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Components, or parts, are the basic building blocks of a PCB design. It is of utmost importance that the components present in the design, their graphics, electrical, and part definitions, match the latest and updated libraries. Schematic libraries continuously get updated based on the latest technological advances and updated safety standards along with company-specific component attributes, such as lead times, cost, life cycle, and so on. With the regularly, and at times even rapidly, evolving libraries, designs in progress must be updated accurately and automatically with the latest component and part data.
This is where Allegro® System Capture Part Manager comes in. Designers can quickly review the changes in libraries and update the components selectively or across the complete design with a single click of a button. Part Manager compares the parts in the design with their sources in libraries and synchronizes the design data with the referenced libraries. In case the parts are not in sync, you have an option to either update the design and the cache with the latest data from the reference library or continue with the cached parts.
In this blog post, let’s look at the basics of working with Part Manager. How you can ensure that your designs have the latest and valid parts and you are not caught by surprise later in the design cycle, or when importing the design’s pages or as a block elsewhere. Here is a pictorial look of how Part Manager works:
When Part Manager compares the parts in the design with their sources, it sorts the components as follows:
A match exists in the reference library for the part in the design and parts in the design are the same as that in the reference library. No user action is needed.
A match is found in the reference library for the part in the design, but it has some changes. Part Manager can automatically synchronize these changes in the design. Minimal user action is needed.
No match was found in the reference library for the part in the design. You need to manually select a part from the reference library and synchronize the part.
Part status is also displayed in the property panel alongside properties and other information about the component. The status also shows colors.
Usually, Part Manager is launched as needed or when initiated by a message. You can also configure Allegro System Capture to launch Part Manager when any project is opened. This shows a quick summary of the parts in the design with respect to the libraries. You can also configure Allegro System Capture to automatically synchronize design components with the associated libraries right after opening a project. These options are accessible from Project Preferences. It is a good practice to run Part Manager before updating the associated PCB design as well as before the final release of the design.
After these options are enabled, when a project is opened, a Part Manager summary is displayed. This ensures that you are aware of the library changes and the status of all parts in the design as it progresses.
While design edits are in progress, you can keep design parts updated with the latest library parts available by launching Part Manager. Review the details of the parts in use and check the cause for the parts being reported as out of sync. The Part Manager details window shows all the changes in the library – symbol graphic, part properties, part definition, and annotations. This helps to understand what to expect in the design after the updated versions are added to your design and control the updates as needed. You can easily sort by specific properties, for example, reference designators, part numbers, part names, and so on. You can also filter out specific properties to evaluate parts as needed.
This is how with Part Manager, you have all the information about library changes at your fingertips, what impact these changes can have on your designs, and you can take a call about updating the design parts now or later. A click of a button, a few selections, and your design is synchronized with the libraries.
This brings me to the end of this post. Hope this helps you use this simple yet extremely powerful tool to ensure that your design has the latest and most accurate components at all times.
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