Why IPC-2581 is the CAD Data Exchange Format of Today – and Tomorrow

April 2, 2018

The evolution from Gerber to Industry 4.0 is well on its way.

Fujitsu Network Communications, a telecommunications services and equipment supplier based in Richardson, TX, is a founding member of the IPC-2581 Consortium. We quickly saw the potential of IPC-2581 to not only streamline our existing fabrication and assembly processes, but to go beyond them to provide a coherent interface to our PLM and ERP systems and our downstream manufacturing processes. We were one of the pioneers of its early adoption. We have now had PCBs successfully fabricated using IPC-2581, ranging from complex optical interfaces with high SMT pin and layer counts, to largely through-hole and mechanical-based controller boards. All three of our regular fabricators are able to accept and fabricate successfully from IPC-2581.

The digital data transfer evolution at Fujitsu started with Gerber, as with so many others. We created our own script to generate each individual Gerber file per layer, generated the separate netlist file and any other drawing and/or text file required, and bundled everything into a package to give to our fabricators. Our fabricators in turn developed their own scripts to import our pack.

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