With free to use tools and support together with a wide range of services Eurocircuits helps hardware designers to achieve their New Product Introduction (NPI). Benefit: The prototype is right the first time, and thus the subsequent series production can start quickly and smoothly.

The NPI process which is an important part of the industrialisation of electrical devices requires prototypes. These must then be quickly and seamlessly transferred to a series production that is both cost-effective and reproducible.
A well-made PCB and assembly design can be produced in consistent quality without difficulty.
Eurocircuits has five best practice tips for getting prototypes quickly and seamlessly into series production.

1. Key parts

Key components, for example a microcontroller, are fixed early in the development. Of course, it is important that these components are at the beginning of their life cycle to avoid using a component that may soon become discontinued. However, these components may also have a long lead time which may cause delays in the prototyping process and thus increase development costs.

To help avoid such delays we recommend pre-ordering critical components using the Eurocircuits Parts Pre-Order (PPO) service. This way, the components are in our stock when you order assembled PCB from us.

Best practice tip: Use the Eurocircuits PPO (Parts Pre-Order) service to order key parts so they are in stock when you place the assembly order.

2. PCB design for manufacturing

A PCB is manufactured in many process steps, and manufacturing tolerances are part of this. To ensure that a PCB design can be manufactured reliably and robustly without additional costs, designers should not exceed these tolerances. 

The Eurocircuits Visualizer checks the uploaded data for critical issues and makes suggestions for improvements. It also suggests a cost-effective build-up for multilayers from over 900 predefined build-ups.

Best practice tip: Use the Visualizer that uses over 700 rules for the to automatically validate the uploaded data.
Eurocircuits Visualizer
The visualizer shows the position of the parts as they are specified in the CPL. In this way, mismatches can still be corrected in the design phase.

3. Validated PCB/PCBA data for manufacturing

The Eurocircuits Visualizer not only bridges the gap from CAD to CAM, but also from PCB manufacturing to PCB assembly. After uploading the BOM and the CPL, the Visualizer analyses the BOM and displays the components on the PCB as they are specified in the CPL file. Immediately the Visualizer will display all the issues found such as, misalignments (due to different zero points used for different data files) together with incorrect rotations, footprints, Pin 1 identifications etc.

Best practice tip: The PCBA Visualizer generates an image of the assembled PCB based on the data provided. This is known as Virtual manufacturing before you order which helps avoids redesigns and waste.
Digital first: Virtual manufacturing calculates what the PCB will look like after it has been manufactured and assembled with electronic parts

4. PCB specification

The purchaser who must order the series production of the PCB needs complete and correct data to send for a price quotation whether it’s sent to one or several manufacturers. This must include an exact description of base material and layer structure, solder resist colour, a well-defined contour, suitable registration marks and much more.

Best practice tip: The data for PCB procurement is available to download from your user account.

5. Multisourcing

It has benefits if the PCBA expert, the EMS provider, can buy standard passive, discrete and electromechanical components from different suppliers. These so-called Generic Parts allow us to purchase with maximum flexibility and better pricing. It also reduces the set-up time and storage costs on the shop floor.

A simple way for you to use our generic parts is to describe a discrete component by its electrical parameters rather than its manufacturer part number (MPN). 

Best practice tip: The PCBA Visualizer will suggest Generic parts (where available) for parts in the BOM without MPN’s. You also have the choice to select alternatives if necessary. In addition to generic parts Eurocircuits also hold a large range of frequently ordered components known as eC-stock which can be easily selected in the PCBA Visualizer.

Learn more at www.eurocircuits.com.