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When we want to find out what challenges our readers are facing, we just ask. And they don’t mind sharing—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In a recent survey, we asked our PCB designer readers, “Why don’t you know who is going to manufacture your boards?” Here are some of the more interesting replies we received (and edited slightly for clarity). Do you see yourself in these replies?
- The client hasn't thought about that part of the project.
- Because it's the business of the company purchaser.
- We are a service bureau so almost always ask, but often the OEM design engineer doesn't know (yet). Also, vendor selection is not the easiest since it is somewhat of a dynamic situation.
- We use CEMs with whom we've partnered for many years, and they will find the most appropriate PCB manufacturer for us. One board has specific impedance requirements, and we partner with a specialist for that board.
- We have two options: 1. Price-sensitive: If the board is low-tech, producer will be the cheapest one found that can still meet basic quality requirements. 2. Subcontracted manufacturing: After the design is complete, it is given to an external partner, who handles ordering, manufacture, assembly, and testing as they see fit while meeting specified quality criteria, to reduce maintenance workload on in-house engineers.
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.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
There’s designing the “perfect” circuit board and then there’s designing a board that is “perfect for manufacturing.” While seasoned designers and design engineers understand many of the nuances, PCB fabricator Sunstone Circuits has just published a new book specifically for new designers who have the knowledge of design but are still learning what it means to get the board manufactured. Sunstone’s Matt Stevenson takes the reader through a series of situations that should help clarify what’s happening in the fabrication process and how to adjust a board design to be better suited for manufacturing.
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.