With the increasing need of readily available electronic components there are many suppliers who have risen to the occasion. However, there are few who have been doing what we consider to be new since the previous century. One such supplier who has been doing mail-order catalog business since 1972 is DigiKey.
About the Supplier
DigiKey is known for its high service distribution of electronic components and automation products worldwide. They have been a lead supplier of electronic needs worldwide. Apart from being a supplier their website is considered to be engineer friendly because of many tools and services available to cater their requirements.
Headquartered at Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA, in 1972 it was started by Dr. Ron Stordahl who began selling the leftover parts to a digital electronic keyer kit (the Digi-Keyer). They moved online in 1996 and in 2022 opened a distributor centre in the USA which is one of the largest there.
Since facts speak for themselves, their authenticity can be witness through this:
DigiKey has many badges to showcase, some of them are:
- Instant Quote: Using DigiKey you can quote instantly and order from a range of over millions of products.
- MyList: Unlike other platforms, DigiKey doesn’t offer basic cart features, rather it allows the user to maintain their own lists. Using this list, they can keep on updating their list, share with colleagues and quote the list collectively.
- Transformed Supply Chain: Understanding the changing nature and demands of logistics, DigiKey innovates their supply chain henceforth. One can trace their transformation via online videos they have uploaded on their platform.
- Tech Forum: It is a question raising platform within their official website. Also, not only can you raise question but also give answers to other’s query if you’re competent in that field.
- Sell on DigiKey: If you’re looking for a platform that advertises your products and opens a window for you to the customer, it’s the right place for you.
- Newsroom: A blog that updates you on their recent activities and the global news related to everything electronics.
- Digital Solutions: APIs, EDI, or a Punchout Catalog, can be used by the designer to reduce costs and errors and increase efficiency, accuracy, and time to market.
- Maker.io: You can access platforms like Arduino, BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi or draw your projects from scratch.
- Cross Reference: Using this you can compare similarities and differences between various products.
Digi-Key now offers a new way to make it easier to visually verify Cut Tape products and provide more convenient traceability in customer supply chains.
Cut Tape strips of 200mm (about 8 inches) or longer now include a universally unique Part Tracing ID and order-specific information printed directly on the back of the 8mm wide paper carrier tape.
Various part information available are:
As discussed above, being an engineer friendly website they provide various digital solutions. These are, APIs, EDIs and Punchout Catalog.
APIs (Application Program Interfaces) are a set of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another. In other words, an API connects one machine and software to another machine and software.
This is one of the fascinating feature of Digi-key, they provide huge amount of information which they have, we can use these following API to build custom website or integrate Digi-key into existing website.
Available APIs are:
- Order Support
- Open Order Management
- Product Information:
- Price and Availability
- Part Search
- Recommended Parts
- Package Type by Quantity
- Product Change Notifications
- My Lists integration
- Supply Chain
Online Conversion Calculator:
This is not a very unique feature but it’s good to see they have them on there website. Digi-Key have the few conversion tools, such as voltage divider calculator, battery life calculator, temperature conversion and so on.
Scheme-it is an online schematic and diagramming tool that allows anyone to design and share electronic circuit diagrams. The tool includes a comprehensive electronic symbol library and an integrated Digi-Key component catalog that allows for a wide range of circuit designs. We are very excited to cover this topic in the future article as it’s very simple and easy to use.
Currently this tool can be used only to make schematic but they have beta test for KiCad export which we can use to develop a full developed PCB.
With more than 2,300 suppliers, DigiKey is an authentic distributor at global level. They ensure uninterrupted stock and a variety of electronic components for the customers.
Authenticity of any supplier can be accrued through the number of quality assurance certifications and compliance they have. The key to DigiKey’s reliability and trust among the customers all over the world is its commitment to multiple standards. Some of them being:
Authorized Distributor Certificate:
They certify that Digi-Key is a member in good-standing of ECIA (Electronic Component Industry Association), CEDA (China Electronics Distributor Alliance) and ECSN (Electronic Component Supply Network). We are certified to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and ANSI/ESD S20.20 standards.
DigiKey comply with ISO Standards, such as:
- ISO 9001:2015 Certified: Quality Management
- ISO 14001:2015 Certified: Environmental Management
CAAP Certificate of Conformance:
Counterfeit Avoidance Accreditation Program (CAAP) certificate demonstrates conformance and recognition of accreditation for specific services, as listed in http://www.eAuditNet.com on the Qualified Manufacturers List (QML).
Quality assurance is very important to ensure smooth and efficient functioning of your electronics and PCB. To know more about PCB standards learn about IPC-PCB Standards.
Though stationed in the United States, Digi-Key claims to deliver products in 4 days to India. However, this delivery time is exclusive of the time taken for custom clearance.
Various delivery charges listed on the platform are:
- INR Currency
- Free delivery on orders to India of ₹7,000 or more.
- A delivery charge of ₹1,200 will be billed on orders less than ₹7,000.
- Apart from this there would be custom charge of ~28%
- USD Currency
- Free delivery on orders to India of $100 USD or more.
- A delivery charge of $20 USD will be billed on orders less than $100 USD.
Mode of Payment and Refund Policy
Payment can be made either in your country’s currency or in USD. For instance, in India, payment can be made in ₹ or USD.
There are some options available for payment:
- Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express
- Digital Wallets: PayPal
- Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
- Prepaid Wire Transfer
- Digi-Key Credit Account
The Digi-Key Credit Account option is available to qualified businesses and institutions only.
If you are in US this website might be one of the easiest way to get electronics components, but not so much if you are on other country. Especially in India there are new website similar to Digi-key open up every month and they give components at much cheaper prices compare to Digi-key at no custom charges or any other overhead cost. So, This platform would not be very suitable for makers (In India) but definitely you should consider if you are running a company.
The experience gained over the years, the trust that has been built through customer satisfaction and quality assurance are some of the major ticks that Digi-Key has crossed off. Further, being an engineer friendly space it offers many tools that you can use while designing and working on any project.
Their video library and other services make them unique and attractive to professional which saves lot of time in souring components.