Design007 Magazine

PCBD-Apr2016

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34 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2016 be better performing hardware that's simple to build and that will last and be reliable. Shaughnessy: Some PCB design tools are mar- keted directly to the design engineer, not the PCB designer. And more engineers are doing PCB design work—half of the attendees in some PCB design and layout classes are electronics engineers now. Do you think PCB designers are being squeezed out? Faucette: If the PCB designers are being squeezed out, it's either because they are not doing their job or they are not being support- ed by management. If the engineer needs to explain how the flyback power supply should be placed and routed each time, then perhaps the engineer should just perform the work (if it takes an hour to sit with the designer to lay- out a power supply or it can take them an hour to just do it themselves, why spend two man- hours when one will do?). However, the de- signer should not be squeezed out. The demand of the board performance is growing and that requires a different set of knowledge. The board need to run faster signals, carry higher currents due to lower voltages, and dissipate more heat due to smaller packages. We don't think it's re- alistic for engineering to keep up with that and take over the role of layout. The reality is that experience is key here. There are no classes in college that teach proper layout or electronics packaging. You may do a couple of layouts for a class project, but you can't replace 20 years of gained knowledge from having layouts be your primary function. Having said that, PCB design- ers need to stay up with the latest technologies, materials, manufacturing processes, IPC specifi- cations, and component package trends. Shaughnessy: A few designers who work great with their EEs say it all comes down to an unspoken agreement, an understanding of who does what. Is it really that simple? Faucette: If they are both seasoned in their roles, then yes. The engineer does their job and delivers a good handoff to the designer and the designer carries it across the finish line. There is no way an engineer can layout a couple of boards a year and be a good layout person. Good layouts don't happen by accident. Sorry, tool companies. Shaughnessy: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Faucette: Continuous education is critical. This is why Better Boards has gotten very involved in the local chapter of the IPC Designers Council and has been instrumental in the existence of PCB Carolina held in Raleigh each fall. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, Randy. Faucette: Thank you, Andy. PCBDESIGN From April 5-7, 2016, lOPeC displayed pioneer- ing and innovative prod- ucts from the field of print- ed electronics in Munich, Germany. A total of 148 companies made their way from 18 countries to exhib- it at the International exhi- bition and Conference for the Printed electronics Industry. For the first time, Indian, Spanish, and South Korean companies were among the exhibitors. More than 2,000 visitors from over 40 countries attended lOPeC 2016. The key industry markets were also reflected in the most strongly repre- sented nations in terms of visitors, which, besides Germany, were the UK, the USA and Japan. LOPEC 2016–Printed Electronics: A Key Technology of the Future the partnership: Design engineers anD pcB Designers

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