This week my task focus is to survey about the price of electronic components for a project. This is my first time doing such a survey for a real industrial project. I get to see how a Bill of Material (BOM) is listed. The first thing I learnt is the octopart website. At the first look, the website shows price information from various distributors for the same component. It is like a one-stop website where you can find price from other distributors in the same website, instead of having to browse through multiple distributor website. However, in the beginning, it can be a bit complicated to get the hang of using the website, especially when too much information is given to you in the website and there are many links that you can click (even each individual price listed is a clickable link, which I’m not sure what’s the use of it or how is it different from clicking the name of the component).
Another thing is I noticed is that in the BOM, there are special designated letters for use on the PCB to classify different types of components, for example, if I’m not mistaken, D for diodes, J for connectors, U for ICs and other major components. I also learnt some terms like tape and reel, which is the packaging method used for bulk purchase of components. Another term which is MOQ that stands for Minimum Order Quantity. MOQ for tape and reel packaging method will normally be in the thousands. There is also another packaging called cut tape which is for smaller amount of purchase. Besides, I am exposed a bit more to terms related to PCB like test point. Another thing I learnt about is the Ferrite bead which is the cylindrical thing at the end of wire or charger that I believe most of us have seen it before, but not sure of what it’s meant for or what it’s called. Previously I thought it was used to further step-down voltage from source before entering an appliance or to stabilise the voltage supply Well, to be more accurate it is used to suppress high frequency electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise found in electronic circuits and it is just a simple hollow cylinder or bead that is made of ferrite material. These are the miscellaneous things that I learnt while doing this task. About the price survey, needless to say is that the IC is one of the most expensive part in a circuit. By using the cheapest material in BOM can really save cost when mass production is involved. Every bit of money counts when it comes to saving cost,