The sourcing is a separate wide market, when we talk about electronic components, where for every electronic device for multiple types of diodes, capacitors, and resistors there is a requirement. The bill of material (BOM) is a procurement process, which is generated with the involvement of thousands of big enterprises, such as Murata, ROHM, STMicro, and so on. It’s rather difficult to imagine the reason why for people it’s still the only line of business to be looked at in the datasheet. The manual for users is provided by the part manufacturer.
The procurement, where everything goes online, was done so many years ago. The main idea is that in case there is a consolidation of the procurement. It can be used to save money. But in the case of electronics sourcing, it is upside on his head. Even if there are special systems, it doesn’t mean that data is ready for the future procession.
The data is held by the electronics official distributors.
It’s received from the suppliers on the regular basics. Distributors are interested in the promotion of certain suppliers to the clients according to the change of relationships and available inventories. As a result, objective data, which is based on a platform, is not the top priority. So behind the eCommerce world is lagging the sourcing of passive/active components and semiconductors.
The key to digitizing sourcing of electronic components is uniformed and scaled in the same manner, meaning it can be compared and filtered by. Still, as in the case with any other market issue, there is a business and technical side. If there is no good readable and comparable source of data, good search capabilities can’t be created. To provide electronic component data there must be used many different sources. For example, these can be such manufacturers as Vishay, Texas instrument, and Analog devices. The specific feature of this data is a 3-dimensional form. It can be changed up to the frequency of required operating points or temperature. Nowadays most of the manufacturers are looking for optimization of the performance and try to choose measurement for the preferred point, even though it has differences in comparison to the competitor optimized point.
This data, intentionally or not, is non-comparable and is rather hard to make sense of outside the specific company domain. It’s rather a hard task to make a comparison of a murata inductor to another murata inductor but cross-brand to a TDK coil. And there are certain reasons for this.
There were a few initiatives to uniform electronic data interchange (EDI), but part manufacturers keep it in hand.
In the CAD software world, it can be visible on the example of symbols and 3d models. In such a way engineers can choose the right part. Nowadays there are several available web tools for free, such as SnapEDA or Ultralibrarian). As for the spice models and s2p (S-param file extension), they are used for assistance in some of the required tasks. But for real comparison, they are not used.
There are constant efforts from some companies, which want to normalize the technical specifications. The most noticeable among them is sourcingBot.com. it manages the normalization of part specifications and it’s available for free for all the clients.
SourcingBot made statistical analysis and machine learning to electronic components of different series.
Up to the information, provided by Ran Oren, CEO of sourcingBot, the data world is a data science problem. But not an engineering one. It helps to deploy normalization processes for normalization and uniform technical specifications. To carry out this task the focus was made on the passives. We deployed widely known technical processes for data normalization from the machine learning world in order to create high quality data. Only later in process, according to Ran, there is an engineering aspect to it as we try to reduce a mathematical problem so it’s solvable and increases confidence in use of algorithms. unlike other topics such as search data has to be accurate in order to build trust in information provided.
So, no big surprise that sourcingBot on its platform delivers a unique deep parametric search. Its comparison mechanism is focused on passives and discrete semiconductors, and it resembles all the expectations in e-commerce and makes expertise automated.
So the process has started and it’s going to be a long climb up the innovation scale. The task can be carried out with prospective startups and big substantial changes.