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How To Locate Replacement Electronic Components for Projects

How To Locate Replacement Electronic Components for Projects

It would be wonderful if electronic components were indestructible, never obsoleted, and never too costly or unavailable. Unfortunately, this is not true. All of these conditions could cause PCB design parts to require replacement. This problem is inevitable. Here are some ways to simplify the process and find replacement electronic parts.

Why do components need to be replaced?

The soldered components are represented in schematic symbols and footprint models. Each schematic symbol has its part number distinguishing it from similar symbols (e.g., two resistors of different values). This part number is used to identify the type and value of the component, and it is included in the bill of materials (BOM). With this information, you can order the right parts for the PCB assembly.

The schematic symbol needs an update to reflect the new part number or device attributes when a component is added to a design. In addition, if the physical part has changed, the replacement component PCB footprint will also be updated to model the new package.

During the design process, components are often moved around until the final circuit configuration is determined. Therefore, unless the following are stated, components will not be replaced once the design is complete.

  • Design issues: Damaged parts during production might need a replacement. These issues could relate to performance or manufacturing methods. For example, it could be as simple as replacing a capacitor or more complex, such as rewiring critical circuitry.
  • Unavailable parts: A part can become unavailable during production for a variety of reasons.
  • A different OEM purchased all stock of a special part.
  • The project’s requirements are too complex for the lead-time.
  • The demand is too high for the component manufacturer.
  • Part replacement with a simpler component that had similar functionality.
  • A presence of design defect in the parts
  • Due to business reasons, the manufacturer deemed it obsolete.
  • Reduction in manufacturing cost could lead to components replacement on a production board. It’s often more cost-effective and efficient to redesign a board if a component starts to increase in price. Sometimes, parts replacement occurs with cheaper components or redesigned circuitry. However, the savings must be convincing as the new circuit board production will require the revalidation of the system it is part of.

These are just a few reasons why a circuit board may need to have a component replaced. Next, you need to ask where you can find replacement parts.

Where can I find replacement electronic components?

You can start your search for replacement parts by visiting the distributor’s and manufacturer’s websites. These listings will give you the most current information about a variety of parts as well as their datasheets. However, you should be aware that not all listings include CAD models. Some may have them, but others will not.

A CAD part library service is another resource that can help you find components. These online services often offer tools integrated into your PCB design software and native system data. For example, you may be able to access schematic symbols, 3D STEP models, and footprints of your PCB, as well as datasheets, illustrations, and datasheets, depending on which service you choose. These services will save time and give you the most accurate data models the manufacturer usually creates.

It is essential to evaluate the form, fit, and function of any component that you are replacing in your design. A slight difference in functionality can have a significant impact on your circuitry. This is where skilled component engineers and procurement experts can help. They have the experience to help you make the right decisions about component replacements because they are familiar with how components work.

Component procurement specialists: The benefits

A PCB distributor and supply chain partner for manufacturer’s, engineering team, and procurement experts are meant to provide the right expertise needed by electronics OEMs. In addition, their engineers are available to answer questions regarding component replacements.

  • Recommend direct component replacements.
  • Look for replacements that offer the same functionality.
  • Assistance with layout changes to new component packages
  • Recommend changes to the circuitry for new functionality.

The procurement teams for PCB can also offer the following resources:

  • An extensive network of distributors and brokers for component manufacturers.
  • A system that alerts you when a component’s life cycle changes are occurring.
  • Give suggestions of where to find the most affordable parts.
  • Have expertise in avoiding and detecting potential component counterfeits.

Vyrian’s component engineers and procurement experts have extensive years of experience helping clients with part replacements. Our goal is to make sure you get your board on time, at the lowest price, and with the highest quality. Our team works closely with you to ensure that your components are optimal for the life-cycle of your printed circuit board.

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