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50 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2020 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team When we started planning this issue on fab notes, one company's name kept popping up: Monsoon Solutions, a design bureau in Bel- levue, Washington. Monsoon has spent years optimizing the company's approach to the process of creating fab notes and packages, as well as dealing with customers' fab notes that often contain missing or erroneous data. We recently spoke with Monsoon's Jennifer Kolar, vice president of engineering, and Dan Warren, principal PCB designer and director of designer development, about some of the common problems they see in designers' fab notes, the impact that bad data can have on the fab process, and the steps that designers and design engineers can take to ensure that they are creating complete, accurate fab notes every time. Andy Shaughnessy: Why don't you all start by describing what fab notes and manufactur- ing notes are, and what they're supposed to accomplish. Jennifer Kolar: Fabrication notes and manufac- turing notes go along with the actual data for a build and should detail all of the requirements for the fabricator and assembler. Fabrication notes should include things like stackup, drill charts, drill drawings, board outline with dimensions, build and testing requirements such as IPC class, and any special customer requirements, potentially including panel requirements. Assembly notes should include all reference designators, polarity markings, and special process instructions such as type of wash, labeling requirements, etc. These notes, along with the manufacturer's quote and stated exceptions, essentially become your contract of what they have agreed to build for you. If you don't have it documented, you don't have anything to fall back on if the shop doesn't build the boards the way you intend. Shaughnessy: I've heard that Monsoon creates perfect fab and manufacturing notes. Tell us about that. Kolar: At Monsoon, we've now done more than 13,000 unique designs. We've had a long

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