You’re a PCB designer, and midway through implementing a design you come up with an issue, or you suddenly realize that the design details are not what they should have been. You are in a quandary. Why is this coming up now when you’re so far into implementation? You may need to go back to the board and start over, which can be very frustrating. Most of today’s PCBs are a part of a bigger design and are designed by a team of experts. If they cannot effectively collaborate and communicate with each other, time is wasted and errors introduced.
Resolving PCB Design Collaboration Issues
Let’s look at some of the PCB collaboration issues in detail and how they can be resolved:
In addition to the PCB designer, there are many people involved in implementing the design – electrical and mechanical engineers, CAD technicians, manufacturing specialists, and logistical and supply chain experts. Exchanging design information in incompatible file formats via data-sharing methods or email is a painstaking process in which information can be lost in translation. For teams working in multiple locations and across domains, it is important to have an efficient workflow of the design. There needs to be effective integration of the multiple domains into a single, streamlined workflow. Ineffective communication can result in project delays, rework, and design failures – costing time and money.
Lack of synchronization amongst team members can lead to unnecessary rework and inconsistency in design. For example, if designers make changes to the same part of the design and it is not updated on time, there can be a conflict in data, leading to team members working on an obsolete version of the design. Even if they exchange files with updated information it is difficult to determine what changes were made, who made the changes, and where they were made.
If the teams working on PCB design do not work in a collaborative atmosphere, in case an error is detected, it will be back to the drawing board for them. Errors generally happen because of a lack of communication and failure to synchronize design data. There is no accountability or transparency as there is no way to track the changes made in the design or find the source of the error. This will not only cost money and time but also affect productivity.
Siemens Solid Edge PCB Design software tools automate the complete designing process. Solid Edge PCB Design uses a complete set of 3D constraints with dynamic collision detection and batch verification ensuring error-free design. Using the tool, you can:
- Fast-track development with automated review and approval processes and bi-directional communication of design changes between the electronics and mechanical domains
- Perform Domain checking and identify potential problems in real-time by visualizing issues within a 3D PCB environment
- Quickly capture and layout printed circuit boards, and verify and update designs between schematic and layout
- Take advantage of automated hierarchical 2D/3D planning and placement, and ECAD-MCAD collaboration, and auto-assisted interactive sketch routing, constraint-driven routing, tuning of high-speed nets and more
- Access libraries and parts repositories using the component databases for fast part searches and model downloads.