Proactive Design for Test (DFT) best practices
The process of PCB DFT needs to be considered sooner and more proactively in our PCB design process, incorporated in the schematic phase, not during the layout phase. A designer should determine what nets will be needed to be tested based on their likelihood of failure and position those pins in open, accessible real-estate.
What is New Product Introduction (NPI) and How Does it Apply to PCBs?
The pace of PCB new product introductions has increased exponentially over the past few years – and with it the need for a proper NPI process. It’s not just that PCBs are used in more and more products across numerous industries; it’s also that more PCBs are needed in those products. For example, consider how many PCBs are used in even the lowest-end cars today versus how many were used years ago. As new-model cars become increasingly connected to online services, the need for PCBs will continue to grow.
What is Design for Manufacturing?
PCB DFM looks at all factors that may impact the manufacturability of a PCB design, such as assembly, fabrication, flex/rigid-flex, microvia, panel and substrate. It should also consider whether SMT component placement and soldering can be conducted automatically to reduce costs. DFM can involve general manufacturing specifications and/or the specifications of a specific manufacturer.
Creating Custom Automation in Valor NPI Using Scripting Languages
The most modern language supported and delivered with Valor NPI is Python. If Perl is your language of choice then an additional module needs to be acquired through Active State. When all else fails there is the legacy C-Shell that is also included with Valor NPI.
The last step in PCB design needs more attention
We put a lot of attention on the first step of a process and then it seems we fall behind schedule. By the time you get to the last step of a process you are out of time and just need to wrap things up. How often are you pressed by management to get a PCB design out the door and sent to the fab house?