Microelectronics for the Defense Industry
Defense contractors, military procurement officers, and contract manufacturers face a number of obstacles when designing and manufacturing PCBs for use in defense systems. Defense microelectronics and manufactured PCBs cannot be procured from just any company, and these components must meet rigorous standards that ensure quality and reliability. These components must also be traceable back to a compliant component manufacturer. Only Altium Designer gives you full control over your supply chain when preparing for production.
A unified PCB design package with the best data and supply chain management tools in a single interface.
Looking throughout the electronics market, there are plenty of components to choose from when planning your next electronic component or system. Whether you are planning a system for use in manufacturing, robotics, computer systems, or any number of other fields, you’ll have to carefully choose the components that will appear in your PCB and from where they will be sourced.
If you work as a defense contractor, for the military, or at a national lab, you are severely limited in your choices for available components. It’s not that components that appear in military-grade systems are unique. Instead, there are a number of sourcing and compliance issues that must be considered. You’ll need PCB design and data management software that helps you navigate a complicated legal landscape.
Microelectronic components are critical components for controlling, powering, and processing data in defense systems. From heads-up displays to communications, targeting, and guidance systems, you’ll need to include several microelectronic components in any advanced military system. You can’t just source them from anywhere; prospective distributors must comply with a number of regulations before you can use them as sources for your components.
First and foremost, any component distributor wishing to supply microelectronics for use in military systems must be registered in SAM, the primary federal contractor information system. The parts they source cannot just be any run-of-the-mill electronic components. Their origin must be traceable and comply with rigorous quality and reliability standards. Given these stringent sourcing requirements, how can hardware designers for military systems ensure that they remain in compliance as they design and plan for production?
Supply Chain Visibility Within Your Design Software
You can remain confident that your microelectronics and your board are fully compliant when your PCB design software integrates supply chain visibility tools into your schematic, layout, and deliverable generation tools. You can immediately identify soon-to-be obsolete and non-compliant components directly within your design software, ensuring you address any potential legal liabilities.
- Compliant sourcing of defense microelectronics requires tools that give you real-time supply chain visibility. See how supply chain visibility and compliant sourcing go hand in hand.
- The landscape for component sourcing is constantly changing, and your component libraries always need to keep up with changes in the supply chain. Learn about component libraries with real-time supply chain updates.
- Full supply chain visibility allows you to see which microelectronic components will soon be obsolete and determine the best replacement components.
Altium Designer gives you real-time control over your supply chain
Even designers are not immune to supply chain challenges. Remaining in compliance requires using tools that give you full supply chain visibility for every component in your design. Most design platforms force you to use a third-party database tool that does not integrate into your design software. Instead, you need to use a design platform that unifies your design and management tools into a single platform.
Building Documentation Within Your Design Software
Instead of switching between your design software and word processing software to build compliant documentation, your design software should include tools for automatically generating documentation in any format. This is much easier when you use a design platform that integrates your component, supply chain, data, and documentation management tools in a single platform.
- The right component library management tools can help you select the best components for your design while staying compliant. Learn more about library management in unified design software.
- Working in a compliance-driven environment requires keeping thorough documentation.
- Public scrutiny on the procurement process and contractors requires keeping costs in line. Full supply chain and component lifecycle visibility helps you keep track of costs and remain compliant.
The ActiveBOM extension in Altium Designer
Keeping your devices compliant with the right microelectronics takes excellent design tools and supply chain tools. All of this is much easier when your supply chain and production planning tool are integrated into your design software. Only Altium Designer integrates these critical tools within a single design environment. All the design and management features in Altium Design are built on a rules-driven design engine, providing a consistent data format and workflow.
You won’t have to resort to working with third-party tools to ensure your designs only contain compliant components. Placing these tools in a single interface improves your productivity, helps you control costs, and allows you to specify tolerances on your boards in order to comply with defense microelectronics and manufacturing standards.
Working with Altium Designer Eases Compliance Pains
Sourcing microelectronics components, planning for production, and generating compliant documentation are easy when these tools are unified into a single design platform. You won’t have to cobble together multiple programs into a disordered workflow. Instead, you can access everything you need within a unified design environment.
- With Altium Designer, you can manage your BOM and your supply chain in real-time without resorting to third-party tools. Learn more about real-time BOM and supply chain management in Altium Designer.
- The component search features make it easy to locate the components you need for your board, allowing you to select compliant microelectronics for your PCB. Learn more about Altium Designer’s component search tools.
- As a designer, you’ll likely be subject to contractor manpower and engineering change order reporting requirements, which requires keeping meticulous documentation. Learn more about the documentation features in Altium Designer.
Any engineer or defense systems designer working on a military contract will see huge productivity gains when they work within an environment that integrates their design tools in a single interface. Altium Designer is the only PCB design platform for defense microelectronics systems that places component critical layout, management, and production tools in a single environment.
The integrated design interface in Altium Designer is like nothing else on the market. Thankfully, Altium provides you with the resources you need to get started. From the AltiumLive forum to design tutorials, webinars and podcasts with industry experts, and an extensive knowledge base, you’ll have access to the resources you need to be successful.
As a designer, sourcing components for defense systems is much easier when you work with design software that gives you complete visibility of your sourcing options, helps you manage obsolescence, and prepare for manufacturing. When you use Altium Designer, these critical tools for compliance integrate directly with your design tools within a single design environment. It’s time to invest in the best design and management package on the market: it’s time for Altium Designer.