Did you miss PCB West 2021?

December 10, 2021

With the pandemic showing no signs on ending anytime soon, attendance at PCB West was less than usual, to say the least. Those that attended in person felt really good to reconnect, network and more importantly learn about new products, processes and opportunities to partner, and were typically key decision-makers.

Our IPC-2581 Consortium is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of collaboration, partnership and innovation within the PCB design and supply chain industry. IPC-2581 is completely tool and solution agnostic, being the only open, global, intelligent, bi-directional standard for collaboration and interoperability between the design house with manufacturing partners.

The IPC-2581 Consortium presented a paper and a workshop at PCB West, which focused on secure design data exchange between the design house and its manufacturing partners. Two fundamental issues of PCB design have remained unresolved for too long. Firstly, there is the issue of the security of design data as it is passed to manufacturing, where there have been instances of tampering, with the intent to introduce vulnerabilities into products. Secondly, as the technology of inspection and testing of assembled PCBs evolves, detailed design data is needed to facilitate advanced functionality in automated manufacturing processes, as well as reduce the programming and preparation time. For the first time, both issues are being addressed in one solution, with a combination of standards from IPC, creating the full-digital secure design and manufacturing data exchange.

In the paper presentation, we discussed issues around design data management and security, with a focus on how design data, in the form of IPC-2581 (DPMX), is transferred from design, securely across the internet, directly into manufacturing, using IPC-CFX. Once processed by digital manufacturing engineering tools to resolve production BOM and line assignments, the same IPC-2581 file is sent directly to the machines, together with work-instructions ready for advanced program optimization by the machine vendor in the minimum time. We also look at the reverse flow for DFx, using the same secure mechanism, that allows designers to understand the potential for design improvement based on actual manufacturing capabilities.

In addition to the paper, the IPC-2581 Consortium developed and rolled out a 2-hour workshop to educate attendees about:

  • A brief overview of IPC-2581, particularly about revision C
  • How to generate IPC-2581 from PCB Design software, including the various function modes
  • What’s new in revision C – high level
  • Why use IPC-2581 – benefits to design houses and to manufacturing houses
  • Who supports IPC-2581?
  • The IPC-2581 journey and who can help you along the way?

If you missed the PCB West conference but would like to learn more about the two topics, feel free to reach out to us. Send us an email at moc.11643441519852cp1643441519i@ofn1643441519i1643441519 requesting more information.

Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date on progress our members are making on an ongoing basis. Visit www.ipc2581.com to look at who our corporate members are, and which software companies support the standard today.

Finally, please sign up to receive occasional emails from us detailing our ongoing progress and how our members are using the standard.