The Shaughnessy Report: Squeezing Seconds Out of the Design Cycle


Reading time ( words)

It’s almost that bad, isn’t it?

When you’re designing a board, time is always your enemy. Your deadline is around the corner, and you can’t be late. (You’re going to catch the blame anyway, even if it’s not your fault.) So you constantly look for ways to shorten your design cycle, even if it means squeezing out a few seconds here and there.

That’s what we learned when we surveyed our readers recently. PCB designers said that time pressure was one of their least favorite parts of the job, and in some cases, they were ready to retire just to avoid design cycle challenges. I imagine that many of you near retirement, and that’s quite a few of you, feel the same way.

In the survey, we started by asking readers to rank the importance of reducing their companies’ PCB design cycles. A total of 88% ranked reducing the design cycle at least a 7 on a scale of 1–10.

We decided to cut to the chase. We asked, “What are the biggest bottlenecks in your PCB design cycle?” The answers were illuminating: 

  • The design is not ready for layout when we get it
  • Schematic finalizations
  • Customer unknowns
  • Engineering changes
  • Library updates
  • Procurement of samples (a slow purchasing department)
  • Footprint validation
  • The PCB designer 

Then we asked, “What tools or methods do you use to accelerate your design cycle?” I expected to hear about lines of spreadsheets or proprietary processes, but check out these replies: 

  • Do it right the first time
  • Reuse of designs
  • Mentor Xpedition
  • Cadence Allegro
  • PADS
  • HyperLynx
  • Use our normal app but try to stay on top of app improvements
  • Inside tools
  • Third-party software enhancements to CAD tools
  • No unnecessary meetings— most are a waste of time
  • CAD DRC rules
  • CircuitSpace, script automation (dalTools), wearing multiple shirts, overtime
  • 3D printers

To read this entire article, which appears in the October issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

Share


Suggested Items

EDADOC: A Driving Force in China's Automotive Electronics Design

05/16/2018 | Edy Yu, I-Connect007
EDADOC is one of the biggest providers of PCB design and manufacturing services in China, with a long history in automotive electronics design and manufacturing. China Editor Edy Yu recently conducted an email interview with EDADOC R&D Technical Research Manager William Zhou and Brand Planning Specialist Wen Ling, who collaborated on their answers. We discussed the challenges related to designing and fabricating automotive PCBs, the opportunities in this segment, and the trends they see in the market for autonomous and electric vehicles.

Zuken Pulling Ahead in Automotive PCB Design

05/07/2018 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Zuken has been developing PCB design tools for the automotive market for years. With automotive electronics worth over $200 billion globally, and growing every day, Zuken is preparing for a brave new world of smart cars, and autonomous and electric vehicles. I spoke with Humair Mandavia, chief strategy officer with Zuken, and asked him about the challenges facing automotive PCB designers, and the trends he’s seeing in this constantly evolving segment of the industry.

Fadi Deek Discusses Mentor’s New Power Integrity eBook

04/22/2018 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
At DesignCon 2018, I ran into Mentor’s Fadi Deek, the author of both of Mentor’s I-Connect007 eBooks: the newest, "The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to Power Integrity by Example," and their first book, "The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to Signal Integrity by Example." We sat down and discussed how the idea for the books came about, as well as some of the power integrity challenges facing PCB designers and engineers.



Copyright © 2018 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.