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Design007-Aug2019

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AUGUST 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 37 Chandler: It's of the utmost importance. I tell my classes that they need to get into board houses, take tours, find out how they build their boards, and ask them about laminates to use, especially the special thermal and high- temp materials. They need to find out every- thing they can about how a board is built and then design accordingly. Many companies to- day are having their engineers and designers work in a vacuum. They completely ignore the people who are the experts in building the products they are designing. It makes no sense to me. This I why in my classes, I urge com- pany collaboration between the PCB designer and fabricator. I go even further and urge them to include the engineers as well. Beaulieu: Based on this philosophy, you are also initiating a collaboration with a PCB fabri- cation shop, right? Chandler: Yes. We are planning to start produc- ing columns that will be co-authored by Mark Thompson of Prototron Circuits in Redmond. I will represent the designers, and Mark will represent the fabricators, and we will create a series where we give examples of the impor- tance of designers and fabricators working to- gether. Mark and I even plan to make a video of the both of us at Prototron doing a com- prehensive tour of the facility, showing how a board is built and what the takeaways should be when a designer tours a board shop—as all designers should. It should be fun. Beaulieu: And more importantly, very helpful for not only designers and shops but for the entire industry as well. How do you see your design world today and going forward? Chandler: One of the things that has helped us has been the ability to work with compa- nies all over the world through the Internet. But it has also hurt those of us in this coun- try some because it has increased the global competition. And the other thing is that some companies are trying to get their engineers to do board layout themselves, eliminating the trained designer, which is often hard on every - one. It's the same as if you would expect the architect to not only design the building but build it as well. The engineer has to reinvent the wheel in every phase of the layout using a tool they're generally unfamiliar with. A sea - soned designer knows a thing or two because they've seen a thing or two. Especially in a service bureau, the designer can leverage all they've learned from the thousands of differ - ent types of designs they've done through the years to expediently deliver an accurate DFM layout. Beaulieu: And this is all coming at a time when the designs are getting smaller and denser with many more chip-on-board features, which is not a good time to be pulling the designers from the process. Chandler: Exactly. We have to coordinate better with the board houses and end users, and we have to train these designers today. Most of the new designers today are learning online, even through YouTube. They are not getting face- to-face, hands-on training that it takes to be a great designer. I am trying everything I can to reach new designers. I would love to see a good school program based on PCB design. I don't know of one, do you? Beaulieu: I don't either, but maybe we ought to start one. What do you say, Bob? Chandler: I'm game if you are! Beaulieu: Right. Well, thank you for your time today. Chandler: You too. DESIGN007 Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group. To read columns by Beaulieu or to contact him, click here.

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