Visual communication enhances PCB procurement: Eurocircuits goes visual
Go visual – why?
- Make real-life PCB information available to everyone involved in board design, procurement, manufacture, assembly and testing.
- Images are:
- Convenient – ease of use
- Clear – avoid misunderstandings
- Open to all collaborators – not everyone can read PCB layout data
Go visual – what?
- Visualize customer data online as soon as it is uploaded
- Visualize the PCB in every step of the Eurocircuits e-business process
- Keep the PCB as an image in the data base for future use:
- Look up whenever needed
- Repeat orders
- Show an image of the PCB in documents
PCBs – layout to finished board – the workflow
- Calculate a pooling price online or request an On demand price
- Pre-analyse – online analysis and full visual display of:
- EAGLE native format data
- Extended Gerber data
- Order and produce:
- Design Rule Check
- Data anomalies – visual report back to customer
- Single Image ready – finished PCB image
- Make panel and produce
- Deliver – PCB passport including finished PCB image
- Archive – make available for future use
- Repeat orders
- Look up as needed
Workflow step 1, option 1 – On demand price request
If you upload your data to get an On demand price (Place inquiry with data), we run a full data analysis before we complete our offer. You can find this online as the PCB verification report. This includes a true-colour picture of your PCB, the build as specified in your data and a detailed overview of all technical parameters.
Workflow step 1, option 2 – start from EAGLE
Customers who use EAGLE 6.x as their PCB layout system, can link directly from within their design to our web site and its calculator. Just push the PCB quote button.
The link between EAGLE 6.x and the Eurocircuits web site activates a window that displays your EAGLE PCB design values and the corresponding design values of the Eurocircuits pooling services.
TIP: if you use the DRU design rule files for our pooling services you can be confident that your design will perfectly match your chosen service. Download the DRU files here.
All the design values are automatically entered into your calculation page. You only have to enter the delivery term and quantity and push Calculate. If required you can still change the technical parameters that are not included in the desing data, for instance, surface finish, soldermask colour, etc…
EAGLE PCB analysis
Calculate your price and attach your PCB data. You can then add the offer to your shopping basket. This will trigger the automatic analysis of your data. This step is currently in beta test and will be live shortly.
As soon as the analysis is complete the word “Visualizer” appears. Click it to link to the PCB Visualizer module. See the movie.
Workflow step 1, option 3 – input Gerber data
TIP: to make sure that your data is as clear as possible and to minimise the risk of any delay to your order due to data queries (exceptions), always use:
- RS-274X (Extended Gerber)
- Clear data – see our “10 rules to provide data for PCB production”
- Correct data – see our “PCB design guidelines”
- See our full range of PCB technology guidelines at www.eurocircuits.com
Most customers use Extended Gerber PCB layout data.
Enter the board parameters into the Calculate and order menu. Calculate the price and attach the data. Add the offer into your online and the system will run the analysis and open the link to the PCB Visualiser module as described above. See the whole procedure in our movie.
Workflow step 2 – data preparation after order – design rule check
- Design rule check against the chosen service parameters and check for manufacturability problems
- If anomalies are found make an anomaly report (raise an exception)
Workflow step 3 – data anomalies
If there are data anomalies we raise an exception. We prepare a clear visual report on the issues with suggestions how to resolve them. We send you an email to warn you. You can then find the report in your online account.
Workflow step 4 – prepare single image
Next we complete the preparation of the single image (for more information on this step visit our blog). The PCB is now ready for production so we create the final PCB image. This shows the finished PCB as it will be delivered, as a single circuit or in a customer panel, depending on what you have ordered.
Workflow step 5 – production panel
For our internal production team we provide a visualization of the production pooling panel.
Workflow step 6 – PCB passport
The board is also visualized on documents we provide for you. Our PCB passport is the PCB identity report containing production and material traceability data. This is accompanied by visual images of the PCB”s top, bottom and mechanical layers. That way, even non-technical people can quickly and easily identify the PCB.
Go visual – repeat orders
We use the same visual identification in the overview of running orders and in the order history. Click on the visualisation icon to see the PCB image and make sure that you are re-ordering the right PCB.
Go visual – advantages
- eC-workflow is transparent for all stake holders
- Clearer overview
- Easier communication
- Easy lookup
- Less misunderstandings
- Provides an extra service for board designers and assemblers to offer to their customers
- => visual communication is the future
PCB Visualizer – the next steps
The first module of the PCB Visualizer, our new program for PCB visualization, will be rolled out shortly. As soon as your data is uploaded, PCB Visualizer will present a complete view of all the layers of the PCB in true colours. It will also show the build as it appears in the data set. The next step in the roll-outwill be to provide interactive functionality at each stage of the data preparation process, as shown in the diagram below. This will help to avoid mistakes due to misunderstood communications or errors in the data. These stages will include tools to edit the order details, for instance by changing the surface finish or soldermask colour, as well as tools to view any data anomalies and accept our suggestions for repairs. The final stage will show all the layers of the production-ready PCB.