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Designing the panel is as important as the layout of the PCB itself. When designing a PCB, often the panelization is left up to the manufacturer. Why? They are trying to optimize material usage and get as many boards on a panel and still conform to high yields and quality. In cases where larger corporations design the panel design in house, their focus is to have better control over the entire assembly process. This approach has many benefits such as:
- Tighter control over the outline of the PCB to ensure maximum real estate within the enclosure.
- Ensuring that the board is testable by adding various test coupons for spacing and impedance and adding other proprietary nomenclature and decals.
With any manufacturing process, things can go wrong:
- PCB ECOs such as board outline changes, tooling or mounting hole adjustments or simple silkscreen tweaks can force a panel design? How is it flagged and who updates the panel?
- How do you know if the panel is outdated?
- Changing manufactures? Are their rules the same for pick and place assembly? Do they offer the same size panels?
Zuken’s live webinar which will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 2 pm ET will explore the benefits of a modern PCB panelization process that can lower manufacturing costs and give your control of the DFM process as soon as the actual board outline is determined. Learn how you can start with a PCB design that is still in the layout phase and instantiate it into a panel. We will explain what items are part of the PCB design and what items should be designed into the panel such as routing and v-cut details.
Whether you are doing a “one up” panel, stepping and repeating an array, or even a mixed board panel, you can get a jump start on your fabrication process during the place and route process.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
What is design with manufacturing and what does true DWM look like in operation? In this interview, I-Connect007 columnist Dana Korf explains what it will take to achieve total communication among all the stakeholders in the PCB development cycle. He also stresses the need for everyone involved in PCB design and manufacturing to stop making assumptions, even at the risk of being labeled as “that guy” who asks too many questions.
Kyle Burk, KBJ Engineering
As mentioned in the May issue of Design007 Magazine, design is performed, at times, in a vacuum. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whenever circumstances allow, design should be performed by communicating with all stakeholders throughout the design process, hence the emphasis on the word with in DWM. Communication can occur through personal correspondence such as email and voice conversations or through more formal design meetings—in person or through videoconferencing. No matter which means of communication you prefer, it’s important to communicate early and often with stakeholders involved in the downstream processes as you bring your project to realization.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Despite all of the talk about the need for communication between designers and manufacturers, many PCB designers still do not talk with their manufacturers for a variety of reasons. Altium and MacroFab aim to change this dynamic. In this interview, Ted Pawela, chief ecosystem officer of Altium and head of Altium’s Nexar Business Unit, and MacroFab CEO Misha Govshteyn, discuss the new Altimade manufacturing service that Altium is introducing in partnership with MacroFab. Ted and Misha provide an overview of the Altimade process, how it links designers to fabricators, assembly providers, and component distributors, and they explain how it could pave the way for true design with manufacturing, or DWM.