PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Sep2021

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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team e I-Connect007 Editorial Team recently spoke with Ted Pawela, chief ecosystem offi- cer and head of the Nexar business unit at Al- tium. Part one of this interview was published in the Design007 Newsletter, and can be read here. In this portion of the conversation, Pawe- la answers questions on how this environment may streamline the process of transferring de- sign data from OEM to fabricator. Nolan Johnson: Ted, how do you see this Nex- ar environment improving market competi- tion, helping participants become more com- petitive? Ted Pawela: I think the competitive advantage is ultimately being able to provide more trans- parency and certainty to end-customers. We hear all the time that usually once they get the quote, other than any kind of technical queries or questions, they go back and forth multiple times with questions of all nature: What is the status of that board? Do you have everything on the bill of materials yet? Have you started fab yet? Where is it? Am I going to get it on the date you said originally? We're trying to make it a more Uber-like ex- perience. When I call Uber, I can see every- thing on my phone. When is the driver getting here? Where is he? We want to replicate that for the manufacturing floor. You will literally see where your board is in that overall fabrica- tion or assembly process. Am I at step one of five, or step four of five? How long is the next one going to take? If there are any exceptions that have taken place, I want to know about it as soon as possible and see what's happening. Johnson: You've now captured the design data from all the CAD tools in a cloud-based sche- ma system. We've already discussed how that starts to remove file transfer steps. Is it fair to say that this architecture is sidestepping file formats entirely? Are you taking file formats out of the mix? Pawela: In my mind's eye, that's absolutely the goal. What I've learned through the last year of working deeply with this is that fabs and contract manufacturers also have all kinds of equipment and systems, and EMS compa- nies who are all set up to work with Gerber or IPC-2581 or ODB++. It's not a simple job to suddenly say, "You don't need to use that any- more." It's a change in process for them, so this

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