How to Save Time Managing Your Component Libraries

September 12, 2016 Charley Yap

component libraries for pcb design abstract


Component library 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 library management process with the use of component templates.

Perhaps one of the most tedious jobs in the ECAD world is library management. While creating parts can be straightforward, managing those parts in a library 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 library? Without a template, your entire data structure can end up as a chaotic mess.



The Daily Grind of Component Library Management

To understand library 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 can be overwhelming, especially when working with an extensive database. 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 these parts, which are 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

Library management is a tough and often underappreciated job, but librarians are tasked with providing the rest of a design team with support that eases the repetitive work of parts 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 libraries 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 library management process.


About the Author

Charley Yap

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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