Siemens introduced PCBflow, an innovative cloud-based software solution which bridges the gap between the electronics design and manufacturing ecosystems. It extends the company’s Xcelerator portfolio with a secure environment for printed circuit board (PCB) design teams to interact with a variety of manufacturers, and by rapidly performing a range of design-for-manufacturing (DFM) analyses in the context of each manufacturers’ process capabilities, which helps customers accelerate design-to-production handoff.
Powered by the Valor NPI software engine, which performs over 1000 DFM checks,
PCBflow enables PCB design teams to rapidly identify manufacturability violations. These violations are then sorted and prioritized according to level of severity, guiding users through images and locations on the design for easy identification and immediate correction.
The cloud-based software is the company’s first step toward PCB assembly online solutions which automate the design-to-manufacturing handoff process. With a leading position across the design-to-manufacturing flow, Siemens is the first company to offer a marketplace featuring online, fully automated DFM analysis technology, which can help optimize designs, reduce front-end engineering cycles, and streamline designer/manufacturer communication.
“PCBflow is the ultimate product-design tool, because it supports comprehensive designer/manufacturer collaboration with a closed-loop feedback mechanism that drives continuous improvement,” said Dan Hoz, general manager, Valor Division, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Because customer designs are in sync with the fab’s capabilities, respins can be reduced, time-to-market can be shortened, board quality can be optimized, and yield can be enhanced.”
For manufacturers, PCBflow helps simplify customer onboarding processes and provides designers with a comprehensive source of knowledge, which can streamline customer/manufacturer collaboration. And thanks to manufacturers’ capabilities being shared electronically, lengthy phone calls and email exchanges can be reduced, helping enable real-time customer communication to focus more on strategic, high-value discussion.
“PCBflow saves time and costs in the design-to-manufacturing handoff process by addressing manufacturability violations during the design phase,” said Evgeny Makhline, chief technology officer for Nistec, a customer. “With PCBflow, producing and reviewing a DFM analysis report takes just minutes instead of hours.”
As a software as a service (SaaS) technology, PCBflow incorporates the strict security standards of Siemens’ software, reducing risk and protecting intellectual property (IP) with no additional IT investment.
The software works with the Mendix low-code application development platform. The platform provides the ability to build multi-experience apps and share data from any location, on any device, on any cloud or platform, to quickly realize the benefits of digital transformation.
Engineered for ease-of-use, PCBflow requires neither training nor prerequisites, and it is accessible from virtually any location, including mobile phones and tablets. Additionally, it provides designers with images, tool-tips, measurements and precise locations of solderability issues and other PCB design violations. Reports are available online and in a downloadable PDF format for easy sharing. PCBflow supports the ODB++ language design file format and support for additional formats is planned in 2021.
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