At first glance, this might seem to be a harsh statement, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
When designing your PCB, from schematic to layout, you go above and beyond to make sure that everything you do is right and meets your PCB design constraints. You make sure there are no signal integrity issues or thermal issues, you make sure the enclosure of your PCB fits perfectly with no collisions, and so on.
The blind spot is manufacturing. Different manufacturers build the same product to different quality levels. It is a known fact that manufacturers adjust designs to make them better fit their manufacturing processes. If you have a conductor that is supposed to be 1mm, your manufacturer might scale the artwork to 1.2mm, because the manufacturing process results in a decrease back to 1mm. Different manufacturers enlarge artwork to different sizes and that matters. In certain circumstances, your manufacturer might move a conductor to better fit his manufacturing process which could damage the functionality of the RF, for example. So what can you do?
The answer to this question and 9 more great tips are in this article!
Watch for another great tip in my next post. What are some of your favorite tips? Share them in the comments below.