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52 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2022 Here we are in the 21st century, technology abounds across all sectors, and it continues to grow. Advances in wearable technology, vehi- cles with driver assistance features, and inte- grated smart home electronic devices continue to drive demand and innovation in the PCB industry. e product development teams tasked with taking these technologies from design into reality are oen stuck using procedures from the last century. Case in point: PCB quoting. To access quotes and purchase PCBs, design- ers oen have to call or email the PCB man- ufacturer to request a quote. Aer that, the product development team must wait, usually hours (but sometimes days) for the quote to be completed and returned. With today's rate of technological advance- ment, the waiting game for a quote can become the most difficult part of PCB design. Bringing PCB Quoting into the 21st Century If the manufacturer can't produce the design to specifications or the price is too high for the project's budget, the designer is back at square one. is creates distinct advantages for large companies who may have established relation- ships with reliable manufacturers or enough budget to absorb unexpected costs. Others can dedicate a resource who sends the design to multiple suppliers and greatly increases the chances of receiving a quote that satisfies the team's require- ments. Even with those advantages, this antiquated process for PCB quot- ing can create serious delay. For a small shop or an inexperienced designer, the difficulties can mean missing impor- tant deadlines or losing a contract. is difficulty is magnified by today's challenges associated with finding a quality PCB manufacturer. Most shops ask designers to request quotes via Connect the Dots by Matt Stevenson, SUNSTONE CIRCUITS

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