Design007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 67

12 The PCB Design Magazine • July 2015 SUPPLy CHAIN CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES continues Just so we are all in a similar frame of mind, PCB design data contributes to the fabrication of a printed circuit board. The PCB mechanical- ly supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive (usually copper) traces, pads, vias and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate or dielectric material. First, let's take a look at the supply chain from the point of view of PCB design as its own organization or function. Who would be the suppliers and customers, and what is required for success? In this gander, PCB design and lay- out supplies only board software outputs and drawings. But is that all there is? No, there is much more interaction required to have a successfully completed, working PCB assembly ready to be installed in the end-product. A fundamental design flow is shown in Fig- ure 1. The details of design dynamics and it- erations of processes are either assumed (not shown), irrelevant or just not itemized by this depiction of PCB design. Is Figure 1 a true representation of PCB de- sign? In the real world, can a product be output from this simple process? Yes, of course, and in a high percentage of cases quite successfully. But in this brief graphic there is much more going on out of sight. Behind each block there may be a multitude of steps, ones that are transpar- ent to the non-discerning eye. What defines the PCB design dynamic is the way a company (or design resource) has set up its PCB design de- partment (i.e., a small business, a design service bureau, or an OEM's design department). The view in Figure 2 is an expansion of the simple design process in Figure 1, with a sup- ply chain beginning to show itself, yet still not completely defined in the process. The non-dis- cerning eye is beginning to open a bit, seeing that it takes more than the PCB design office to produce a final product for delivery to the customer (in-house or out-of-house). Figure 2 shows a bit more definition to a few more items in the supply chain. The basic design-to-product premise is basi- cally the same. Figure 2 shows a basic design- to-product process which could comprise a one-man show or multitudes of offices, func- tions, and additional steps that are part of a design-to-product process. A duly placed foot- note: When more functions and offices are in- volved, there should be a management style/ feature Figure 2: a basic design-to-product supply chain process chart. Figure 1: a fundamental design flow.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Design007 Magazine - PCBD-July2015