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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 coatings, compensations, and all assembly con- veyor processing steps. Aer a solid relation- ship is made between the PCB designer and the manufacturers of PCBAs, an appropriate design review process must be implemented. Design rule checking setups within PCB CAD tools cannot remain set to their defaults. DRC values must be dynamically adjusted to match the manufacturing capabilities of the production manufacturer. Once a layout is complete it must be audited for conformance to these values along with the other impor- tant electrical performance values to certify the design for its transition to the manufac- turer. ere is also an ongoing effort to standardize DFM. Within the past few years, DFM guide- lines have been gathered into the IPC-2231A Guidelines for DFX standard by IPC. e doc- ument provides a DFX process framework to establish a discipline of design review neces- sary to perform a detailed analysis of manufac- turability attributes commonly found in elec- tronics hardware for fabrication and around which to model a printed board assembly. e first goal of IPC-2231A is to use a multi- discipline engineering assessment tactic on elements influencing DFX. e second goal is to allow the user to establish standardized DFX checklists for major design elements such as bare printed board fabrication, printed board assembly manufacturing, electrical testability, and elements influencing product reliability, reuse, and impact on environment. But until PCB designers can have instant, unbridled access to understanding the manu- facturing capabilities of the service stakehold- ers who will be struggling to build their boards, DFM will continue to be a challenge. Educa- tional outlets that focus on DFM will always summarize their overviews with a statement like, "Always check in with your PCB supplier prior to designing this or that on your PCB." is is not bad advice, but it may not be com- plete advice. I am seeing two to five different PCB designs per day which are failing DFM as they move offshore for volume production. PCB designers must be given the visibility to see where their designs are headed. If the PCB or PCBA is destined for off- shore manufacturing, a designer must be put in touch with the offshore supplier for a DFM (and DFC, design for cost) reality check so the design constraints can be set accordingly. I look forward to the evolution of the IPC- 2231 DFX Guidelines as a useful resource to aid visibility in PCB manufacturing capability and DFM expectations as we move forward. DESIGN007 Kelly Dack, CIT, CID+, serves as the communications officer for the PCEA and is a passionate PCB educator, writer, and owner of a family beef cattle ranch. By the time you read this, Kelly will have transitioned to a new posi- tion as a PCB designer at a Northern Idaho OEM specializing in products that support the Human Machine Experience (HMX).

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