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82 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Flex007 Feature by MK Hicks INFRONT AGENCY Business as usual is gone. Exponential inno- vations are the norm. Why are industry leaders aggressively pursuing innovation at a record pace? It's simple—they must. All elements of the technology development chain are ad- vancing at the same time to provide advanced chips, sensors, manufacturing, ever-advanc- ing material and material production methods, and communication networks. How can de- sign companies stay competitive in innovation advancement and gain market share? Collabo- ration is becoming the essential element that spurs continued and repeated success—espe- cially in groundbreaking, new technologies. Start With Advanced DFM The competitive nature of technology—es- pecially hardware—is requiring shorter design- to-commercialization cycles. If the initial con- cept can be designed with manufacturing ef- ficiencies at its core, not only does this bode well for confirming the buildability of a design, but it also shortens the time to commercializa- tion. Designs are becoming all too sophisticated. PCB designers need to embrace working with advanced DFM engineers from the initial mo- ment of the design concept. These are lead- ing experts at the foundation of hardware de- sign whose job it is to show up every day, stay informed of the latest materials and new pro- cesses, and be constantly challenged to de- liver new capabilities. Expert DFM engineers thrive on applying advanced technologies and are driven to design them for the highest yield in the most essential and profitable way. DFM experts in rigid-flex are few, due to the unique experience required with upfront engineering and manufacturing capabilities such as details to put a build plan in place, perform test runs and proof-of-build. Relying on these experts is DFM for Advanced Technology Rigid-flex

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