DFMA – PCB Fabrication Success by Design

By John McMillan

In my last post, DFMA – Preparing for the best! I wrote about my recent article in PCD&F entitled 6 Pillars of PCB DFMA Success in which I listed six areas of DFMA (design for manufacturability and assembly) to consider throughout different areas of the design flow.

In this post, I’ll dive a bit further into some of the specific technology areas within the PADS® creation platform that address DFMA, DFM, DFF and DFT.

DFT (Design For Test) Audit

By using rules specifically developed for programming in-circuit test equipment, thus guaranteeing 100% testability for all nets on your board, you help ensure accurate testability prior to fabrication. DFT Audit decreases your product time to market, improves design performance, and reduces cost by cutting out needless prototypes.

DFM (Design For Manufacturing) Analysis

PCB manufacturers have different business goals than you do so it’s critical that your product design is prepared correctly for manufacturing before you send it out. For example, fabricators who care more about their profit margins than they do about the long-term quality of your design may make design changes that expedite production without communicating them back to you. DFM analysis can minimize production issues, achieve fewer revision spins per design, and save time in your product release schedule.

ODB++ Data Exchange

After the design is validated against DFMA analysis related rules, the next step is to effectively communicate the design intent to the manufacturer. The ODB++ data exchange format was designed specifically for this purpose. PADS ODB++ promotes Lean Manufacturing by enabling you to easily implement a “one-stop” manufacturability verification solution into your design flow that ensures that all of the manufacturing data is included and synchronized, and that design intent is maintained. Additional CAM formats and reporting, including Gerber, NC drill, and pick and place, are also supported. (*IPC-2581 support coming 6/2016)

Documentation and DFF (Design For Fabrication)

PADS delivers extensive fabrication and assembly documentation from drill, signal, plane, solder mask and silkscreen reports to test point and DFT audit reports, and CAM data. DFF audit reports ensure that the design is manufacturable and that all the necessary fabrication workflow checks are run and any issues have been eliminated. The Bill of Materials (BOMS), assembly variant reports, design statistics, design limits and ECO reports provide design documentation which ensures the PCB can be successfully fabricated and assembled.

PCB Testing

When DFMA is considered throughout the design flow, it helps ensure the PCB manufacturing and assembly goes smoothly and as scheduled, and that the end-product is of the highest quality and reliability.

Click here to read the article in Printed Circuit Design and Fab entitled 6 Pillars of PCB DFMA Success. Also, check out this whitepaper 100 Ways To Ensure DFM Optimization In Your Desktop PCB Design Process that offers 100 ways to analyze for design for manufacturability in the PADS PCB design flow.

Thanks for reading,


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at