DFM (Post-Layout Considerations) Part 1

If you are like most electronic engineers, you may find yourself trying to further refine your skills and knowledge of PCB layout, in addition to wrestling with the manufacturing and assembly aspects of it. In the past 20 years, there have been 4 monumental changes to the electronics industry, much of which we bear the brunt of, yet seem to be ignored by the industry:

  • The electronics engineer's function is now 'cradle to grave.' In the past, the electronics engineer could hand it off to another department; now, the EE is responsible for the whole project.
  • The electronics engineer was not taught layout concepts, let alone high-speed design concepts.
  • The electronics engineer was not taught about manufacturing or assembly.
  • Electronics used to start with the electronics itself. Marketing and Mechanical are now demanding the form, fit, and function.

Fortunately, DFM (Design For Manufacturing) is not that complex. It simply takes a bit of understanding to know what goes on when your designs move through manufacturing and assembly. With this understanding, you can design so that your product will not be hampered by the "gotchas" and, in doing so, provide you with a better schedule and budget predictability and enable you to compress both.

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