Design for Manufacturability Challenges

Proliferation of New Manufacturing Technologies Challenges Design for Manufacturability

Checking Component Clearance

Checking component clearance from board clipping part

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can easily feel like a kid in a candy store with so many recently developed manufacturing technologies to choose from. There’s flex boards, rigid flex hybrids, chip on board, embedded components, low temperature co-fired ceramic, to name a few. Each of these technologies offers its own unique mix of functionality, cost, size, weight, delivery time and other benefits. So, it’s becoming increasingly common to use two or three or even more of these technologies in order to get the sugariest flavor – oops, I mean deliver the most market-shaking product.

But, just as eating a lot of candy can cause a stomach ache, using a mix of different manufacturing technologies creates the burden of checking the design against the unique design rule sets used by each and every technology and contract manufacturer involved in your product. The contract manufacturer normally changes the design to make it work for their process and sends it back to the OEM. But then it’s up to the OEM to reconcile and validate changes from multiple manufacturers. This reconciliation process normally takes place in the late stages of the product development cycle when changes can be very expensive and a mistake can cause the product to miss the market window.

Fortunately, help is on the way – and no it doesn’t require you to give up using all of those deliciously different manufacturing technologies. The solution I am proposing involves adopting a new generation of design for manufacturing tools that makes it possible to validate the design against the design rules of all technologies and manufacturers that will be involved with the product in the early stages of the product development process.  The details are too involved for a short blog entry but I have written an article that you can read here to provide the full details on how validating the design early substantially reduces, and in some cases, eliminates the need for late-stage design for manufacturability changes.

Written by

Humair Mandavia is the chief strategy officer at Zuken, responsible for the SOZO Center, Zuken’s US R&D division in Silicon Valley. His responsibilities include working with industry-leading companies in the automotive, IoT, and other key technology sectors to help drive the latest innovations in electronic design to the market. A member of the Zuken team since 2004, his past roles include solutions architect, product manager, and director of engineering. Professional experience includes working as hardware design engineer at ADC Telecommunications designing ATM and SONET applications. Mandavia received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering and his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas, and is a current board member for Si2.

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