The Survey Said: Designing Around Missing Data

Reading time ( words)

One of the best tools we have for keeping our fingers on the pulse of the industry is the reader survey. When we want to find out what’s going on, we just ask. Fortunately, our readers are not a shy bunch of folks. They don’t mind sharing—the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

In a recent survey, we asked our PCB designer readers, “What missing information or data (impedance requirements, library data, etc.) do you find yourself having to ‘design around’?”  

The replies were all over the place; I don’t think any two respondents said the same thing. Here are some of more illustrative replies we received, edited slightly for clarity. Do these comments reflect what’s happening at your company? 

  1. Those are the things that I demand before beginning.
  2. Usually several pieces of PCB specific data are missing or falsely specified, especially for impedance requirements.
  3. Provisioning for functional test.  We often have to wait for the CAD office to approve new footprints, and for commodity management to approve part suppliers.
  4. Quite frankly, we insist that we know fairly early in process, but getting rules/feedback from vendors is very difficult. Vendors don't seem to be able to articulate their own rules or capabilities and it varies significantly per facility if they have multiple facilities.
  5. Impedance data—cost-effectiveness depends on the board material that is stocked by the board house. Workaround: We specify tracks and impedances, and permit board house to adjust the CAM files as needed. Assembly requirements: What's the permitted height of components close to the rails? What's the shadow area around high components? Library data is usually a non-issue: we simply don't trust outside sources for any library data.   

The I-Connect007 Research Team regularly polls members of the electronics manufacturing industry on trends in the industry so we can bring you topics that you care about. 


Suggested Items

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

11/18/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
We’re heading into the holiday season, and tradeshow season is in full swing. Managing Editor Nolan Johnson and technical editor Pete Starkey have spent the week in Munich covering electronica, and apparently the attendance was wunderbar. COVID still persists, but everyone is ready to return to some normalcy. There’s a lot going on in our industry. In this week’s roundup, we have articles on everything from rigid-flex to the supply chain, as well as a primer on the role of physics in PCB design. As we move into the new year, you should check out this Top 10 list of tech trends for 2023, courtesy of Gartner.

Altium’s EDDI Report Tracks Components’ Availability—Today and Historically

09/15/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
There’s one lesson that all designers have learned over the past few years: Components might be here today and gone tomorrow, so tracking your parts is more important than ever. Any resources that help you keep tabs on your required parts are invaluable in these days of 40-week lead times. Earlier this year, Altium released one such resource: the Electronic Design to Delivery Index (EDDI) report. Assembled from millions of bytes of data gleaned from the Octopart search engineer and the Nexar platform, the monthly EDDI report provides part availability histories going back years, as well as a real-time snapshot of global inventories.

John Watson Wants You—to Sign Up for His PCB Design Class

08/11/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007
I-Connect007 columnist John Watson is teaching an introductory class on PCB design at Palomar College this fall, but this is much more than a basic design class. But John has hit a slight snafu: He needs a few more students to sign up before Aug. 23, or the class will be cancelled. It’s an online class, so you don’t have to live in San Diego to attend. In this interview, John talks about the genesis for the class and its benefits.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.