In my last post, Creating Reliable, High-Quality Products is Less About Design and More About Manufacturing, I described how the creation of reliable, high-quality electronic products is often less about the design and more about manufacturing. Why? Because you can’t control everything that happens through manufacturing, and the decision that are being made in the process.
Most manufacturers will contact you if there are any dramatic issues in your design. The problem is that oftentimes it’s the unreported small decisions, decisions that might seem negligible, that can compromise the quality and even the function of your PCB design.
The way to minimize the occurrence of these situations is to make Design for Test and Design for Manufacturing analysis a standard in all your PCBs.
With DFT you can ensure the manufacturability of your design before you release it to fabrication. To ensure testability, designs are audited through a series of analysis and verification checks performed on testpoints that have been added automatically or manually during the design phase. Testpoint definitions and parameters can be exported later and used in in-circuit test equipment. Any testability rule violation concealed in your design will be located, identified, and fixed in a matter of minutes.
DFM analysis lets you find and resolve problems such as resist slivers, unintended copper exposed by soldermasks, and improper testpoint-to-testpoint spacing during layout. PADS DFMA includes more than 100 of the most commonly used fabrication and assembly analyses, making it easy to identify issues that cause production delays. After performing critical net routing, you can also analyze circuit integrity and timing and ensure that all design criteria are met before sending your board to manufacturing.
These two tests will help ensure that you send your manufacturer a design that requires few, if any, changes, thus keeping you in control of your design and saving you time and money. Check out this white paper to learn more about how to ensure manufacturability.