Tip #2 – A CM with an Engineering Team that offers manufacturability recommendations

Christi Beck-Levicki Blog

Our continued blog series with advice on how to avoid an only-following-instructions type electronic Contract Manufacturer, and leveraging a successful partnership with a transparent and proactive electronic contract manufacturer.

In last week’s blog post “Make Sure Your CM Reviews Your Documentation Package” we offered the first tip in how to avoid landing another only-following-instructions type CM. Here’s our second tip:

An Engineering Team that can (and does!) offer manufacturability recommendations

As mentioned in a previous post, PCA designs can be very complex. Even with simpler designs, items can often get overlooked or neglected in the design process. Maybe your engineer made a last minute change to a component and forgot to update the pad size due to time constraints. A CM who will identify that incorrect pad size and offer the suggested change prior to production is preferred. Catching a design discrepancy before production is key to help save time, money, and resources.

As part of Lectronics pre-release manufacturing reviews, we often find minor manufacturability concerns with new product designs. A recent review that we performed on a customer’s commercial vehicle diagnostic tool, included recommending that alterations be made to the Cu balance and asymmetrical trace layouts in the solder pads for specific components in order to avoid any tombstoning issues. In this specific instance, our recommendation to the customer was to consider adding thermal reliefs around solder pads located in Cu-flooded areas and/or re-route traces exiting the solder pads to be symmetric about the center-line of the component body length. These changes will allow for a more consistent heating and cooling rate of the solder joints across the component, thus eliminating residual stress in the solder joints and rotation of the components. Instead of flagging this during production and producing defects, our Engineering Team enhanced the manufacturability of this product prior to manufacturing saving time and money while simultaneously improving quality.

Tip 2 image

Sample DFM Report highlighting the Copper imbalance and assymetrical trace layouts referenced in the example above

It’s paramount that your CM not only bring any manufacturability concerns to light, but also share specific and reasonable solutions to fix the situation. Offering manufacturability reviews enhances the quality of your end-product, and also illustrates a sincere commitment from your electronic Contract Manufacturer that they are truly vested in the success of your product, and your business partnership.