Wondering how to buy a capacitor or resistor online? Well, it’s a fact that e-commerce has made huge leaps and is far more efficient to do this. Why is sourcing of semiconductors and electronic components for your PCB design any different? Contract manufacturers (EMS) are employing several engineers just to make sense of BOMs they receive from their clients.
Making sense means what we need to source and from which supplier. This is where EMS are able to make larger margins.
Is it easy to find a capacitor, resistor or other components online?
So many factors come into place, part manufacturers have significant issues maintaining and updating data on their distributors websites. It is a many to many relationship that is very problematic. While some distributors such as Digikey, Mouser, Arrow and Avnet are huge and very resourceful but this is still a huge issue.
In recent years, we saw different aggregator companies trying to merge different distributors in order to provide pricing and stock availability, this is a simple business model that did not fix the underlying issues of data updates and data quality of technical information. Octopart and findchip offer great platforms for sourcing and procurement officers in order to maintain supply chains and sourcing related costs.
A new line of business of companies taking part data and normalizing time between different brands
Nowadays we start noticing several companies addressing the data quality issues. Orbweaver.com provides Digikey, uniformed data and digikey, due to its sheer size and market power can enforce their line-card suppliers to do that. Another up and coming name is z2data.com which is a fantastic startup from Egypt, that is working on providing uniformed data for millions of electronic parts.
The outlier in this new business model is sourcingBot.com, which is offering an API to several of the top platforms out there. sourcingBot API provides normalized and comparable technical part information that includes PCN (product change notifications) and a unified source scalable of technical specifications.
Before there are too many providers like IOT protocols, there should come in several organisations. In Germany, for example, VDMA that is supporting the engineering industry was able to create a uniformed format for product change notification that is consumable by many of the contract manufacturers and PCB design companies as well as many part manufacturers in Germany.
On a global scale, it has to be industry that is responsible for this change.
Where it is visible is in the CAD software world, where symbol and 3d models are consumed, in order to allow engineers choose the right part those models are uniformed and now available in several web tools for free ofcoruse. (SnapEDA, Ultralibrarian). There are spice models and s2p (S-param file extension) that can assist in some of the required tasks but not in really comparing those models.
What would be the catalyst for CAD software to have an addon of electronic components semiconductor part comparison.
Once the CAD software world will require this it would happen pretty fast. Several providers of addons are awaiting to integrate this knowledge into decision making. Taking the world of sourcing directly to engineers designing the product.
I hope that this article helps you to buy a capacitor, resistor or any other electronic components online.
Watch this space for updates in the Hacks category on Running Wolf’s Rant.