I have had many conversations with manufacturing people over the years regarding the various files that are created from design that are provided to them for the purposes of assembly and test. It is not unusual to hear about a file set consisting of Gerbers, Drill, IPC 356 Netlist, Centroid, BOM, Intelligent layout, various documentation files and other machine specific format files that continue to be created. Some users have told me that this manufacturing package can take the best part of a day to complete. Even with the existing tool set, a number of those files are not even used by anyone. Depending on the target software being used for tasks such as SMT programming, Test programming, Inspection programming, Stencil design and assembly documentation, a different combination of files will be used.
For example, the Gerber data may be used to fabricate the PCB, create the stencil and reverse engineered for programming one SMT machine. The documentation can be created for manufacturing by design is completely redone to reflect what is actually being used on the line instead of a nominal line configuration. Even though the intelligent layout data is used for programming another of the SMT vendor software, it is also used to program the test equipment too. Performing multiple data preparations with the same data is wasted effort, but doing that with different data sets for the same design is bound to cause inconsistencies.
ODB++ is the only proven intelligent format used in the industry that can be leveraged for both assembly and fabrication purposes. Please visit the ODB++ Solutions Alliance where you can review the capability that it delivers. www.odb-sa.com is the web site.
When ODB++ is used in conjunction with Valor MSS Process Preparation the whole flow from design to manufacturing can be streamlined. For further details on what can be achieved to cover SMT programming, Test programming, Stencil Design, Inspection Programming and Assembly Documentation through Valor MSS please use the following link:
I would be interested to hear from you about how many files are being delivered from design and how many applications are reading one or more of those files.