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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018 It seems so simple —you design a PCB, hand off the design to a fabricator, along with notes describing your design intent, and they man- ufacture the board. Everyone gets paid, and everyone's happy, right? Wrong. Much of the time, that's not how it works out—not even close. You've heard the stories. Most CAM depart- ments tell us (are they telling you?) that any- where from 80–100% of designs from new customers are inaccurate or incomplete, often necessitating a Friday call to the designer, or the job will be put on hold. This has been an ongoing problem for decades, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better—at least from the viewpoint of CAM personnel. The problem is so prevalent that columnist Mark Thompson has built quite an audience by writing about design data pack- ages and sharing his treasure trove of horror stories about data gone wrong. Most of you are not new to the industry, shall we say. Many of you have at least 30 years of experience designing PCBs. You've done this hundreds of times before. But why are we still seeing so many errors during the post-process- ing part of the design flow? You might think that constant improve- ments to the Gerber, ODB++, and IPC-2581 data formats would make issues like this a thing of the past. However, much of the data package is still dependent upon the designer's ability to describe how they want the board built. It's the little things that trip up a design, such as failing to specify whether a quarter ounce of copper is the weight before or after processing. The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Despite Progress, Design Data Issues Continue

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