Advertisement

Blog

Confused by Parametric Parts Search Tools? Maybe It’s Time for a Better Tool

In my last post, I discussed some of the complexities associated with choosing fuses for an electrical or electronic circuit protection application. I also outlined the 11 critical factors involved in proper fuse selection.

As I mentioned, one of the most time-consuming aspects of the fuse selection process is sifting through all the options. Unfortunately, the catalogue selector guides and parametric search tools that most major fuse suppliers provide aren't nearly as helpful as they might first appear. Those tools assume a lot of prior knowledge on the circuit designer's part; without that knowledge, their usefulness can be pretty limited. All too often, they produce dozens of part number recommendations or none at all, depending on the parameters you input. However, the potential consequences of a less-than-optimal fuse selection are much more dangerous and expensive than just some frustration and wasted time. In real circuits, the wrong fuse selection can lead to premature failures, safety hazards, warranty problems, and liability issues.

Fortunately, a new tool available for circuit designers isn't limited by these shortcomings. The Littelfuse iDesignTM tool is a robust, web-based application that offers circuit designers a fast, intuitive way to identify the best component for an application, find part documentation, and order part samples for prototyping, all in one convenient package. It's the first fuse design and selection tool of its kind in the circuit protection industry. The iDesign tool reduces the time necessary to select the optimal fuse for a project, and it helps minimize user uncertainty. Best of all, it's free to use; simply register to create an online account at the iDesign Login.

Littelfuse iDESIGN™ is the first web-based fuse design and selection tool of its kindin the circuit protection industry.

Littelfuse iDESIGN™ is the first web-based fuse design and selection tool of its kind
in the circuit protection industry.

The iDesign tool turns what used to be a pretty complex process into an intuitive, seven-step procedure that's easy to follow, no matter what your level of circuit design sophistication is. At every step, tutorial buttons and notes are available to guide you through the selection process. A built-in Design Manager toolbar lets you create, save, and reload your part selections and share them with co-workers, which can simplify collaboration on larger design projects.

The tool walks you through a fuse selection process that quickly narrows the available options based on the inputs you provide. Though it only supports electronic, board-mounted fuses used in a wide variety of applications now (it doesn't include large system-level fuses, high-power fuses, or automotive-style fuses), the application's underlying architecture is very flexible. That will allow Littelfuse to add more circuit protection devices in the future.

We developed iDesign in response to requests from customers and distributors. The tool is based on the calculations set out in our popular Fuseology Application Guide and combines them with the information in our fuse datasheets. The iDesign tool can help you make accurate fuse selections more quickly, simply, and cost-effectively than ever before and ensure the fuse you choose is reliable and safe before you ever build it into a product.

To see how easy it is to find the right fuses with the iDesign tool, watch the tutorial video.

8 comments on “Confused by Parametric Parts Search Tools? Maybe It’s Time for a Better Tool

  1. RedDerek
    April 30, 2014

    Took a look at the site. Very well done and I can hardly wait to see the PTC section up and running.

  2. geek
    April 30, 2014

    Interesting post, Bharat. IDesign does seem to be a useful addition to the array of tools available to circuit designers. I'm just curious to know as to what kind of applications does IDesign more favorably cater to? Does it prove to be more useful for large scale industrial applicatations? Or for small scale experimental circuit designs?

  3. bshenoy
    April 30, 2014

    The iDesign Fuse design tool caters to board level circuit design only at this point. However, most common applications and market segments where electronic fuses are used are supported by the tool. So anything from smartphone charger to solar power inverter may apply here. 0402 size SMT up to 6x32mm axial/cartridge type fuses.The tool does not support automotive type fuses and large industrial power fuses.

  4. eafpres
    April 30, 2014

    Hi Bharat–I noticed that you also provide spice models for your products.  Are there linkages between the fuse selection software and the SPICE models?  In other words are you using the models to calculate the fuse behavior which is shown in the iDesign fuse selector?

  5. bshenoy
    May 1, 2014

    We did not use Spice models to calculate fuse behavior and integrate that into the tool. The tool is just calculating optimal fuse selection by taking user thru a process we developed years ago stepping the designer thru several calculations. We now put that process into a computer algorithmn to create the on-line tool. Also, Spice models are not common for fuses and are fairly limited. Not sure about other vendors, but we only have Spice models for our varistors and gas-tubes ; not for fuses.However, let me check into this more.

  6. Sachin
    October 31, 2014

    The Littelfuse iDesignTM  tool is a robust, web-based application that offers circuit designers a fast, intuitive way to identify the best component for an application, find part documentation, and order part samples for prototyping, all in one convenient package

    @Bharat, thanks for sharing the link. This is very useful tool, I am sure I am going to use this tool for my project.

  7. Sachin
    October 31, 2014

    The tool does not support automotive type fuses and large industrial power fuses.

    @bshenoy, any reason why automtoive type fuses and large industrial power fuses not inlcuded in this tool ? Are you planning to add information about them in your future updates ?

  8. bshenoy
    November 1, 2014

    @SachinEE – the initial project to make the iDesign fuse selection tool was generated by Littelfuse Electronics business unit as we felt this area had the most need. Automotive fuses and large industrial fuses have different design processes and also characteristics so kept those aside for this first tool. Eventually, if this tool is successful, the other business units may decide to also add their products to this tool and then we would make an enhancment. Right now, no plans to do so.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.