For any PCB bare board and/or PCB assembly order, there is always a chance that issues come up due to the order data. We at Eurocircuits supply tools to avoid a number of these issues as part of our Virtual PCB Production and Assembly project. By allowing the visual simulation of the PCB production and assembly some of these issues can be detected before the order is placed, allowing for the correction of the supplied data.
Part definition – Definition of one or more identical components that need to be placed on the PCB. Usually just used as “part”. A part can be uniquely identified by its MPN. MPN – Manufacturer part number. The unique identification for a specific part, given by the manufacturer of the part. It is possible that multiple MPNs refer to the same part in case the MPN also includes an indication of the packaging of the part (e.g. on reel, tray or stick).
The PCBA Visualizer user interface consist of 2 tab pages, each representing a data set. The BOM tab page contains all functionality to edit and verify the part definitions from the BOM file. Logically the CPL tab page handles component positions from the CPL file. The first part of assembly data consists of the Bill Of Materials (BOM), a list of all the part definitions and which components they are used for.
BOM editor – reviewing parts
The purpose of the BOM tool is to identify and approve each part in the list. A part can have the following status:
Not identified, Identified but not approved, Identified and approved, Ignored…
The second part in the preparation of assembly data consists of the Component Placement List (CPL). This is also known as Parts list, Centroid file, XY file, Position file, Pick and Place file. This file specifies the exact position of each component on the board. A component is defined by its reference designator.
CPL editor – reviewing components
Eurocircuits component database holds component footprint information for all verified parts. These footprints are based on the IPC 7351standard. Using this information together with the board data allows checking whether the component will effectively fit on the board. The board is virtually assembled and possible errors can be detected.