It seems like you always find yourself working through the night, doesn’t it? Rerouting what may as well be the entire board to apply just a ‘minor’ change or performing a ‘simple’ pin swap. As the last stage before manufacturing, impeccable accuracy and time reduction are the name of the game; those late-stage changes are killing you. You’ve got to find a better way to implement changes from the schematic and mechanical sides without jeopardizing your deadline before going to manufacture.

The Inseparable PCB and Schematic

The schematic and PCB are two parts of the same whole. It’s hard enough when one person is designing both, but oftentimes different people are in charge of each. Sometimes even multiple people work on the PCB layout for the same board. Communication is vital. In fact, no amount of improving communication is sufficient. Ideally, you would do away with manual communication all together and instead automatically be notified of changes made by others on the project. How do you keep your schematic and PCB designs in sync?

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum of Its Individual Parts
Don’t separate the PCB and Schematic

Make it Fit

Even though the electronics are what makes a product come to life, the enclosure and mechanics of the product are what the end user is going to interface with most. Since the MCAD side is more tangible, managers tend to see the issue as making the board fit the case, not the other way around. That doesn’t always go so smoothly. Maybe the dimensions or shape don’t match and it protrudes out from the side. Maybe some larger components are in a narrow section of the product. Maybe there are collision issues when moving the mechanics of the product. 

Seamless ECAD/MCAD Integration
Don’t make it fit; design it to fit, perfectly

Releasing to Manufacture

Once you release to manufacture, there is no turning back. Did you check all your design rules? And how hyped up on caffeine and behind on sleep were you when you did? Along the way, the design project has undergone many reiterations of changes large and small. How do you ensure you’re working with the most recent version? You compile Gerbers for manufacturing, drill files, assembly drawings, pick & place documentation; did we miss anything? Understandably so, it’s a stressful time.

Managed Release Process
Systematic protections to be sure you get it right