Optimized PCB Layout Design for American Product Manufacturer

About the Client – American Product Manufacturer

The client is a product manufacturer and global supplier of electrical, electronic, mechanical, and software solutions for diverse markets with a specialization on applications created for harsh environments. Established in 1971 and based in Wilmington, North Carolina, with state of the art facilities in the U.K., the client operates on a platform that supports the product lifecycle and has on-site capabilities to design, manufacture, validate, and distribute. Their focus on meeting evolving customer needs and requirements enables them to offer exceptional products and service.

Requirements for PCB Layout Designs

The client needed 3 unique Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout designs and signal integrity checks to support new product development. This required the capabilities of a CAD service provider who could provide unparalleled support and end-to-end solutions in the electronic circuit design domain.

The client found IndiaCADworks (ICW) during an online inquiry and chose our team as their CAD partner due to the following:

  • Ability to provide correct calculations and simulations for PCB designs through the use of specialist software tools to ensure strategic layout.
  • Ability to provide certified electrical engineers with experience in diverse industry control systems, interfaces, and power control to reduce the potential for design flaws.
  • Assurance of regulatory and compliance review to establish safety guidelines for the PCB design and alignment with industry standards.

Challenges Faced by ICW

ICW faced a few challenges throughout this PCB design layout project for the product manufacturing sector:

  • Initially, substantial time was spent understanding the placement requirements, which called for client discussion and communication, and an ICW-developed custom tracker to monitor changes.
  • Precision driven PCB layout guidelines needed to be reviewed, researched, and established with the client and coincide with industry standards.
  • Understanding the connector positions was time consuming due to the input quality and required resolution from the client.

Our Approach to This PCB Layout Design and Signal Integrity Check Project

ICW handled all challenges and proceeded with a process tailored to the complexity of the design and the need to meet compliance standards:

  • After a consultation between the client and ICW, a team of 3 of ICW’s most proficient electrical engineers were assigned to work exclusively on the assignment.
  • The client delivered schematics and the corresponding applications and function specifications, in addition to other reference files.
  • ICW began designing the PCB layout, including component selection and bill of materials with electronic design automation (EDA) tools.
  • Layout dimensions and template were created according to circuity, components were positioned, and heat sinks were decided upon.
  • ICW’s engineers designed the ideal PCB layer stack according to complexity and interactions with ground and power planes.
  • Line impedance was then evaluated and designed by dielectric layer thickness, taking into account trace separation for the differential signals.
  • The initial designs were then evaluated by a Senior Electrical Engineer, and submitted and received client approval.
  • ICW checked for PCB signal integrity by routing signal traces and checking for clearances and power connections using automatic software.
  • Design was optimized
  • Once this was completed a prototype was built and checked for function capabilities to ensure it was working correctly and safely.
  • The final 3 designs were sent to the client in Gerber files to streamline manufacturing, meeting the requested 4 month deadline.

Software Used During the Course of the Services

  • PADS

40% Cost Saving for the Client

This PCB design layout project was a success, concluding according to the client expectation and resulting in the following key takeaways:

  • The client obtained multiple types of expertise and skill sets from ICW to augment their internal capabilities and utilize for future endeavors.
  • The project generated a 40% cost savings for the client, which was further enhanced by the fast and deft coordination demonstrated between ICW, the client, and the end-client.
  • ICW was able to ensure that no information was lost or distorted during the process and will be working with the client on upcoming electrical schematic projects in the near future.

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