Assembly Data Manager (ADM)

The Assembly Data Manager (ADM) is an integrated BOM Tool and Pick and Place Data Manager for PCBs. It provides an environment for managing and reviewing Pick and Place (PnP) and Bill of Materials (BOM) data.

An integrated, standards-based solution

The ADM helps dramatically reduce time and effort in preparing assembly data, by combining the following features in a single module:

  • Graphic viewer with component editing functionality
  • Structured component overview with properties editor
  • Component search facility
  • Send RFQ for assembly to participating EMS providers (Basic version only)
  • Component price estimator (Pro version only)
  • Component rotation, height and solder temperature editor
  • Export PnP and BOM data (Pro version only)

The ADM makes use of the recently released X3 extensions1 to the Gerber Format to combine PnP, BOM and Assembly Drawing data into an integrated component layer of a PCB product. As CAD systems2 implement these extensions, a rapid and error-resistant path from designer to manufacturer may be achieved.

The component layer displays the location, rotation, size and key pin location of each component together with properties such as manufacturer part number, supplier SKUs, height, max solder temperature, etc. The use of a standards-based structure for this information allows purchasers, supplers, process line operators, etc to automate their systems and thereby reduce costs.

1 Macaos actively participates in the development of these standards.
2 Some CAD systems, such as kicad, already support Gerber X3 output.

An efficient and straightforward workflow

  1. Import PnP data. (This may already have been done when the PCB product was imported.) This should be done prior to importing BOM data.
  2. If necessary, align the PnP data with the PCB data.
  3. Import BOM data. (This may already have been done when the PCB product was imported.)
  4. If necessary, move new components to their correct position. BOM components are matched to PnP components by their designators. BOM components which are not found in the PnP data are placed to the left of the PCB. Each of these should be moved to its correct position on the PCB.
  5. Draw outlines and mark Key Pins. For assembly purposes, it is desirable to graphically display the size and orientation of each component. This information is typically not included in the imported PnP or BOM data, but it can easily be added by drawing outlines and marking key (1 or A1) pins.
  6. Check/edit the properties of each component. Ideally, a complete manufacturer part number should be specified for each component. At the minimum, each component description should be unambiguous. The edit module includes an online component search function (powered by Octopart) to aid in quickly specifying unambiguous manufacturer part numbers.
  7. Save changes to the product and generate reports as desired.


The component list has three levels:

  • The component class (resistor, capacitor, connector, etc).
  • The component (a single part number). When editing a component, you can change the properties which apply to all instances of that component.
  • The component instance (at a specific location). When editing a component instance, you can change the rotation and placement status of that instance.
    Each component instance in the list displays an icon which indicates whether the component is a fiducial mark, should not be installed, is a PnP component or is a non-PnP component. The icon also indicates whether the component is on the top or bottom layer.

Graphically, how a component displays depends on how much information about the component has been specified. At the minimum, a 0.3 mm circle is drawn at the component’s location (centroid/pick point).

Component display
  • If only the component’s location and rotation are specified (typically if imported from PnP data), then the component is displayed as a 20-pixel cross with a 5-pixel cross toward the unrotated component’s upper left corner. In other words, if the component rotation is 90 degrees, then the 5-pixel cross will be in the lower left corner. The cross symbols are always 20 and 5 pixels, regardless of zoom factor.
  • Components where the location is not specified (typically if imported from BOM data) are placed to the left of the PCB, with 10 mm spacing.
  • If the component outline has been specified, then the outline is drawn with a 0.1 mm line. In this case, no 20-pixel cross is shown.
  • If the location of the key pin (typically pin 1 or A1) is specified, then a 0.36 mm diamond is drawn at the location of the key pin. In this case, no 5-pixel cross is shown.

Press the Ctrl key and hold down the left mouse button on a component to view component properties such as designator, rotation, value, manufacturer part number, etc.

Graphic operations

A number of graphic operations are available: