TeamPrinted circuit boards are the electronic brains behind just about every electronic technology we use today. In simple terms, they are used to create conductive pathways out of copper sheets to send signals and instructions to electronic devices. Each PCB layout is a unique, meticulously designed map to the electronic device and it is typically replicated for assembly line production. A PCB CAD Design expert is necessary to create the complex layouts for high performance PCBs.

Why Use CAD?

CAD, or computer-aided design software, is used in many engineering fields. The software allows engineers and designers to create complex renderings of buildings, industrial fittings, and of course, PCB layouts. In printed circuit boards, the layout is critical to the function of the electronic unit.

A PCB CAD Design typically starts with a simple schematic drawing, which is then connected to a PCB file. Engineers can design multiple board layers by first creating the component footprints and moving them into position. Next, CAD allows the designer to draw traces and connect the pins. The program will even highlight pins to be wired together.

The PCB CAD software also gives technicians the ability to build safer circuit boards. This is an important advantage considering most electronic equipment is very sensitive to electromagnetic discharge and interference. Technicians must adhere to safety compliance guidelines regarding electromagnetic interference and electrostatic discharge emissions when designing the PCB layout, and both can be controlled or eliminated with CAD software.

Technician Qualifications

Hiring a PCB CAD Design company to either design schematics and layout, or work with an existing schematic, is a tough choice. There are many companies all claiming to have experienced, qualified technicians. Interview several companies before making a selection; ask them what technologies they are proficient in. You should get a diverse and extensive list that includes experience with:

-High density interconnects

-High speed serial circuit design

-Digital circuit design

-Analog

-RF and Wireless

-Backplane systems

-Power supply systems

Qualified PCB CAD designers should also be Certified Interconnect Designers (the CID+ certification,) and/or have their IPC certification and similar training. These certifications demonstrate proficiency in layout planning, digital and analog PCB circuit design, printing, etching and plating, multilayer board design and soldering techniques.

R & D departments should demand experienced technicians with plenty of industry experience, but it is also necessary to match the design company with the manufacturing type. Find a design company adept at solving a wide variance of problems related to your specific industry, and who has a successful track record to prove it.

You can learn more about the qualifications of the PCB CAD Layout Designers of MJS Designs at www.mjsdesigns.com.