From CAD to PCB: The Data You Give Me and What I Actually Do With It

Judy Warner
|  Created: March 26, 2019  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

Gerry and Judy recording podcast

Gerry Partida, Director of Engineering at Summit Interconnect Technologies, a world class PCB Fabricator, is back to discuss your data package and what he actually does with it. Gerry began his career in the Printed Board industry in 1984 at Everett Charles Test Equipment and joined Optrotech/Orbotech in 1986. He was a member of the team that introduced CAM automation, net list compare, AOI Cad Reference to industry. His current position is focused on cutting edge high density interconnect, high speed digital, Flex/Rigid Flex and RF/microwave printed circuit board fabrication for the military and commercial industries. He is a certified IPC trainer, and a member of the IPC-6012 and IPC-6018 review committees. He is an excellent resource for a wide-range of PCB related topics. Listen to the discussion and learn how to produce an excellent data package which will save you time, money and increase your reliability.

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Show Highlights:

  • Data has to be modified for manufacturing
  • 60% of jobs go on hold due to questions on the documentation
  • What data is necessary for a boardshop? One set of Gerber Data for all the layers, legend, solder mask, all the circuit layers, all the drill files, and an IPCD 356 Netlist
  • Ensure formats and resolution of Gerber and drill file settings have the same resolution
  • What is unnecessary? Title blocks, crop marks; dots showing location on non-plated drill holes, zero sized apertures
  • Often the hole count doesn’t match the data received
  • The dimensions on drawings often do not match data
  • Verify the count and quantity
  • When last-minute updates must be sent to fabricator, send ONLY the file pertaining to that layer which the board shop can incorporate. Avoid sending an entirely new data set.  This will force the fabricator to verify all the data all over again.
  • Always consider the reliability of design: drill diameter, aspect ratio, annular ring, drill to copper, and environment product will go into
  • A fab drawing should not be an estimation but a quality tool used to verify that the board was built to all the requirements.

Links and Resources:

Summit Interconnect

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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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