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8 The PCB Design Magazine • October 2015 by Andy Shaughnessy i-COnneCT007 THE SHAuGHNESSY REPORT Squeezing Seconds Out of the Design Cycle column It's almost that bad, isn't it? When you're designing a board, time is al- ways your enemy. Your deadline is around the corner, and you can't be late. (You're going to catch the blame anyway, even if it's not your fault.) So you constantly look for ways to short- en your design cycle, even if it means squeezing out a few seconds here and there. That's what we learned when we surveyed our readers recently. PCB designers said that time pressure was one of their least favorite parts of the job, and in some cases, they were ready to retire just to avoid design cycle chal- lenges. I imagine that many of you near retire- ment, and that's quite a few of you, feel the same way. In the survey, we started by asking readers to rank the importance of reducing their compa- nies' PCB design cycles. A total of 88% ranked reducing the design cycle at least a 7 on a scale of 1–10. We decided to cut to the chase. We asked, "What are the biggest bottlenecks in your PCB design cycle?" The answers were illuminating: • The design is not ready for layout when we get it • Schematic finalizations • Customer unknowns • Engineering changes • Library updates • Procurement of samples (a slow purchasing department) • Footprint validation • The PCB designer Then we asked, "What tools or methods do you use to accelerate your design cycle?" I

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