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Using Automated Inductor Cross-Reference Tools for Procuring Safer and Cheaper Electronics


Average cost and time spent become enormous if components are end-of-life and are harder to allocate. In this situation, engineers require a lot of time to find and test the replacements thus the production is delayed and results in the customer waiting. To avoid this risk, engineers required a cross-references list that consisted of as many electronic passive parts as possible. This helps in the process of securing the supply chain. A lot of time and money is required to build this cross-references list. For compatibility purposes, each part is tested and compared manually. For building this cross-references list, a large number of engineering resources are wasted. Companies should target these wasted engineering resources for the development of new products which results in business growth.


The automated cross-reference tool has been introduced by SourcingBot which is a German start-up company to speed up supplier analysis and market availability. As well as, provide technical part specification about different component categories i.e. inductors, connectors, capacitors, resistors, and semiconductors. In this article, the SourcingBot cross-reference tool has been used for bulletproofing component sourcing risk management and bill of materials against stock obsolescence.

Inductors Cross-Reference Requirements

Simply by comparing the inductance and the mechanical dimensions, the process of matching two inductors can not be completed. The performance of an inductor depends upon a number of factors. SourcingBot cross-reference tool can cater to all of these factors. Datasheet parameters comparison is the foremost step in the cross-referencing process. The electrical parameters that are compared are inductance, saturation current, insulation voltage, rated current, self-resonant frequency, and much more. Mechanical parameters that are compared are width, diameter, length, height, core material, and shielding. SourcingBot tool can compare the inductors and the result is sorted, there is a collection of over 150,000 inductors from which the best cross-reference for each part can be found.

To verify the cross-reference by simply comparing the datasheet specifications is not enough. The device’s operating point performance must be known for the compatibility of two parts. Thousands of inductor data have been gathered by SourcingBot engineers. Their detailed performance can be compared in just one click. The compatibility of two inductors can be checked in inductance vs. frequency (L vs. F), temperature vs. current (T vs. I), inductance vs. current (L vs. I), and impedance vs. frequency (Z vs. F) by using the functionality of ‘Click to compare’. The cross-reference becomes more effective by using these chart comparisons along with datasheet comparisons.

Sourcing Risk Reduced by Using SourcingBot Cross-Reference Tool

SourcingBot has much more important to reduce procurement risk and organize cross-reference lists because all the above-discussed information is gathered in one place and compared with ease. The significant time and cost of engineering resources have been saved because of the automation of the cross-referencing process. The queries that can be supported are large bills of materials, single parts, and the cross-references supplied directly to other services via API. Along with lab measured data and datasheet data, distributor information also available i.e. part status, availability, price, etc.

Simply search the part number in the search tab of the SourcingBot website in order to find the cross-reference for that part. Engineers can view the characteristics, top matches, and specifications of the parts by using the SourcingBot tool. In the transparent matching process, the values are shown in a table that is easy to compare and the similarity score is calculated. The matches even for different objectives can also be found with a single click i.e. smaller footprint, higher rated current, smaller height, lower DC resistance, and more. There is a ‘Click to compare’ feature in the match table from which lab measured parts can be compared easily.

In a large bill of materials, searching the matches for all parts is also very simple. Cross-reference tools can be found at website There, engineers can simply define the cross-reference search parameters and upload a bill of material. Engineers can find the replacements for all manufacturers, manufacturers other than original manufacturers, and a list of specific manufacturers. The process of searching the top replacement parts on SourcingBot takes place in seconds.

The process is much faster now for securing the bill of materials against procurement risk by using the SourcingBot cross-reference tool. Cross-reference lists can be built in seconds so the precious engineering time and cost can be utilized somewhere else.

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