Regardless of how long a designer has been in the business of designing printed circuit boards for pcb assembly, he is still prone to making a few mistakes here and there. These mistakes would eventually help the PCB designer become better at his job. Yet it also ultimately means that the company who ordered the PCB design would have to shoulder the extra cost that is associated with the mistake. One way that PCB designers can avoid these mistakes is by meticulously guarding their work from the beginning of the design process up until it reaches production.
PCB designers also have to remember the following tips if they want to avoid making costly mistakes:
•Make sure to review the design especially during the critical stages of the pcb assembly. Experts suggest having a prototype PCB that the entire team of PCB designers can all review in varying stages. The review should also begin from the moment the circuit’s schematics are drawn. The next stage involves the initial mounting of the PCB’s components. Before sending this in to the next stage, try to review any possible loopholes that may have been missed during the schematic review.
Perform the same review process for every stage of the pcb assembly up until the finished product is achieved. Once the prototype is done with the final stage, check again for anything that may have been missed during the past reviews. This would also be a great opportunity for the PCB design team to discuss any additional features that could still be added to the device by tweaking the design a little bit. If this is no longer possible, then leave the additional features for a future version of the device.
•Always remember to create a backup file of the PCB design. This advice already sounds like a broken record from the way that it has been repeated over and over by various PCB design experts. However, its importance can never be underestimated. Every person who does the majority of his work in an electronic platform understands the importance of creating backups. You’d never really know when a design tool could go wrong or when the computer’s memory would stop saving the things that it is supposed to be saving. So create backups of every important stage of the pcb assembly process.
•Don’t try to have a go at it alone. This is especially important for PCB designers who are working with an entire firm of other programmers. Each PCB designer may be assigned to do a task that slightly differs from the others, though each task would eventually form a cohesive whole once production of the PCB begins.
It is important for each member of the design team to print updated copies of their designs every now and then. They can then show these to each other and to the management during a meeting or an impromptu design-sharing session. This way, the cohesiveness of the design can be verified and any additional inputs can be given to each PCB designer. The team can also verify if the design is still within the client’s budgetary limits.
Aside from internal communication, it is also necessary for PCB designers to regularly communicate with the Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. This way, the EMS provider should be given enough allowance for making inputs on the design whenever necessary. Keep in mind that EMS providers are more knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the pcb assembly. This means that they would know when the design of a printed circuit board is filled with loads of potential for rework. They would only need to look at the placement of the components on the base board to know this.