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.
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.