Samtec & Altium Streamline Your Design Process - AltiumLive 2022

Daniel Williams
|  Creato: February 3, 2022  |  Aggiornato: August 2, 2022

Don’t spend any more time thinking about connectors than you have to. Altium’s rich design tools with Samtec’s product flexibility and automated design tools ensure the fit and function you need without system redesign.

Highlights:

  • Demo of time saving tools for the design process
  • Overview of Samtec’s free samples and reserve products

Additional Resources:

Design PCBs with a Free Trial of Altium Designer Here
Connect with Daniel Williams on LinkedIn
Visit Samtec website here 

Transcript:

Daniel Williams:
Hi, my name is Daniel Williams. I am the CIO at Samtec. Today I'm going to talk about how Samtec helps to streamline the design process. Most of you probably know who Samtec is. I'll go into that more in more detail later, but if you're not deeply familiar with Samtec, you should know that Samtec is a global manufacturer of interconnects and cable assemblies. But most importantly, we're known for our customer service. And that's what I'm here to speak to you about today. Customer service can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but today we're talking about digital design and how we enable that process, especially in the Altium environment, better than any other connector company you work with today. So I could use a lot of cliche words about streamlining efficiencies in your design process, but I'll go straight to the point so I can demo the fun stuff for you more quickly.    

We have a lot of tools that are going to save you time in picking the right connector solution. Tools that ensure this solution is flexible enough to work in your design the first time and a manufacturing model and distribution channel to ensure you never have to worry about getting the product in hand exactly when you need it. Tools sound intimidating, right? You don't want one more thing to learn and neither do I. This isn't another install, another login to remember what I'm calling a tool is actually a very user friendly and intuitive web experience that needs no instruction, which likely defeats the purpose of me being here, but I signed up for this when I thought it was being hosted in San Diego. And now I'm sitting in a freezing cold office in Louisville, Kentucky, and I may not be drinking bourbon off to the side.    

So all kidding aside. Yes, these tools are incredibly intuitive, but this allows me the opportunity to introduce you to something that you may not know is a big opportunity to you before now. And I'm happy and grateful for the opportunity to do that with you here today. What you also may not know is that Samtec has over 750,000 part numbers with Altium models available for free and immediate download on our website. So once you find your solution, you can immediately drop that into your design. We're working tirelessly with the Altium group to get these models incorporated into the library so that you can stay heads down in your design as well. This is on our roadmap.    

I'm going to demo these tools in the order in which I expect you would likely use them in your design process. First up, where should you go when you determine you need a connector, but you're not sure which solution is the best fit for your design? I've got two great options for you here, depending on how you like to work. One is picture based and the other is a parametric search, based on the details of your application both return and made set. I'll start with the latter, the Solutionator. This one is my favorite because it gets you to a solution in about a minute or less and returns, both part numbers that you need for a Mated set. No more using filters that describe a connector only to get you to one of the parts, but then you have to go find the mate what a pain, right? We've all been there.    

Once you get the one part, then you have to go analyze the data from that part to ensure that the Mated set is what you need. The tool is really at the end with a specs kit. So stick with me here, even if you've seen this before, because we've added quite a bit in terms of the final deliverables.  

All right. So many of you are familiar with parametric searches. This one is very similar in its approach. We can start with several key words and then we can offer primary parametric filters that get you to exactly what you need with just a few clicks. We're going to say, let's do two millimeter, maybe 14 millimeter stack height, we'll go with a position count of maybe 10. And as you can see, I'm making these selections, the value below begins to decrease of the results available. So we're narrowing in on the exact solution that I need. And we're just a few clicks away from having a perfect solution. So finally, Surface Mount, and I'll say, "Let's give me two rows." So, quickly within just a few clicks, I can get down to 106 results. And I think I started with over a hundred thousand. So that speaks to both the breadth of product at Samtec, but also the accuracy in and speed of this filter.    

When these parts come back, you can see, this is where we suggest both the socket and terminal, both pieces of the Mated set. What we also show in this display are the reserve column. Now Samtec reserve is a guarantee to always have this part in stock. Some of the other features of this, once you click on any Mated set is we offer free and immediate downloads of CAD models, symbols, and footprints. Of course, here's the reserve that offers this is the next day quantity, which is also available, but CAD models in up to 154 different formats, and then symbols and footprints are just one click away on the product page.    

Now, if you're like me and you want to do the homework, but not complete your design in this phase, maybe you've got 10 projects going on. This is an opportunity to pop in your email address and get this sent to you as a specs kit. The specs kit is a simple way to basically take up from where you left off without finishing in the current moment, we'll send you in the email links to the 3D models, the symbols, the footprints, availability information, pricing information, opportunities to get free samples. And our free sample program is another major benefit that we're trying to incorporate into your design process, just to streamline efficiencies. We'll send you one of any of our trillions of parts in less than 24 hours if you request it through the free sample program. This is a major design service that we offer to anyone large or small customers.    

So the other tool that I like to I'd like to show today is the Picture Search. So let's say you're more visual. You have a picture in your mind of the type of connector that you want. And you're thinking, "I don't know what it's called. I don't know what Samtec calls it, but I'll know it when I see it." If that's how you look, Samtec's Picture Search is the one for you. You don't need to be trained on this. It's super easy to use, but allow me to show it off for a second, because, one, it took a lot of work and it's the only one like it that I know of. And there's something pretty exciting at the end, if you get excited about these kind of things like I do.    

So Samtec's Picture Search starts out with a very broad category of just, "Here's everything we have to offer." Anything from high speed board-to-board to flex stacking. I won't get to go into all these, but quickly, I'll just dive into the first one. What you can see from one click now we've drastically narrowed the scope of what products am I trying to return. And maybe you don't know if it's called an array or an interposer, but you do know that it looks a little, something like this. It's a little black rectangle with high density of connectors. You don't have to know our naming convention for series. Is it APM6 versus SEAF. We'll throw the descriptions back on screen to help you narrow this down even further. And so if I click into SEAF, this is where a lot of the magic happened. So you saw, I think I've only made two clicks so far, and I've gotten all the way down to the family level of the product.    

Now, from here, this is where we get into using the configurator and exploring the trillions and trillions of options. We start off with a base part number and we'll show you what that looks like. This part will render here in the middle, but the configurations on the left, this gets into customizing the actual solution that makes it the perfect solution for your design. Now, when I use the word custom, that's not to be confused with a truly custom design with a long lead time or an MOQ or an NRE. This is a standard catalog product. We just have a lot of options. So if I change from a six row to a four row and a 20 pin to a 10 pin, this will regenerate, and you'll see now you have essentially customized the product, but really you've just reconfigured it, and you've found a new catalog standard.    

Speaking of customs, we do offer customs. In fact, we've gotten so good at it that customs represent about 25% of our business. This is something that we offer 24 hour turns and quotes on, we're happy to do it, and we've done it so much over the years, we've become known as the save the day company, because often if a design engineer may design him or herself into a corner, thinking the connector is the easiest, last thing they're going to need, but all of a sudden it's a unique polarization or a unique width or height that they need accomplished, Samtec can pull that off. No problem.    

Now, some of the other paid out that I talked about, the free samples, the reserve products, this is reserve product guaranteed to be in stock. You can add to cart, get a quick sample. The eCAD files are here readily available. And this gets into the comment I had about 750,000 different eCAD Altium models available for our part numbers. This is all quickly available here through easy downloads. And I like to play with that 3D rendering model just to see the magnitude and the breadth of what I can design because when a design engineer needs to find the proper solution, we have total breadth and opportunity.    

So not to really push you over the edge with how easy this at aspect of your job is about to become, but I'd be remiss not to show you some of our cable builders. We have cable builders that span the spectrum of products. We have RF cable builders, we have high data rate cable builders, coming soon, optics cable builders. We have discreet wire cable builders, you name it. And this essentially is very similar to the configurators and the other products you've seen. But of course the cable assembly is a lot more complex than a standard connector. So if I were doing a live demo in San Diego, I would pull the audience and say, "Hey, which direction you want to take me? You want to hit RF? You want to hit HDR?" But really the only person here, so I get to choose and we'll choose high data rate.    

So like I said, so we've narrowed it in on the exact type of product we need through the one click because we chose the high data rate cable builder. And now just a few quick selections through the parametric search is going to start well, we only had one that time. I could narrow this down, I can go in any order by pitch or signal type or interconnect type. But since I hit a home run right out of the gate, I've narrowed it down to one. And now it's back to parametric options. So you've told me what pitch the connectors are going to be, now tell me how many positions you need. Tell me how many rows you need. A couple other selections you need to make, tell me what end one is going to look like, what end two is going to look like, what sort of cable is in the middle? What sort of latching options? And then voila, you get a very quick, full part number solution with the same abilities and capabilities you saw before.    

I've got the opportunity to buy this, I've got the opportunity to request a sample, I can get pricing and lead time. I can down request a 3D model, I can get the specs kit. So the reason I show a lot of these tools is, one, they are impressive tools on our own site, but I don't expect you to come and live on our own site. What I do expect is that as you're designing on Altium and you encounter design struggles as any engineer would Samtec has the capabilities, the APIs that support all of these tools. So every tool that I've shown today is backed by an API that is built with the intention of integrating into the Altium platform.    

So anything that we can show on our own website, it is on our roadmap to integrate with Altium, with being such a strong partner to the Altium community. We want to have the best of the best of our products and our capabilities represented inside the Altium design library so that you can streamline your design efficiencies, any products that you're looking for, any capabilities, whether it's a simulation file or a symbol or a footprint or a 3D model, that's something that Samtec is striving to get integrated into the Altium design tool.    

So finally, we spoke about a lot of the tools and how this makes your search and design process easier. This is really just a modern way to provide customer service that I spoke about because Samtec truly as a service company, we're just providing service in a digital environment. But before I wrap up, I wanted to make sure that you know what all you can expect when you work with Samtec. So I did mention 24 hour free samples, our Samtec reserve program that does offer, or does commit to having in stock availability of over 200,000 products all the time, anytime you need it, but we also have a massive amount of human support. We have technical support at the highest level, no matter the customer, no matter how large or small. So this means full system, SI, Signal Integrity support, application support, application engineering, and interconnect processing.    

In addition to the free samples and the reserve products, you're also only a click away from customer service with our online chat. And if you prefer to call an actual person will always answer the phone. That's a model that we've stuck to since day one, is if I'm walking through one of the desk in here and a phone rings, I'm expected to pick it up. I likely cannot answer your high level design engineering question, but I'm going to be able to find the right person. And that's just what Samtec brings to the table. So no matter how you contact us, I can assure that you will always get next level support from Samtec and we'll continue to be a strong supporter of Altium's platform, as well as the Altium community.    

If you have any questions, I'd ask you to please stick around, we're going to have a short Q&A session after this. I'll stick around as well, and I'll be happy to talk about anything I've shown, or any questions or roadmap items you want to discuss.

Sull'Autore

Sull'Autore

Daniel Williams serves as the Chief Information Officer at Samtec, Inc., an industry leading electronic component manufacturing company. As Chief Information Officer, Williams is charged with the creation of strategic IT initiatives that position Samtec as a leader in the manufacturing and design automation industry. Previously, he served as the Digital Marketing Director at Samtec. In this role, he led Samtec as the first manufacturer to have integrations with the top industry vertical search engines and PCB design software tools.

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