Altium Claims Title of First Cloud-based Platform for eCAD Component Management
Concord Pro allows each player in the design process to share up-to-date component information.
Altium claims that it has released the first cloud-based platform for electronic computer-aided design (eCAD).
Up-to-date component information is delivered from global suppliers through Concord Pro. Image from Altium
This new software package, Concord Pro, will enable designers, manufacturing engineers, component buyers, and others to efficiently share the latest PCB data critical to getting products to market.
Facilitating Project Communication
In modern global PCB manufacturing, the various contributors to the overall process can be located thousands of miles apart, separated by time zones and continents. Effective communication to prevent working at cross purposes can be difficult, and at times may seem impossible.
At present, PCB manufacturers often communicate using a series of disjointed systems. These have included shared spreadsheets, private file systems, and proprietary databases.
As a result, miscommunication may spread across project participants in the design process: designers identifying a component specification, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers coordinating designs, manufacturers planning with another, and buyers purchasing a component. All too predictably, snafus discovered late in the cycle is a detriment to the bottom line.
Altium Concord Pro aims to mitigate miscommunication among all the relevant players worldwide by providing immediate access to the latest component data as well as historical information. This software is designed to be a single source for all component information in the design environment.
Mechanical engineers and electrical engineers can communicate about design specifications using the platform. Image from Altium
As noted by Leigh Gawne, Altium's Chief Software Architect, "Electronic component data is at the center of collaboration across the worlds of design, supply chain, and manufacturing.'' Gawne goes on to state that, "Concord Pro is the industry's first and only application that leverages the power of the cloud to make it easy to share component data and have certainty that your PCB can be fabricated, assembled, and delivered when you need it."
Features of Altium Concord Pro
Altium Concord Pro includes a shared library of component data, which allows users to store all of their component data in a single place. To eliminate ambiguity and clearly define a component, Concord Pro also offers templated component data authoring.
Users are also granted supply chain access, connecting them directly to Octopart for component prices, availability, and sources. The software provides a component audit trail to help users track a complete history of where a specific component is utilized.
The software provides component data, sourcing information, and component traceability. Image from Altium
The Altium 365 Cloud Platform vs. a Self-managed Option
Accessing Concord Pro on the Altium 365 cloud platform saves the user the hassle of installing, configuring, and maintaining the package. In addition, upgrades are automatic. For a monthly fee, the entire organization gains access to the program and is provided all the online storage necessary for data as well as for backups.
Users also have the option of hosting and managing Concord Pro on the client’s own computing infrastructure. This option enables total control and the ability to work within a closed network. The choice makes the task of integrating Concord Pro with other systems and application more easy to accomplish. This option, however, only allows one user to access to Concord Pro at a time.
While the latter option is less expensive, it may negate a compelling point of a system like Concord Pro, which is to share information across a large organization and to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn book.
Do you have a cohesive communication system throughout the design process? Share your experiences in the comments below.