How to Save Time Managing Your Component Libraries

Charley Yap
|  Created: February 21, 2017  |  Updated: November 26, 2020

component libraries for pcb design abstract

Component management is a time-consuming and frustrating process that takes valuable time away from other important tasks, but what if there was a way to auto-fill the necessary information for your components? Read on to learn how Altium Vault® mitigates the management process with the use of a component template. Let us take a look at a pattern library and our component definition.

Perhaps one of the most tedious jobs in the ECAD world is management. While creating can be straightforward, managing those in a can be a bit more of a challenge, especially when dealing with inconsistent data.

When taking on this task, how do you keep everyone on the same page when it comes to organizing parameters and formats for each of the items in a given design system? Without a template, your entire data structure can end up as a chaotic mess.

The Daily Grind of Component Management

To understand management, let’s first look at the daily routine of a librarian. When a librarian creates a part, the first thing they have to look for is the correct schematic drawing and footprint for the part they’re creating. Finding the right element in a component library can be overwhelming, especially when working with an extensive library with countless pieces of data. And depending on the type of component that’s being created, there are unique parameters needed.

This manual process requires extra time to refer to the company’s guidelines to provide the necessary details for a design system, which is commonly not all of the same component type. Going back and forth in search of this “bucket list” wastes a lot of time and effort just to construct a simple part. But what if there was a preset format for an item available for designers to mitigate this process?

To help designers mitigate this grueling ordeal, a preset format for an item should be available. This form automatically fills in the necessary information so that a designer never has to recreate the same element each time it is used.

Imagine a common drawing template. All of the borders are pre-drawn, and the parameters are displayed. So whoever has to use this template can just fill in the necessary field and start right in with their work.


Figure 1 - Example Component with a Templated Parametric Profile

Eliminating the Hassles

Design system management is a tough and often underappreciated job, but librarians are tasked with providing the rest of a design team with component library support that eases the repetitive work of creation—but in so doing, they often take on a lot of tedious and repetitive work themselves.

Want to spend less time managing your component library while keeping everyone on your team on the same page? Download a free whitepaper about Component Templates to learn more about how you can simplify your management process.

About Author

About Author

Charley currently serves as a Field Application Engineer at Altium and is responsible for providing technical assistance to Corporate Strategic Account Managers, Sales Managers, Resellers, and Application Engineers. He is also in charge on establishing and managing technical relationships with clients, partners and industry leader. Charley graduated from University of California San Diego majoring in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Power Engineering. However, he's been focusing in the EDA industry for 7 years.

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