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24 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 we also document and protect them and us to have a good end delivery." Back at DataED's NPI Center, Lori Giglio was optimistic. "For every job an engineer walks in with, we can help them to improve it." Giglio also expressed some realism, "Nobody is going to walk through the door with the perfect design at an NPI center. They walk in with something in their hands, saying, 'Is this even going to work? Can you make this into an actual product so that we can test it and see where we can improve?'" Duane Benson, an I-Connect007 columnist and a representative from Milwaukee Electron- ics, discussed prototype versus production, "For a forecasted production build, like we would put together in our Milwaukee Electronics EMS fac- tory, we go through a new product intro- duction (NPI) process. It's a multi-week process to prepare a design to go to the manufacturing line. We create a perfect job in that process." He continued, "At Screaming Circuits [a division of Milwaukee Electron - ics], we do that six- to eight-week job in six to eight hours." That short amount of time to perfect the job means that either the customer gets very involved or the build start gets delayed. Benson added, "We have a lot less time to go back and forth, so to put together one of these on-demand manufacturing jobs perfectly, we need that BOM to be accurate. We need to know that all of those parts are available. We need to have the latest set of the CAD files, and we like to see intelligent CAD data, such as an ODB++ file; it has more information in it. And we need to make sure that those are all the same ver- sion. Even though Gerber is an old format— and that still helps—make sure it's the same version. It's pretty common for us to receive ODB++, Gerber, and then a BOM; one will be a 2.1, one will be a 2.1A, and one will be a 1.9B. But they all have to be the same version. Dou- ble check them and make sure the part num- bers are complete and accurate." Lori Giglio shared some similar words of advice, "Issues could include a pad mismatch, a part that they thought was going to fit the right way but doesn't, or they put things on the edge that shouldn't be there. Sometimes it's the board layout, or they violated some IPC standards and need to keep that in check too. Our board houses will often share that back as well, and we can help them with that." John Vaughan mentioned the supply chain, "Well-organized programs that allow sufficient lead time to procure the components work well for us. So, it may be during their design activity that the designer picks out the part and has a conversation with field application personnel from Altera or Xilinx or some of the higher end parts, they're going to lock in that architecture early and build everything else around those parts. They have a plan and the lead time on those devices can be 20–26 weeks. Since they know they need 25 of them, that's a time to buy those because the lead time isn't going to shrink when you create your BOM. Why not address the obstacles upfront when you already know they exist?" Janet Tomor, senior business development manager at Suntronic, used board fabrication as an example, "The PCB manufacturers that we typically use…will invariably have questions about the board once they get the order and they delve into it, such as design issues. The board shop won't start the board manufacturing until they have all their questions answered, which seems to be a problem for customers. They respond, 'I thought I'd have this in two weeks,' but that's what can happen when they take a week to answer the supplier's questions. Some customers don't seem to understand how cru- cial communication is; it's the biggest part of their delivery schedule." In some cases, though, that incomplete sta- tus can be an opportunity for a value-add. Joe Garcia shared, "We had a customer who needed a project completed for a trade show, and we were able to assist them with doing the final design—in this case, board layout— ordering the parts and delivering a product to

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