PCBflow design software is the first to enable secure, cloud-based interactions between electronics design and manufacturing teams to accelerate design-to-manufacturing handoff for PCBs.
The inital release has instant design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis. Using this feature, design teams can communicate with manufacturers, perform a range of DFM analyses based on each manufacturer’s process capabilities to accelerate the design flow. The secure environment is an extension of the company’s Xcelerator portfolio, and is powered by the Valor NPI software engine which performs over 1,000 DFM checks. Design teams are therefore able to identify manufacturability violations which can be prioritiesed in order of severity. The software also guides users through images and locations on the design to identify and correct these violations. IT also provides tool tips, measurements and precise locations of solderability issues and other pcb design violation. A report is available online and in a downloadable PDF for sharing.
Described as a bridge between the design teams and the manufacturer, this release is the the first step toward PCB assembly online solutions which automate the design-to-manufacturing handoff process, said Siemens. The company claims to be the first to offer automated DFM analysis which can optimise designs, reduce front-end engineering cycles and streamline design-manufacturer teams‘ communication with a closed loop feed back which puts the PCB design in sync with a particular fab’s capabilities, explained Dan Hoz, general manager, Valor division at Siemens Digital Industries Software. Syncing the design with the fab’s capabilities reduces respins and therefore time to market, while optimising board quality and enhancing yields, he added.
PCBflow is a software as a service (SaaS) and therefore incorporates the strict security standards of Siemens’ software, to protect IP without additional IT investment.
It works with the Mendix low-code application development platform. This can be used to build multi experience apps and share data from any location, on any device, on any cloud or platform.
Sharing information about manufacturing capabilities also reduces the need for many phone calls or emails with design teams about “basics” rather than strategic or design-centric discussions.
One customer, Nistec, reported that producing and reviewing a DFM analysis report “just minutes instead of hours”.
According to Siemens, the software does not require training or prerequisites, and it is accessible from “virtually any location, including mobile phones and tablets”.
PCBflow supports the ODB++ language design file format, IPC 2581. Support for additional formats is planned for later this year.