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36 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2022 me and my teammates to achieve success faster than legacy methods and approaches to PCB design. I was surprised to hear that many others agreed with me regarding the adoption and leverage of digital automation. We know we should take advantage of it, and we wonder why more in the industry are not doing so at a faster rate. For one reason or another, implementing and lever- aging digital automation always seems to run into resistance in one form or another. Whether it's with implementing tool auto- mation, process optimiza- tions, or multi-discipline collaboration, digital automation has not been fully accepted and implemented. Below are several typical rationales for not implementing and leveraging digital automa- tion: 1. Internal company culture resistance to change (one of the biggest roadblocks to overcome). 2. Current process "works" and is standard (the manual approach). 3. Unfamiliarity with automated features in a tool. 4. Feeling less in control or don't trust a new tool. 5. No time to learn or train on new functions in a tool. I can attest to all these perspectives firsthand as I have progressed in my career on many diverse, global engineering teams, spanning every market sector: commercial, aerospace, military, and medical. Not every step in the design process can be automated, but we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to leverage digital automation when and where we can. ere are many areas that can take advantage of and leverage digital automation, from multi-disci- pline collaboration, such as analog, digital, RF, and ME, to multi-domain integration, such as electrical, mechanical, systems, soware, manufacturing, verification, and producibility. Today's engineering tools are ripe for this. If you can reduce your design cycle time by the slightest percentage and get to market that much faster, isn't it worth it? I strongly believe it is. Time is money. Getting your product to market the fastest, with the best quality, the least amount of cost and risk, and within the shortest potential schedule can make all the difference. Believe me, leveraging digital auto- mation in printed circuit engineering makes a difference. In the coming months, I'll be discussing the five pillars of best practices in PCB design in Figure 2: Rationale No. 6: It's more fun to draw a PCB with tape and mylar. 1

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