Top 6 Reasons Up-front PCB System Planning Makes Your Design Process More Efficient
I recently wrote a blog post about the benefits of upfront planning in the electrical (wire harness and cable) design process. Being an old PCB guy, I am often struck by the similarities of the principles involved in PCB systems design and electrical wire harness and cable design.
Are your tools costing you time and money?
When it comes to upfront PCB systems design planning, you can still find countless companies doing their early design planning on paper or in basic computer software such as Visio, Excel, or even AutoCAD. I like to call these “dumb” tools because while they may be jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, they were never intended to be used for electronic system engineering design.
Nevertheless, these approaches are costing companies a lot of money.
How so? There are two big reasons:
- Without true engineering tools to assist the system architect or hardware engineer, the user must rely on experience, manual calculations, educated guesswork and intuition to make important design decisions.
- Once the system design is ready for detailed engineering implementation, none of the data can be reused. The engineer doing the detailed design implementation has to start over and enter the data manually.
The result is time wasted, mistakes are made, rework, and original design intent is sometimes confused or lost.
New tool for a new era
There is now a better way. You can perform upfront logical, 2D physical, 3D geometric, and BOM planning in a tool that is not only designed for this purpose (the only one on the market today), but is 100% compatible with your subsequent design process and tools.
What are the benefits and what is possible?
- Do your upfront system planning (a whole system, not just a collection of single boards) in a tool that is designed for you with specific functions for PCB systems architects and hardware engineers
- Make early calculations, design trade-offs, and what-ifs as you define logical functions, partition the system, floorplan the PCBs, conduct 3D space planning, and, very importantly, create an initial BOM (and the numerous benefits of early BOM review)
- Access real component data to select preferred parts from approved vendors
- Reuse existing design modules and details from other designs, saving time and improving accuracy
- Feed the planning data directly into the detailed design without redrawing or re-inputting
- Use one tool – learn one set of skills. Make life simple.
Below is a sneak preview.