When a product model completes the design process and moves into the manufacturing process, designers and process engineers are always looking for opportunities to improve upon the clarity and reliability of their communication. In the case of assembly panels the most common communication method is an assembly panel drawing that contains the dimensions on where the board images, tool holes, coupons, etc., are to be placed. The assembly panel drawing is then reverse engineered twice: once for fabrication process and then for assembly process, to recreate the required assembly panel from CAD data. The reverse engineering process is often difficult, time consuming, and prone to errors.
For design organizations, the Assembly Panel Design module was introduced with Valor NPI version 9.3 to directly communicate assembly panel requirements into manufacturing. This module eliminates the reverse engineering of an assembly panel drawing by communicating the requirements into manufacturing directly inside the ODB++ format. With the assembly panel requirements residing inside ODB++, the need for an assembly panel drawing is eliminated which further streamlines the design-to-manufacturing process. The module provides the opportunity to lower overall NPI costs and eliminates the validation step between suppliers, designers and process engineers, at the same time ensuring all manufacturing builds to the same assembly panel requirements.
For contract assembly manufacturing companies that receive CAD and an assembly drawing, the Assembly Panel Design module enables the user to quickly create the required assembly panel in a manner that minimizes the potential for errors. The user begins by providing basic information such as panel array size, rail and mote width, and number of boards. The Assembly Panel Design module then recreates the assembly panel requested on the assembly panel drawing. The module provides the opportunity to lower overall NPI costs by ensuring the validation step between suppliers, designers and process engineers, will not further delay the manufacturing release.
In addition to generating the assembly panel representation, the Assembly Panel Design module supports the addition of tooling holes, symbols, milling data, breakouts, panel level score cuts and more, to complete assembly panel for manufacturing.
In brief, Assembly Panel Design module, introduced with Valor NPI version 9.3, was developed for a variety of different flows.
- For Design organizations that already have Valor NPI integrated with Expedition and want to have a single platform for all NPI and manufacturing hand-off operations.
- Contract assembly manufacturing companies (EMS/CEM) who need a standard platform for NPI operations that can accept data from multiple PCB layout systems.
- Design organizations who have a variety of PCB layout solutions and want to have a single platform for all NPI and manufacturing hand-off operations.
More information pertaining to what is available with Valor NPI version 9.3 can be found on SupportNet in the “What’s New” document located on the version download page. There are also over 90 other corrections or improvements listed within the release notes.