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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2021 Feature Article by Dana Korf KORF CONSULTANTS "Data really powers everything that we do." — Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn Manufacturing data management consists of four primary components: data transfer, data storage, revision control, and data access. e PCB fabrication and assembly data man- agement system and process is required to be robust to protect customer IP and ensure that the proper data is used to build the product. e entire process assumes that the provided design data package can't be built as-is. e design data must be updated/completed aer it is received by the manufacturer. Power- ful CAD/CAM soware has made it easy for designers/companies to pass the final editing and revision control on to their manufacturers. Over time, nefarious entities have significantly improved their ability to steal/copy data in parallel with this, thus complicating data trans- fer and management. Conceptually, the required design data should be sent as a single intelligent file to the manufacturers, so production tooling is created without any human intervention. e standard industry process is still based on sending multi- ple files within the data package. ese include the Gerber graphical data, ASCII file, PDF formatted fabrication print, etc. ese files may be sent together in the same Zip/TGZ file or at separate times. is method requires humans to review these files since they oen have conflicting data and/or violate the OEM's acceptability and/or manufacturing capability/ preferences. Intelligent data formats, such as IPC-2581, eliminate the additional, and oen conflicting, documents by incorporating the intelligence in the CAD data. Data Package Security and Transmission When I went through ITAR training many years ago, the most interesting information was how people, companies, or governments would gather pieces of product data and then piece it all together so it could be duplicated. e information could be gathered by break- ing into the data storage system, employees copying files and selling them, and/or by inter- cepting emails. Why Good PCB Data Management is Essential

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