DESIGN SMALLER, SMARTER PRODUCTS
At NT CADCAM, we understand how frustrating it can be when your electrical and mechanical teams don’t communicate effectively.
As the pressure to deliver smarter, smaller products continues - so does the pressure on your design engineers to bridge the gap between slimmer mechanical design and more complex and powerful electronics.
It can create costly delays, sleepless nights and often leave you with a product that’s a poor compromise of that sleeker, slimmer design you originally had in mind.
That’s why we are very excited about a new software that takes all the guesswork out of ECAD-MCAD integration. By creating one unified design environment with SOLIDWORKS, your PCB designers so can now have ECAD-MCAD integration that is accurate, managed and fully in-sync with your design workflow.
Want to know more? Arjun Bingipur, Territory Technical Manager for SOLIDWORKS PCB, is holding a free webinar at 10.30am GMT Tuesday 13 June
to showcase the latest in ECAD-MCAD collaboration technology.
We caught up with Arjun to find out more:
What is the role of a PCB engineer?
In simple terms, a PCB Design Engineer designs printed circuit boards, which form the basic building blocks for any electronic product. Using various EDA tools, a PCB Design Engineer translates circuit design ideas into schematic drawings and takes it to the PCB layout environment. PCB design not only involves great understanding of the layout techniques but also appreciation of PCB manufacturing and assembly technologies which help to design better products.
What industries require a specialist PCB engineer?
PCB Design Engineers are employed in a very broad range of domains. If a particular industrial sector designs a product with any electronics in it, then a PCB Design Engineer will have to be employed to design the circuit boards. In this age of automation and smart technologies, we are finding electronic products are penetrating and influencing every aspect of our day-to-day lives.
What are the biggest design challenges facing PCB engineers at the moment and what are the solutions?
As we are trying to design smarter and smaller products, PCB Design Engineers are constantly being challenged to design circuit boards that have tighter mechanical constraints and less real estate area available for the actual part placement and trace routing. This brings in a unique opportunity to understand and optimise the best way to collaborate with cross-functional teams. During the product development process, successful collaboration is key to produce prototypes that closely represent the final product. The longer it takes to develop and test prototypes, the costlier it gets and the time to market is delayed causing lots of missed opportunities.
There is a huge gap in the PCB design process when it comes to electromechanical collaboration. Mechanical and Electrical domains have always been disconnected during most of the product design process with minimal synchronisation. With SOLIDWORKS ECAD solution, this gap is bridged with on-demand and real time ECAD/MCAD collaboration. By using this technology, designers won’t lose sleep over never ending communication issues, error prone data transfers and complex design changes. This solution drastically reduces the number of iterations the product has to go through, saving both time and money. This will result in a quicker and slicker time to market.
What question are you always asked about SOLIDWORKS PCB products?
Most people are surprised to know that SOLIDWORKS has a PCB design solution. But as soon as I start talking about the philosophy of SOLIDWORKS and the importance of integrating PCB design into the traditional mechanical design aspect of SOLIDWORKS, it suddenly makes sense to our prospects and customers. They’ve all been through the painful journey of working in disconnected electronic and mechanical domains. The intelligent collaboration SOLIDWORKS ECAD solution brings in is a massive value addition to their product development process.
What PCB design tools are out there and how is SOLIDWORKS PCB a differentiator?
There are numerous PCB design tools on the market catering to different end-user needs. At the lower end of the market segment we have Eagle, DipTrace, KiCad, CircuitStudio, etc. While at the higher end, we have Mentor Graphics Xpedition, Cadence Allegro, Zuken CR5000 / CR8000 and Altium Designer. SOLIDWORKS PCB is designed for the mainstream market segment. The unique feature and strength about SOLIDWORKS PCB is its ability to seamlessly communicate with SOLIDWORKS mechanical CAD. This is the gap SOLIDWORKS PCB is bridging when compared to other PCB design tools.
How is the role of PCB changing?
Electronic products are evolving rapidly because of innovation happening in the electronics landscape. There is a need for products to be smarter, smaller, lighter but rugged. As the product shrinks in size, the inside area available for the PCB also reduces. At the same time, there is a lot of functionality being constantly added. This means adding more circuitry and more electronic components. These are two mutually opposing and difficult scenarios during product development where PCB and Mechanical design engineers have to manage and adapt. There is an ever-increasing demand on unified ECAD-MCAD workflows where situations like these can be handled much more efficiently and productively. SOLIDWORKS ECAD solution was designed to address this complex electro-mechanical design process.
How can I sign up?
You can sign up for the webinar at 10.30am on Tuesday 13 June by registering at SOLIDWORKS PCB WEBINAR
Further reading: Designing for IoT or Industry 4.0