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76 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2021 I started my PCB industry career in 1987 in the Flexible Interconnect Division of Rogers Corporation. at division of Rogers was sold many years ago, but I learned a tremendous amount working there. My first responsibility was learning flexible circuit design and I was in the ideal surroundings to learn. I had responsibility for a new product from beginning to end of life. I designed flexible cir- cuits, many times from scratch using schemat- ics and mechanical drawings. In the beginning phase of the product life cycle, I designed the circuit and panel layout, designed the tooling, and established the build sequence for the pro- totype. In my learning stage and aer all the tool- ing arrived, I went to the prototype department and helped them build the circuits from begin- ning to end. I cannot express how valuable that experience was, seeing the tooling I designed, working with the various process steps in the build sequence, and finally shipping the parts. Aer multiple revisions of prototype circuits, the customer would usually go into high-vol- ume production, and it was a very different cir- cuit design discipline for designing the circuits and tooling for mass production than it was for prototype circuits. High-volume production requires the designer to consider all customer circuit properties and specifications, and per- form CpK analysis to ensure the circuit will have good manufacturing yield at high volumes. Over the years, I've taught several engi- neers circuit design. I am convinced that if the designer has a very good understanding of the different process steps it takes to make a cir- cuit, they will be a much better designer. As an example, if a designer encounters a need for exception when designing for annular ring, the designer who knows the circuit fabrication process well will make a much better design decision than a designer who only knows the annular ring design theory. The Benefits of Understanding Engineering Disciplines for PCB Design Lightning Speed Laminates Feature Column by John Coonrod, ROGERS CORPORATION

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