SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Rodney W. Simon
Company: ITN Technology Corporation
Date Published: 9/22/2002   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: In today’s world of DFX, DFA, DFM, or Dfwhatever selecting the correct tools to assist you is as important as deciding to do anything at all, from simple check lists, to complex software programs, to hiring Consultants. We will explore the different tools used today to assist you in being successful in your Design Process.

Everyone has some form of "tool" currently in place. When in the design cycle is this tool applied and is it the most cost effective for each situation. Most companies today cannot afford to use the manufacturing floor to "test the design" to insure the design can be manufactured in the best possible form. Many times design flaws are overlooked because the "design works" and spinning an additional revision is risky.

In the presentation we will explore and answer questions like what to include in a checklist. When checklists are not enough, Is the design software adequate in preventing design flaws? How to integrate tools into my design process? Why should I work with a consultant? What other alternatives do I have?

Many tools exist for the design of printed circuit boards bringing the design from the engineer's mind to the final product that is assembled and shipped to the customer. Some of these tools range from tens of thousands of dollars worth of software, to just a little time and paper that it takes to perform an evaluation.

We often think of tools as being expensive computer programs used in analyzing the designs to test for fabrications issues and problems. There are a variety of tools, some are very simple processes that when put in place will aid in completing the design to be manufactured without any issues. Design reviews, library management and software tools will briefly explorer, as well as how they impact the total design process.

Often the smallest tools are overlooked because "we own this $50,000 piece of software that won't let anything be released to manufacturing without first passing the test". As a board designer we need to understand the capabilities and the impact of each and every tool from the engineer's desk to the manufacturing floor.

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