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26 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Have you ever designed a board but received feedback that it couldn't be manufactured un- less changes were made? Or maybe you've de- signed a complex board and sent it to the facto- ry only to find out that the manufacturer didn't build the board to your expectations? PCBs are becoming more complex, factory options are growing, and expectations for product life cycles are becoming longer. Why Do We Need Standards? As a designer, you now have to think about more than just the software used for design. To ensure that you have a robust design, you must understand how to design for manufac- turability (DFM), design for the environment (DFE), design for reliability (DFR), design for test (DFT), etc. Considering all of this means that designers also have to be aware of the expec- tations and, in some cases, the correct terminology necessary to make this happen. The Institute of Printed Circuits (IPC) was founded in 1957 to de- velop standards for the fledgling PCB industry. Many years lat- er (somewhere in the '90s) the name was changed to IPC–As- sociation Connecting Electronics Industries to better reflect the expanded membership of the assembly folks and the need for standards for that end. Through the use of IPC standards, board designers can design ro - bust PCBs that achieve the necessary require- ments and minimize their time to market and have confidence in a reliable board when the end product is used in the field. But is the use of standards really that im- portant? Absolutely. Consider the impact of producing PCBs without defined standards (Figure 1). For example: • We would not always receive a product that meets our expectations • We would experience the risk of various interpretations of the same aspect Standards: Why We Have Them and Live by Them Feature by Alifiya Arastu, Jeff Beauchamp, Harry Kennedy, and Ruben Contreras NCAB GROUP Figure 1: Without proper specification of a standard, there may be various interpretations.

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