DOCUMENTING FABRICATION FOR PCB SOURCING SUCCESSAuthor: Russ Steiner
Company: Amtech Electrocircuits, Inc.
Date Published: 10/4/2009 Conference: SMTA International
As new products are developed, traditional mechanical controls give way to electrical control. Most products created today are monitored, controlled, and compatible with or comprised entirely of electronics.
With the evolution of product design and the falling price of logic components, it is natural to expect to find more features than ever that are derived through the application of various circuits.
Even though similar control schemes are found in like products, there are just enough physical differences or intellectual property involved so that use of the exact same circuit does not exactly fit the bill.
More often than not, there is a printed circuit board used as the basis for mechanically holding the components together. It conducts the correct signals to the right component at the right time, It sometimes does even more, such as serving as a switch substrate, serving to match impedance in conductors, conduct high current loads, control heat, even serve as a light reflector in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and optoelectronic applications.
Because a good engineering team can spin a new revision of a circuit pretty quickly, it is very common to see generation after generation of product use a slightly revised printed circuit board (PCB), printed wiring board (PWB) (if you prefer). As assembly yield performance data is collected, warranty claims are tallied, and costs of poor quality are collected, it does not take much justification to warrant a revision.
By the same token, once a winning recipe is captured and proven, it is important to control all the variables in that recipe.
Each time a PCB is developed or revised, the information required to create the desired results must be communicated to places far from the mind of the initial designer.
Also, eventual cost pressures, product life cycle stages or supplier issues require that product designs are portable as they may need to be moved from production line to production line without variation.
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