Design for Manufacturability or DFM for short, is the process of designing a product to enable the manufacturing process. It is used when fabricating PCBs to construct a product that is impeccable. Hence, when designing the PCB, the designer will concentrate on the aspects that will assist the manufacturer in creating a superior product. Various software even allow simulation of the PCB upon completion of the design.
Design for Manufacturability of Rigid Printed Circuit Boards
The following steps account for the DFM process:
- Selection of Raw Materials:
This process comprises selection of the base material, thickness of base material, determination of the size of the board and usable area, number of PCB layers, circuit layout, and current capacity of copper traces.
- Classifying Complexity Factors:
This process consists of determining plated and unplated hole tolerances, etching of traces, testing the above mentioned holes, and beveling the edge.
- Vias & Plating Material:
Here, we determine whether your design requires blind or buried holes, and the material to be used to plate the holes. This will also determine the quality of the connections.
- Selection of Solder Mask:
Application of solder mask is essential to the proper functioning of the PCB. It prevents the copper traces from oxidizing, and keeps it safe from moisture and dirt.
- Surface Mount Technology:
When integrating your components onto the PCB, it is important to decide on the several SMT features. For example, you need to decide on the metrics of the nuts, screws, washers, plated and unplated holes, etc.
Some guidelines can be followed to create a design that effectively communicates the requirements of the application. Printed Circuit Board (PCB) fabrication is greatly dependent on the design created. The fabrication process closely follows the design to mount components, create connections, and layer the Rigid Printed Circuit Boards. Hence, to be able to manufacture a flawless PCB, it is important to design it in adequate detail. DFM is the assimilation of the design and assembly phases, which helps in increasing the efficiency of the design and fabrication process.