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JUNE 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 cies specified in the bill of materials, and the more materials tolerances have been thought through and expressed in the build notes, the better the end result will be coming through fabrication. And given all of the simultaneous challeng- es facing PCB fabricators with respect to staff- ing, new equipment, environmental impact, etc., making the communication process with your OEM customers efficient seems like the logical first step in stepping up to new chal- lenges. This month's conversation kicks off with Happy Holden's feature on "Digital Twin Drives Design in the Smart Factory." Then, we bring you an excerpt from Mark Thompson's book The PCB Designer's Guide to… The Per- fect Data Package. If you're involved on either side of the job file transfer from design teams to manufacturing, Mark's book will be valu- able to you. Next, IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitch- ell introduces the Emerging Engineer Program. San Diego Circuits' Mike Creeden contrib- utes to the discussion in an interview. Mike talks with me about material selection and the effect on design performance later. Tara Dunn heads even further upstream in her column "Spark an Idea" to explore some great examples of design brainstorming. Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics de- sign and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. Next, Barry Matties files an interview with Vladi Kaplan, marketing and technical director at CIMS. Barry and Vladi discusses the Virtual Verification Station and trends that Vladi sees in laser via inspection. The PCB Norsemen weigh in on the impor- tance of design in their column, "From Wood- en Huts to Homemade Go-karts: It All Starts With Design." We wrap up with some deeper technical top- ics. Contributor Brandon Sherrieb submitted a piece on 4-wire Kelvin testing titled "Kelvin Characterization to Accurately Predict Copper Thickness." Nikolaus Shubkegel also joins the lineup with his article titled "Conventional Ex- posing: Direct Imaging Solder Mask." Completing the hat trick, Joan Tourné re- turns with the second in his series on VeCS, concentrating on micromachining. As always, we welcome your feedback on our coverage. Questions, comments, and story ideas and submissions can be sent to PCB007 Magazine at editorial@iconnect007.com. PCB007 Gerber is the world's favorite data exchange format for PCB image data: it's easy to use, crystal clear, and gives designers and engineers a language with which to com- municate with each other. And this grand old man of the PCB industry has remained at the forefront, powered by ongoing developments that add capability and function- ality without ever compromising its characteristic sim- plicity and ease of use. But the majority Gerber file set creators are still trans- ferring routing and drilling coordinates using NC formats, which were never designed for data transfer, and more of- ten than not create confusion and waste time. So, why are CAD developers and their users still stuck on NC formats? It's most likely a question of inertia or tradition. Denis Morin, Karel Tavernier, Jean-Pierre Charras, and Marius Matioc explain how the new XNC format serves as an improvement over, and replacement for, NC formats. To read this entire article, which appeared in the April 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here. XNC Format: Gerber Takes Data Into the Future

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