electronic parts, and we keep all the information on that. So, I'm out here, or talking to you today about getting the information to create successful designs quickly.

Designing maintainable products. Maintainability is defined by the Department of Defense Handbook as the relative ease and economy of time and resources with which an item can be retained in or restored to a specified condition. I really like this definition. The relative ease, I mean, we all want things to be easy and the economy of time and resources, which an item can be retained in.

So, retaining, there's really two parts to having the product. There's the beginning, there's the design phase of the product. And what that has to do really is about form, fit and function. The product that you're designing has to fit into the place where it's going to go. It also has to do the thing that it's supposed to do. That form, fit and function. But that's not the entire design. There's also the manufacturing of that. And there's other things to be thinking about.

Those things are going to include stuff like the regulations that they has to comply to. If you're selling a product in a certain place in the world, in Europe, or in China, or in California, you have to make sure that you go and go by their regulations. You have to understand what those are. The parts have to be available. When we're talking about the time and resources with which an item can be retained in, in order to retain that ,the parts need to be available. The time and resources and economy, it's talking about the prices there.

But the thing that we don't always think about is the second part of this definition, and that is, or restored to. And what that is really is about having a backup plan. There's things that are going to go wrong. And if there's anything that the last couple of years have taught us is that stuff doesn't always run smoothly. So, we want to be able to get back to a specified condition, what it was that we designed it for. And in case something happens, we want to be able to react to that.

And that's what today's presentation is really about. It's talking about the different things that can affect your design. And then what are some of the things you can do to mitigate the risk that's associated with those things.

Let's talk about what's happened in the last couple of years. Obviously, there's the COVID pandemic, everybody understands that and there's different aspects to the pandemic. There is the manufacturing of the parts. So, when the pandemic first hit, they shut things down. So, nothing was being built. Then sort of eased back on those. But the folks that went back to the essential jobs, they had to remain six feet apart. So, there's maybe fewer of them than they were before that were creating these things.

Then, if someone, God forbid, comes down with the illness itself, then they need to be quarantined and they have to be quarantined for two weeks. And there's all of these disruptions that happen just to try to get these parts manufactured. But that's just on the first part of it. Then you've also got the people that are tasked with shipping the parts around, whether that's in a boat or if it's on a train, or if it's in an airplane, or if it's on a tractor trailer truck, somebody needs to be at the controls there. And that needs to be a healthy person. There's just all sorts of problem that we've had.

Anybody seen the pictures of the port of Los Angeles, you'll know what I mean. There, for the first time, there's normally, I think, one or two container ships off there, and there were, I believe, 65 container ships that were waiting to get into port. And the whole reason why they're waiting to get into port was because there was either, A, nobody to get the containers off the ships or, B, there was no place to put them, because, C, there was nobody to drive them away.

And I think that we're trying to get past a lot of these things now, and there's some plans, and I think that things are getting better, but these are things that can happen. There were factory fires. I know that in Taiwan there's a factory fire for a chip manufacturer. What is that going to do? Is that going to shut down the factory? How long is going to shut the factory down for? What parts are affected? What is it that's being built in that building?

The natural disasters. I have a friend that works for the American Red Cross. He just went down to Tennessee and saw the disruption from the tornadoes down there. And it's just ridiculous. There's one or two houses, and then there's nothing around there. And you can imagine what that did to the factories that were there, as well as the places that were trying to ship the products going to have a huge effect.

In Texas, back in February, there was unseasonable cold. You feel bad for unseasonable cold. And you're thinking that, that means that the Texans need to put on a sweater or a coat or something like that, but actually what happened was that the grid failed. So, they were rolling power outages throughout the state of Texas. Well, that's affects the manufacturing plants down there.

Then, I think we all remember this one in the middle where the container ship got stuck in this Suez Canal. I mean, that's just crazy how that happened. So, there are all the containers that happen to be on that ship, if that's one of your containers, then that's bad. But what about all the ships that were waiting? I think it was a couple of weeks, at least, that thing was stuck there for. And during that time, you've got people that thought that they were going to be through there and they're just waiting. There's no reverse. There's no turning around. Obviously, you can see that there's no turning around in this canal, so they had to wait.

Then, there are other people that were thinking to themselves, "Okay, what does that mean for me? Do I think that this is going to get unclogged? How many ships are waiting? If I start my journey and thinking that I'm going through the Suez Canal, when am I going to be able to get through? Does it make sense for me to take a different route? How is that going to affect the time of my arrival and the costs?" There's all of these things that come into play.

And then, there's changing regulations, environmental regulations. There's the global PFAS regulations, man-made substances that persist for a long time. There are over 9,000 chemicals on that list or substances on that list, and changes to the reporting rules to the Toxic Substances Control Act, for example, additions to the substance list, those happen all the time. These are all things that happened in 2021. So, there was changes in Europe, changes in the United States, there was changes in Canada. And then, with TSCA, the EPA published five final rules in January. So, then you have to go and take a look at those rules and how those might affect your products.

Proposition 65 is from California, and they added two new substances in March 19th in 2021. SCIP launched the Dissemination Portal for consumers and competitors in the public. SCIP, if you haven't heard of that, you probably have, but now everyone needs to upload their dossiers to the SCIP database in Europe, so that they can keep track of substances of very high concern. Things that take a long time to degrade, they want to make sure that people are understanding that. And that what products have those substances in them and how much of those substances are there, what is safe? They're trying to help determine that.

The REACH substances is a very high-concern list, gets changed on a regular basis. Let me just tell you this, so you have an idea. In 2008, there were 15 substances on the REACH list. And in 2021, there's 211. Think about how much that has grown just in the 13 years. So, keeping up with that list is another thing that people have to concern themselves with. The United Kingdom Conformity Assessment is mandatory after the Brexit. So, that's something also, these geopolitical things that come up, the UK and the Brexit make changes to regulations. And now they have to think about what is the difference between what the UK is asking me to do and what the European Union is asking me to do? It's a lot, it's a lot to keep up with.

And there's consequences for inaction. The worst is a rejected BOM/Design. If you place a part in your design, that is not viable, then your design is going to get rejected. If for whatever reason a part becomes unavailable, or it isn't compliant, anything that's going to cause a production delay is a bad thing. Because then you're going to lose revenue on that. Or if something major happens that causes you to have to redesign, you're going to have to respin that design. And that takes a lot of time. That's not something that anybody wants to do.

And all of this can lead to lost market share. I'll give you an example is the Sony PlayStation and Xbox, and both of those came out for Christmas of 2020. And they always like to come out right before the holidays, so that people get those as Christmas presents. But right away, they knew they were going to have a problem, because of the supply chain and the shortages that they were experiencing.

I remember my son wanted an Xbox and he was thinking that the earliest that he'd be able to get one is April. And if you were one of those people that wanted a Sony PlayStation, that was even worse. And people are able to get some of these, but you've got... Those that go in and scoop them all up and then try to sell them for a premium, and there's just not enough supply right now to keep that from happening.

Sony recently said that they are going to continue to produce the Sony PlayStation 4 until the end of 2022. Now, originally, they were going to stop that at the end of 2021 and they had to change their plans, because they can't get the chips. And what happens then is you don't get the PlayStation 5 and then you start to think and make a decision about, I want like a lot of this new functionality. And maybe because I can find an Xbox, then I get that. So, you can end up losing market share.

The auto manufacturers are other ones that have had to think about all of these things. Recently, Ford has told their customers that the way to get a new car is to customize. It's to say, "I want exactly this," because that way they can manufacture cars that they know they're going to sell. But what happens to the dealers is that they don't have any cars on their lots that aren't already the called for? That people have already said that, "No, that's my car." So, they don't really have any cars to sell. They just have cars to deliver. It's a real issue. And people, that's have long-term consequences.

So, what about planning? What do we do about this? What are the best practices? And I would say that there's three best practices that I would really focus on. One is a single source of truth. One of the things that you're going to want to do is you're going to want to make sure that everybody is looking at the same information. Don't be passing Excel workbooks around and having different versions floating around or asking people to copy and paste. Try to make sure that there's a single source of truth that everybody's working from.

A lot of times, that's going to be available over the network. And you're going to have an application that you can all sort of log into, which brings up the next point is, you want to make sure that something is accessible across functional teams. There are different people that deal with the information you want to make sure that they all have access to the same information. To have it in one tool, one application that keeps track of all of your parts. There's somebody there that cares about the compliance of those parts. There's somebody else that cares about the inventory. There's somebody else that cares about the price. There's someone like you, that cares about the form, fit and the function. Make sure that all of those people are looking at the same thing, so that when the person finds a part for the right price, that it's compliant with regulations. When somebody finds the correct part for form, fit and function, that that person, or that part, excuse me, has the information on price and it's something that is affordable.

And then, you want to make sure that the information is updated on a regular basis. There's different ways to do that. There's updating it manually. There's updating it programmatically. And we'll talk a little bit more about that in the future here. But you want to make sure that the information that you're looking at is up to date.

I've heard a lot of horror stories about parts in company part databases, where they've got information there, it's a couple years old, there's a company that was acquired and now that company is no longer. And so, they got to do research, somebody else to comes in, they got to do research on that part. They can't find the manufacturer, because that part information hasn't been kept up to date with the new manufacturer name. It just makes things difficult and that's not something that you want, you don't want to make things difficult.

Right. So, let's talk about the specifics. If you don't mind, I'll get a little bit of a drink here. Let's talk about some of the specifics. The years to end of life. There's some information that you can find about the years to end of life, how long a product is expected to be on the market? How long is it expected to be available? Certainly, you can take a look at what the current state of that product or part is making sure that it's active. You make sure, obviously, that you place active parts. It's not something that you don't want to pay attention to. And you want to try to have an understanding for how long that's going to be around.

And the reason why you do is because you want to make sure that that fits with the life cycle of the product that you're designing. So, try to match that, or have a part that will be available for longer than the life cycle of the product that you're designing.

Choose your suppliers, your manufacturers, choose them wisely. You want to choose people that you can trust. And that they're going to do what they say, that they have the inventory that they say that they have, that they've got reliable components, that they're not counterfeit parts. You want to make sure that the parts that are getting put into your product are going to last for as long as they're supposed to last for, so that you don't have to go out and replace those.

You want to make sure that the manufacturer or the supplier is financially stable. We talked about the fact that there's mergers and acquisitions, and that can happen, especially when companies are not financially stable. Worse yet, if they're no longer available to do business with, then you need to look elsewhere. So, you think about whether or not they have the parts, how much the parts cost and that sort of thing. But as a company, you want to look at the company too, and make sure that the company is going to be around for a while and it's one that is trusted.

We do a product change notification report every year. And in 2021, we found that 28.12% of product change notices were for part numbers with last time buy dates of immediately, think about what that does to your design. All the product change notices, more than one in four says, "Yeah, you got to buy that right now, because we're not making it any longer." And there's different reasons. And this went up this past year and there's good reason why it went up this past year a significant percent. And that is because there's very large companies with contracts with some of these suppliers and they're going to be favorable.

So, what we have seen in our database is that some suppliers will take a part off of the market. And so, when you go to look for it, it says that it's obsolete, but really they're still making it. And then, it comes back later on and then it says that it's active. And the reason why that's the case is because they'll take that off for preferred customers and then put it back on when conditions change. So, we've seen that a lot. It went up a bunch this year. But that's something obviously that is very, very concerning.

So, what do you do? Well, you have a backup plan. Make sure that you have an obsolescence management plan in place, and that is something proactively you can come up with a plan to replace a given part with another one that replaces, is good cross for that part. Make sure that you've got a plan for getting that part into your design.

And there's different things that you need to look up. There's the form, fit and function, but you also have to take a look at all of the other things that we've already mentioned. And what we do at SiliconExpert is we sort of grade the cross-references. In order to get the highest grade, you have to have a pin-to-pin drop in replacement. And those are the replacements that you want to look for first. If you can't find those, then you go down the line. But understand exactly what that means as far as your design and how it's going to affect it.

And then, stay compliant. We talked about all the compliant or, excuse me, the environmental regulations and the changes that happen all of the time. What you need to think about is where is your product going to be sold? Is it going to be sold in Europe? Do you need to make sure that you've got a dossier in the SCIP database for the European Union? What does that mean for you? Have you got all of that information? Do you need somebody else to do that for you? What are the regulations that you have to meet? Is there any new regulations that are coming up? We talked about the Brexit and how that can change things, because they're no longer going to be going by the same rules as the rest of the European Union.

What about other parts of the world? California has Prop 65, you have to REACH, there's a special China REACH regulation, making sure that you understand what regulations you have to meet and depending on where it is that you're selling your products or where you're sourcing them from. And then, same thing, make sure that that list is up to date. All of those regulations that we talked about that have changed just in the last year.

I know that we did a webinar on all of the changes to the regulations, as far as the environmental regulations are concerned. But really it's something that you need to, or somebody in company needs to stay up to date on.

And then, there's geographical risk. We haven't talked about geographical risk yet. And that is really single sourcing. And when I say that, there's single sourcing in the sense that you're getting everything from the same manufacturer and that's a really bad idea. Because you don't want a single point of failure. If something happens to that one manufacturer, then that's going to negatively affect you in a big way.

But there's also, geographically, we talked about weather happening in different areas. We talked about the supply chain routes and how they go through. So, you don't want all of your parts coming from the same place for a number of reasons. So, you want to make sure that you've got more than one source, more than one country of origin. But you also want to think beyond that, because the country of origin is just one data point. There's also the fab site, and the wafer test site, and the assembly site, and then the final test site, where are all of those things? Are those all in the same place? Often, they're not. And you want to know throughout this supply chain where your parts are coming from and how they can be affected geographically should something happen.

Price, lead time and inventory forecasting. The price is obviously something that's very important. And there's lots of things that can happen with the price. There's things that happen just on the material side. We've seen the price of copper change recently. And that can affect the change of parts. What are things that are happening that could affect these sort of commodities? Is that something that you can forecast so that you know whether or not you need to have inventory? How much inventory is there? There's supply and demand. If inventory levels are going down on a part that you need, you want to pay close attention to that.

And then, the lead time, obviously, if the lead time gets to be too great, then you're going to have to look for an alternate source for your part. You're going to have to make sure that the part is available, that the production lines are up and running for the product that you've designed. So, understanding all of this information is important as well.

But one question really is, how do I understand all of this information? And there's a number of different sources where you can get this information from. We talked about product change notifications. You want to make sure that you're signed up for product change notifications. You don't want to be the last one to receive that last time buy, and then find out that everybody else has already acted on it.

The market disruptors and the natural disasters that we were talking about, whether those if there's things like tariffs that are being applied, if there are tornadoes and super typhoons going on in the world, you want to be aware of that. So, you really want to subscribe to list services wherever you can to news lists, as well as industry news. And try to stay abreast of that. I think it's something that once you start down that path, it becomes a lot easier to maintain. One source leads you to another source. So, you want to to make sure that you're tied into as many things as possible.

I have found, just being in this industry over the last couple of years, that my sources of information for the industry have really significantly increased simply because I'm finding more things. Then, I subscribe to those more things and they lead me to other things, and I subscribe to those. So, just sort of pay attention to that. And I think, with today, there's so many places where you can get information and you can just sometimes just read the headlines, you'll know that something is an issue or not, or you can sign up for alert notifications. And that's a good thing too.

What's even better is if you can access the information programmatically. A lot of these sources of information are going to have API access. I know, for instance, we have API access to our information that's in our database. And what that does is it makes it automatic and there can be a trigger that updates the information, or it could be on a scheduled basis depending on where the information is coming from, where it's stored.

But the nice thing about using the application programs interface to programmatically go out and grab information and bring it back is that you can bring it back into the native environment. You can bring it back into the place where you happen to be working. So, now, suddenly, I'm using a tool I need information on the viability of this part. It's right there, right there where I need it, because I've brought it in programmatically and I've added a column or two columns to my application and I can see that.

But the other thing that it does is it makes it so that I don't need to go out, I don't have to stop what I'm doing, go someplace else and risk getting distracted. Anytime you fire up a browser, there's any number of things that can happen. You can see other things that are going on in the world. Then, next thing you know, you're thinking to yourself, "Why did I open this browser again? I can't remember." So, bringing it in programmatically is certainly going to help with that.

But then the other part is, you don't want to have to copy and paste, because you could be copying from the wrong place or pasting to the wrong place. There's too much opportunity for error when we add the human element. So, being able to do this programmatically, using an API, I think is preferable to otherwise.

And I mentioned this a little bit earlier, and that is go ahead and ask for help. Don't be afraid. There's a lot of outsourcing that's done. Talking to one of our customers and they were actually, they ended up using native integration to bring information into the tool, into their product lifecycle management tool. And they said prior to doing that, that what they had done was they had their product team and they were going out and they were looking for the information. And she said that going out and just for a handful of parts took hours to get all the information that they needed. And they decided, "Well, we can't have our product team be using their time this way, what we want is for them to be working on the product."

So, what they did was they outsourced it, which is a good idea, you can outsource that. And what they found though was maybe something that you don't think of right away, just because you outsourced something doesn't mean that it's automatic, it still took those people the same amount of time. It was just different people that were doing it.

And maybe that's good enough, as long as you've got other resources that are doing this. But what I'm going to tell you is that make sure that you plan for it to take a while on their part too. If the information can be found, if they already have it in house, then that's great, because they might be one of those houses that has a lot of information and they've got their own repository that they can look through. If they've got relationships, then that's great. Maybe they've got better relationships than you do. Maybe they can go and get the information more quickly. Maybe they know how to get the information, how to search for it, how to glean it from the product change notices or from the datasheets from the parts, they can get that information maybe a little bit quicker than you might be able to yourself.

But just make sure that you understand that it still can take some time. Sometimes, you have to leave a phone message, sometimes you have to wait for an email reply in order to get the information that you need to make the decision that you need to make. And that information, that can be form, fit and function, maybe I'm going up and looking at datasheets or maybe I'm going and looking at the SCIP database to find out whether or not a part is compliant.

Maybe I need somebody to do that for me. Maybe I want to have somebody create that dossier, that SCIP dossier for me and upload that to the system so that I'm compliant. All of these things that can happen, they can be outsourced. So, don't be afraid to ask for help. That's certainly something that some people specialize in and there's a reason for it.

Now, I'm going to end and I'll end a little bit early here. And what I want to say is, come and visit our booth. We are a sponsor, SiliconExpert is a sponsor of Altium Live. We've got a booth. What we have is a platform called P5 and the five Ps are plan, prepare, perform, prevent, and protect. And we've got two main services that we have, and that is around searching for parts and all the information that comes with those, and providing cross-references and that sort of thing.

Then, there's at the BOM manager level. So, we take all the parts information and we bring it into a bill of materials, and then we can assess the risk at the bill of materials level, and we can have different reports and alerts around that. So, there's lots of things that we do, and we do these automatically. We're going to make it so that with all of the information that I talked about earlier, you're going to be able to get all that information. You'll be able to get it very, very quickly through our user experience. So, I would say, thank you for listening to this, come visit us on our booth. And now we've got some time for Q&A.

Sull'Autore

Sull'Autore

Dwight has spent his career in the software industry, moving from technical support to product management to marketing. He is passionate about integrating products in a way that benefits the end user, proving the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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