Reading time ( words)
Elmatica is currently taking charge in developing a new language for PCB fabrication data. The development of the language will be by an independent international task group with members from the entire supply chain. If the industry is up for the challenge, the result can be both cost-efficient and a vital time saver in production.
"We are currently creating an open standard for communicating information needed for PCB fabrication. This standard is a PCB language to share information accurately. It can be used to interchange information on the specification, a profile and capabilities. Development and maintenance of the standard will be by an international task group. The task group will be committed to a continuous development and scheduled updates," says CTO Andreas Lydersen.
Avoid being a lost tourist
In today's situation, a substantial amount of time is used to interpret all information needed in the fabrication process. With a common language, the industry would save both time, money and avoid mistakes caused by misinterpretations.
"If you take as an example, legend, there are multiple ways to describe this. Some say 'legend,' 'silk screen,' 'silkscreen,' 'ink' or 'ident.' It's not rocket science to understand that interpreting this take up too much time in the supply chain. The immediate gain with the new language will be that we do not need the gerber file to set price and delivery," said Lydersen. "Imagine being a tourist at an unfamiliar destination, you are able to communicate at a basic level with body language and interpretations, but as soon as things gets complicated you need to bring along an interpreter to your vacation. If everyone used the same language, this would be unnecessary. The same goes for PCB fabrication. Why waste money on interpretations, when the issue can be easily fixed?"
"This language opens up for automation on a completely different level, and has the potential to be the most important progress in the PCB industry, since the Gerber file arrived," Lydersen added.
Elmatica needs participants to help develop this PCB specification standard, or language, called "Circuit Data." The data will have XML output and could easily be implemented into your system. It is not an alternative to ODB++, Gerber or IPC-2581 but can be a valuable integrated part of these files.
"Everything is based on IPC T-50 terminology, the task group had their first webinar this week, and more members are needed. This is not a Elmatica tool, but an open standard free for all to use, and the beta version is already set. We are aiming for a common understanding of a beta version, this side of the summer and encourage people in the industry to take part and develop this standard," said Lydersen.