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32 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Happy Holden and Michael Ford discuss the need for new approaches to bridging the gap between design and manufacturing. Michael explains why the combination of IPC-2581 and CFX means there is really no excuse for design- ing boards that are not optimized for your fab- ricators' processes. As Michael says, now's the time to break down barriers and really drive DFM—and the industry—forward. Andy Shaughnessy: We're here to talk about DFM and what we can do to help designers and CAM engineers who keep receiving incor- rect data. Why does DFM seem to be "a bridge too far?" Michael Ford: There is a very large gap between design and manufacturing, and it comes from three different things. First of all, there is dis- tance. Manufacturing is quite remote from where the design is done. As well as distance, there is also the separation of time, as manu- facturing can happen months later, after the design is completed—by which time, the designer will have moved on to other projects. There's No Excuse for Bad DFM Practices But it's also about the different technology domains. When you have a problem in man- ufacturing, the manufacturing person starts talking about attributes of their pick-and-place and reflow oven profiles, for example, which is a language that the designer simply cannot understand. Each side is very much focused on their own experience and technology and the way they describe things, and there's little that actually meets in the middle. Because manufacturing is so complex, with many different machines and materials, it has been very difficult for anyone to get that information successfully across. Happy Holden: One of the things I tried to teach my design engineers that were doing board layout—even though they could see multilay- ers being made in the same facility—was that "you have a big job learning how to design PCBs with keeping a schedule, EDA tools, new components all the time, shrinking rise times, and thermal issues. It's everything you could do to be the world's best PCB designer. I don't expect you to be manufacturing experts. The only thing you should do is take a tour of the shop and walk away with the concept that fabricating a PCB is complicated. If a ques-

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