Introduction

Running an efficient Component Sourcing department is crucial for achieving fast turnaround manufacturing as we need to source all components while we manufacture the PCB’s in our own factory thus staying on top of the entire value chain.

We sources hundreds of different types of parts per day to meet the demand from our customers.

Watch the Video – Component Sourcing

Script – Component Sourcing

The Bill of Materials

The process of component sourcing starts with the Bill of Materials (BOM) this file contains the information about each component part to be populated on the PCB.

It also contains the reference designators and the quantity required.

The format varies from customer to customer, but it must contain the right information to allow for analysis and Component Sourcing.


Below is an example of a BOM file in MS Excel format.Image of a BOM Files
Minimum required information is:

  • Reference Designator
  • Quantity
  • Manufacturers
  • Part Number (MPN)

Useful additional information that should be included is:

  • Manufacturer
  • Description
  • Value
  • Supplier Part Number (SPN)
  • Package Type

Sourcing the Parts

During the evaluation and preparation process we separate the parts into 4 categories for sourcing.

eC-stock Parts

These are parts that are frequently used by our customers and we keep them on stock. We define a minimum stock level and reorder quantity based on usage.

The advantage for the customer is that these parts are guaranteed to be stock and available at any time.

It also has an advantage that as the parts have already been inspected before they were put into stock which saves time compared to On Demand or Customer supplied parts.

Generic Parts

These are resistors and capacitors we keep on stock in bulk.

These parts are defined by their characteristics and not by a manufacturer part number. We identify them by their internal Generic Part number (starting with GPR for resistors or GPC for capacitors).

For example, a part GPC0603105 is a capacitor with a package 0603, in the voltage range of 50V with a capacitance of 1µF, the temperature coefficient is X5R and the tolerance factor 10%.

These components can come from any manufacturer and we propose generic components to our customers as much as possible.

This is more efficient and economical as we save time in sourcing, storage, kitting and production.

It also allows us to work with full reels instead of cut tapes on the Pick & Place machines.

The advantage for the customer is that we offer these components for free.

On Demand Parts

On demand parts are sourced for each job individually as specified in their BOM list.

Once we receive a manufacturing order (MO) from our engineering department we make a purchase plan in our internal ERP system.

This system is connected by API’s to the major component distributors and manufacturers we work with.

Through the API we get information on price and current availability of these parts.

To define the quantity, we need to order for a specific part we need to consider the following:

  • The quantity of components we need to place on the boards
  • The expected loss of components due to damage, failure, technology reasons etc.
  • Technology parameters to consider are:
    • SMD or Through hole component? (we need less extra for through hole components as they are placed manually)
    • For components to be placed automatically the extra quantity is defined by:
      • The package size
      • The package type (tape, tray or tube)
      • The step distance on the tape
      • The type of component, for LED’s we usually need a few more extra
  • The minimum order quantity as defined by the supplier.

In case the information for a part through is not available via our API connections we start a manual search on the net and ask for quotations from suppliers we do not use frequently.

When a component is not available however, we try to suggest an alternative to the customer or ask the customer to define an alternative or to supply the component to us if no other option is available.

Once all On Demand parts are supplier identified we turn the purchase plan into actual purchase orders that are sent to the respective suppliers.

The next step is receipt, checking and storage of the parts.

Customer Supplied Parts

We prefer not to work with customer supplied parts as it creates extra work not only for us but for the customer as well.

However, in some cases we must accept Customer Supplied Parts.

For example, when the part needs to be programmed before assembling (we cannot do the programming) or if we cannot source the parts, but the customer can.

In such cases we send clear instruction to the customers on how and where to send the parts.