The 3 Must-Haves of Component Research

By: Dwight Morse on April 4th, 2022

April 4, 2022 – Choosing the right parts for your design is complicated. It’s paramount that components meet functional requirements and perform how they’re supposed to. But how often do you really think about all the other factors that are likely to arise later and subvert your otherwise well-engineered product? 

Between ever-changing compliance regulations, a constantly evolving list of parts that have disappeared into the history books, and a volatile geo-political climate, the supply chain you rely on for your business is getting rockier each day. Did you know the REACH SVHC list has grown from 15 in 2008 to 223 as of April 2022. 

That means that “functional” isn’t enough anymore. In today’s marketplace, designs for your products can’t just be well-engineered for your business to survive. They also must be flexible enough to adapt to any situation.  

 

Here are the 3 must-haves you’ll want to include in your parts search process.

 

1.) ACCURACY

It’s not so much that the information you find is wrong, but that it might be outdated.  Just like you should check the date on a gallon of milk before drinking a glass, you should check the date on component information before adding it to your design. 

 

TIP: The source of the information is important as the date. You may have a datasheet that originated from the manufacturer, but where did you get it?  If it’s sourced from a third party, do you know how often it’s updated? 

 
2.) CROSSES / ALTERNATIVES

When you find out a part is not available or it is no longer compliant, you’ll need a backup plan. Finding pin-to-pin replacements with the exact electrical features would be great. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. You may need to make tolerable concessions for some parametric attributes, and identify manufacturing choices elsewhere on the globe. Always consider crosses and alternates in the design phase. You’ll be glad you did.  

 

3.) SPEED

Researching part information is time-consuming. Nobody wants to spend more time researching parts than designing products. Having one trustworthy source to accurately manage your part list(s) greatly reduces the amount of time spent on component research.  

 

TIP: If you’re serious about efficient components sourcing, check out the platform that does all this for you, (including cross-referencing!).

 

COVER YOUR BASES

However you find your products’ components, it’s critical to monitor all the external elements that influence your supply chain, and design with a backup plan. If you don’t have SiliconExpert P5 to do this for you, it can be an arduous task. But even so, it’s worth the effort to ensure your design is safeguarded against the unexpected.  

 

EXPLORE THE TOPIC

Check out this webinar for more guidance and best practices for a successful parts search management program!  

 

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT SiliconExpert P5?

SiliconExpert P5 offers a robust platform for handling all your component research needs in one place. Through our Part Search & BOM Manager tools, users can search through over a billion electronic and mechanical parts for alternatives, check for compliance updates, and run risk assessments.

 

By Dwight Morse/Edited By Tara Robinson, April 4, 2022

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