Arena Blog

Star Wars Saga: Find and Manage Components Easily, You Will

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LightsabersYoda was one of the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in galactic history. He was known for his legendary wisdom, mastery of the Force and intrepid skills in lightsaber combat. Yoda served as a member of the Jedi High Council in the last centuries of the Galactic Republic and as Grand Master oversaw the Jedi Order before, during and after the devastating Clone Wars.

Despite his cute Chihuahua-like looks, adorable Muppet-speak and warm wise eyes, Yoda was straight gangsta.

Yoda was also a master designer of lightsabers, which—up until the release of the iPhone 6—was the most popular consumer electronic product in the galaxy. The all-purpose product was not just a formal weapon of the Jedi Knight but also served as an ambulatory surgical instrument, fluorescent light fixture, bug zapper and fashion statement.

The lightsaber’s biggest product design challenges were managing hard-to-find, end-of-life parts, such as rare Kaiburr crystals that powered the lightsabers. Keeping track of these crystals had become increasingly complicated during the Galactic Civil War, in which the Galactic Empire banned trade and possession of these powerful and sought-after gems due to their propensity toward molecular instability to leave generations of life-forms in ashes.

Without vital components and stones, lightsaber production ground to a halt, resulting in a catastrophic negative impact to weapon builders everywhere.

As a domino effect, Yoda’s inability to ship product to market resulted in a market panic. Customers scrambled to find secondhand early edition First Blade lightsabers, which were highly unstable and inefficiently guzzled energy from a belt-mounted power supply. Because these lightsabers could only be used for a brief duration before overheating, Jedi Knights often had to make faux humming/buzzing noises while swinging them around in a menacing manner to scare off would-be attackers.

Yoda was too old and wise to ignore the fact he needed product lifecycle management (PLM) tools to help him identify parts at risk and gain an in-depth look into electronic component lifecycle statuses, multi-sourcing, available inventory, and environmental compliance data.

“If you’ve ever designed embedded electronic components, in a high mix, high change environment for parts that are non-compliant or approaching end-of-life—understand the value of up-to-date parts, you must,” said Yoda. “But unless you work for an enterprise with access to expensive data aggregation services, easy to get detailed and timely information for off-the-shelf components, it is not.”

To solve his parts-management problem, Yoda turned to Arena Solutions, which had developed Supplier Item Lookup (SIL)—a BOMControl add-on that provides current market availability, datasheets and compliance information for all your BOMs. SIL communicates with SiliconExpert and Octopart, two leading component databases that provide to up-to-date supplier information, lifecycle status and regulatory or environmental compliance.

“Part search is often a mystifying and frustrating process—burn through countless man-hours and eat away at profits, it can,” said Yoda. “By using Arena PLM’s Supplier Item Lookup with SiliconExpert’s vertical search, OEMs and distributors can simplify the process, avoid the manual legwork, and cure many of the headaches associated with part search, it does. Hmmmmmm. Superfluous data is ignored, buried information is uncovered, and insight is built in. With an electronic component database, the task becomes less about locating data and more about locating intelligence, it does. Yessssss.”

Yoda’s Top Five Benefits of Supplier Item Lookup

  • If components you’re evaluating are available for purchase, it knows. Yes, hmmm.
  • Determine if components meet the regulatory requirements for your product, it can.
  • Identify potential supply shortages for essential components in your bill of materials (BOM), you will.
  • Quickly it can provide a part ‘cross’—it can.
  • For all the parts in your BOM, pull up-to-date datasheets. Herh herh herh.
  • For sudden market availability changes, monitor items in your BOM, you do. Yesssss.
  • Before his life was tragically cut short at the age of 900, Yoda continued to preach the value of SIL to heal manufacturers from component lifecycle and compliance management pains they faced on a regular basis. The visibility that SIL gave OEMs, like Yoda, into component availability accelerated time to market by reducing line-down situations that result in catastrophic shipments delays.

    “Everyone in the design, sourcing and manufacturing process stumbles upon data problems, they do,” said Yoda. “With Arena and Supplier Item Lookup, OEMs save time by being able to quickly lookup part information, avoiding the tedious and arduous process of going through different supplier websites, they can. Yessss.”