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To beat the high cost of PCB prices you need to use advanced PCB design tools that have features in them to help keep design and manufacturing costs low.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
Making PCBs at the prices you can handle, always.
The old phrase is; “It takes money to make money,” and that is especially true when it comes to the millions of printed circuit boards needed for the electronic devices on the market today. Designing and manufacturing these circuit boards is a good percentage of the overall cost of the device due to the high cost of PCB prices. In order to increase margins and help reduce the overall cost to the consumer, it is imperative that the design group find ways to reduce the amount of money spent on the design and manufacturing of printed circuit boards.
There are many ways that PCB prices can be reduced. On the manufacturing side, costs can be lowered by finding the best vendor to work with and looking for ways to streamline the process. On the design side there is also a lot that can be done to save money. The first step is to get a better understanding of the entire PCB design and manufacturing process so that you can find new ways to save money. From there you need CAD tools that will help you to design cost savings features and methodologies into your boards. And finally, you need design tools that will reduce the amount of time it takes to create a PCB design. In this way you can lower your own design overhead and save both time and money. Fortunately the right PCB design tools for this task are already available for you to use; Altium Designer.
To change your design and manufacturing processes in order to save time and money requires that you first know as much as possible about those processes. You need to understand the role that your design tools play and how they can be used in order to better help your cost savings efforts. You also need to understand the manufacturing process so that you can work with your vendor on how best to design your boards for error free production. Another key point to have control over is in the component selection for your design. A lot of money gets wasted in manufacturing when the production line is delayed or stopped because of unavailable or excessively expensive parts. Using your PCB design tool’s capabilities to find out about part availability and pricing is essential to saving money on your PCB prices.
Know before you design how best to create your PCB designs to maximize efficiency and reduce cost.
Easy to use tools and the ability to query your component vendors will help to lower PCB prices
Another way to save money on the high cost of PCB prices is to use modern design tools that are built to work quickly and efficiently. With multiple users going in and out of schematic tools for everything from circuit creation to debug and test, it can be expensive to constantly train and retrain users on how to use the tools. Altium Designer’s schematic capture tools are easy to learn and use, and yet will handle your most complex design challenges.
Another hidden expense in PCB design is costly redesigns in order to iron out circuitry problems. Altium Designer is equipped with circuit analyzers, signal integrity tools, and a power distribution network analyzer. These features will help you to get your PCB circuitry laid out right the first time saving you the time and cost of multiple prototypes builds. Additionally, Altium Designer offers an enhanced layer stack manager and impedance calculator. Working together, these tools will help you to create the most optimum board layer stack up for your designs. At the same time, the impedance calculator will automatically forward the correct trace widths for your controlled impedance routing into your design rules saving you the time of manual calculations and setup.
Your PCB design tools should help you to save money, not cost you more as you use them.
Altium Designer’s 3D layout will help you to visualize your finished design
A good set of PCB design tools should save you time and money by being easy to use and coming equipped with features that will help you such as circuitry analysis tools. On top of that though, PCB design tools should also be structured so that they can grow in their capabilities to keep pace with your needs and the ever evolving requirements of the industry. In order to accomplish that, PCB design tools need to have a solid foundation of functionality that can be enhanced and built upon as new design challenges come up.
For example, Altium Designer is equipped with a full set of design rules that are always being improved upon as new design requirements are presented. These rules are user configurable so that you can adapt them to your design needs instead of the other way around. With Altium Designer’s advanced 3D engine and mechanical functionality, you have the ability to design within the 3D environment of your full system enclosure. You no longer need multiple prototype builds because Altium Designer allows you to see in your design session exactly how the PCB is going to fit and interact within the entire system. Altium is also always looking to the future for the next enhancements. Is your company beginning to look at printed electronics? If so then you don’t have to worry about spending more money on another CAD system, Altium Designer is already set up for that as well.
You need a set of design tools that will grow with you as you and your designs grow.
The question isn’t whether or not you will spend money on designing and manufacturing your printed circuit boards, no matter what you will. The important thing is find ways to reduce the high cost of PCB prices, and the best way to do that is to use the advanced cost saving features that Altium Designer makes available to you.