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BOM Selection


  • Logical design (Schematics)
  • Design review approval


  • Design tool (BOM Export)
  • ERP system (Aliases & Supplier Parts Data)
  • Spreadsheet software

Next Step:

Once your design gets a thumbs up from your stakeholders it moves on to component selection, BOM review, and alternate management.

You will now need to map each of the parts you designed with onto a real world part. There isn’t just one 10K resistor, but thousands. Most of these parts won’t be in stock at any given time, and hundreds have probably become obsolete. If you planned ahea, or used connected design tools this will probably be a very quick stage. If not, just try to stay persistent - it will all be over soon.

The first step is to export your Bill of Materials from your design tools. It will probably come as an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file. Your BOM should contain as much information as possible about your parts - unfortunately most CAD or EDA programs don’t have great component management features and even worse default libraries - so you might not get much. Some companies have ERP systems that they use to store this info while others have stand alone applications for managing their BOMs.

Regardless of what you start with or what programs you use - you should at least plan to collect the following details about each part into something like an excel spreadsheet:

TODO: Insert google doc inline with the following fields + some BOM data.

  • Manufacturer Part Number
  • Manufacturer Name
  • Any Internal Part Numbers Or Aliases You May Have
  • Any Assembly House or Fab House Aliases
  • Preferred Supplier
  • Supplier Part Number
  • Minimum Lead Time
  • Reference Designators
  • Qty 1 Price

Once you have your spreadsheet set up and filled in with the basics you need to start checking stock quantities and lead times. You will probably have a few generic or made up parts that need a real world part, parts that have gone obsolete or parts that are out of stock and you need to find alternates. There are a couple of services that can help you with this (see Recommended Resources). But you’re basically just looking for a close-enough substitute part that is form, fit and function compatible (same size, same features, same cost, etc) but also in-stock and available.

Once your BOM is reconciled, and all the parts are available and in-stock from at least one distributor you are ready to move on to prototyping.

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