Altium has released the Altium Designer 6.0. This latest version of its product development system includes new and upgraded data management capabilities, and is designed to make it easier to integrate with company parts and document control systems.
Migration of legacy designs created in other design tools has also been streamlined. Altium reckons that Designer 6.0 will have immediate benefits for medium and large-scale engineering organisations, reducing the complexity of software deployment and maximising the return on investment in electronic product design software.
Management of component information is typically handled centrally to ensure standardised component use, efficient part procurement and streamlined manufacturing. Altium Designer 6.0 includes support for full database-driven component libraries that integrates with company ERP, MRP and PLM systems, and has native support for interfacing to OrCAD CIS parts databases.
With Altium Designer 6.0, designers can select and place parts directly from a central database library. The database library links all component information, including internal part numbers, pricing and part stock levels, and dynamically extracts this information as components are used in a design. During bill of materials (BOM) generation, component data extracted from the design is synchronised with the database and combined with database-specific information to create a comprehensive BOM.
This ensures accurate and up-to-information is flowed through to procurement and assembly, and eliminates production delays and cost overruns caused by specification of incorrect or out-of-stock parts, or the inadvertent use of identical parts from different suppliers within a single design. It also allows companies to maintain product quality by limiting design to parts from preferred suppliers.