Meta-parts: Simplifying Part Selection and Optimizing Costs

Meta-parts are a powerful feature in PartsBox that allows you to group together equivalent parts, also known as substitutes or part alternates. By utilizing meta-parts, you can streamline your part selection process and optimize costs when pricing projects.

How Meta-parts Work

PartsBox treats meta-parts similarly to normal parts, but delays the choice of the actual part to be used until later in the process. When pricing projects, PartsBox considers offers for all substitutes within the meta-part, ensuring you get the best deal available.

This feature is particularly useful for passive components, such as resistors and capacitors, where multiple part substitutes can be added and handled together. For example, consider the case of 0402 X5R 100nF 25V capacitors. There are many options available from various manufacturers:

  • Murata GRM155R61E104KA87D
  • Taiyo Yuden TMK105BJ104KV-F
  • TDK C1005X5R1E104K050BC
  • Samsung CL05A104KA5NNNC
  • Kemet C0402C104M3PAC7867
  • and others

In many projects, any of these capacitors can be used interchangeably. Instead of specifying the exact part outright, it's often more efficient to create a meta-part (e.g., "C0402-100NF-25V") that includes all suitable options. When calculating the BOM price, PartsBox gathers offers for all member parts and selects the least expensive one based on current prices, build quantity, and distributor selection.

Benefits for EMS/ECM/CM Manufacturers

For EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services), ECM (Electronic Contract Manufacturing), and CM (Contract Manufacturing) providers, meta-parts offer a great way to price customer BOMs (Bill of Materials) when exact parts are not specified. By using meta-parts for commonly encountered passive components, you can speed up the BOM pricing process and achieve real savings and optimizations as prices fluctuate.

Using Meta-parts for Complex Components

Meta-parts are also beneficial for complex parts that are equivalent given project constraints. A real-life example is the NXP MPXV7002DP pressure sensor, which can often be replaced with MPXV7002DPT1 or MPXV7002GP, depending on which option is more cost-effective.

Suggested Substitutes

To further assist you in finding the best part alternatives, PartsBox suggests additional possible substitutes based on what others use:

By leveraging the power of meta-parts, you can simplify your part selection process, optimize costs, and make informed decisions when pricing projects and managing your electronic components inventory.

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