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8 The PCB Design Magazine • July 2015 by Andy Shaughnessy i-ConneCT007 THE SHAUGHNESSy REPORT The PCB Design Supply Chain column It's not a simple task providing you all with information you can use. Most of you are real- ly good at your job, and you could design just about any type of board that your boss throws at you. And you should be good; most of you are— ahem—seasoned veterans of the PCB design world. At this point in your career, you have this stuff down to a science. You're probably not going to discover a brand-new way to design boards, but you know that there's always something to learn in this job: new design tips and tricks, changes in PCB technology, market trends, and much more. As the ol' saying goes, "You learn something new every day." We certainly do! So, we occasionally look at other design top - ics that are not directly related to PCB design and layout techniques—markets, legislation, materials, education, etc. Is there designer inter- est in this topic? This is what happened when we surveyed our readers a few months ago. We asked readers of The PCB Design Magazine if their supply chain was a problem for them. Almost two-thirds of respondents said no, but a solid 37% said yes. And surprisingly, for many it was an emphatic "yes." Navigating the supply chain is a huge challenge for some of our lead - ing companies. What sort of bugaboos were designers refer- ring to? Long lead times, parts obsolescence, mul- tiple component changes and ECOs…you name it. Some designers said the parts selection process on the front end is the worst part of the design cycle, and their companies have had to stock more and more hard-to-find parts. Redesigning boards with obsolete parts ranked high too. Even worse, some respondents said that the supply chain was the one thing they could not influence, much less control. Comments such as "We're dealing with idiots" were typical. How would you like to work in a situation like that? Maybe you are right now. You have my sympathy. So, this issue of The PCB Design Magazine fo- cuses on supply chain management from the PCB designer's perspective. The cover story by Honeywell's David Ledger-Thomas takes a look at a typical OEM's PCB design supply chain, and discusses how processes can lead to success- ful outcomes—or not. Next, Barry Matties talks with Rogers Corporation's John Pavlak about customer complaints of long delivery times of Rogers RF laminates, and what Rogers has done to turn this trend around. We also have an in- terview Barry conducted with Gary Ferrari of Firan Technology Group, who discusses strate- gies for designing better boards and keeping de- signers provided with the most important part of the supply chain—information. Columnist Barry Olney of In-Circuit Design Pty Ltd. continues his excellent series on stack- up planning techniques with an in-depth look at a variety of stackup configurations. Contrib- utor Bob Sadowski of UK-based Quadra Solu- tions explains the 10 considerations to keep in mind when thinking about outsourcing a PCB design. And Karel Tavernier of Ucamco provides an excerpt from his upcoming guide "PCB Fabrication Data: Design-to-Fabrication Data Transfer" by clarifying exactly what hap- pens to your design data when it reaches the fabricator. Now that summer is here, you're probably going to be headed to the beach. Well, we have some great summer reading for you! Don't for- get to check out our other publications, The PCB Magazine and SMT Magazine. PCBDESIGN Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. he has been covering PCB design for 15 years. he can be reached by clicking here.

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