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56 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 In mid-2019, IPC released IPC-2231 DFX Guidelines, a comprehensive guide for estab- lishing best practice methodology in devel- oping a formal DFX (design for excellence) process for laying out printed boards and assemblies. is process can be established at a systemic level—integrated into the workflow of departments of companies—or adhered to as an individual designer. DFX is multifold, and as defined by the document, includes design for manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, testabil- ity, cost, reliability, environment, and reuse. e sections pertaining to these major theme areas discuss how they impact the overall per- formance and cost of the final board assembly. Of course, no document is perfect, and as is the case with nearly every industry standard, cer- tain elements of the IPC-2231 were identified as needing to be changed shortly aer its publica- tion. Now, two years aer its initial release, IPC- 2231 is close to receiving an upgrade with a new revision—IPC-2231A. e standard is currently in Final Dra for Industry Review and the stan- dard's subcommittee is in the process of form- ing a ballot group. (For those who are unfamil- iar with IPC standardization processes: All IPC documents are subject to a final vote for publica- tion via an open ballot.) While it can be dangerous to speak of the fea- tures of a document in the middle of its devel- opment cycle, it is safe to say that nearly every section of IPC-2231 has received some kind of upgrade or addition, and an entirely new sec- tion regarding the impact of design choices on fabrication processes has been included. Speaking personally (not as a member of IPC staff ), the new revision is a substantial upgrade; it's more focused and yet more rich in content, more easily digestible, and more valuable as a resource. But enough of what I have to say about the document. Aer all, other than a few minor edi- IPC-2231A—Insights from the IPC 1-14 DFX Subcommittee Design Circuit by Patrick Crawford, IPC

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