Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is an end-to-end process that provides the necessary tools and a verifiable reference for quality compliance at every step of the manufacturing chain. The CAM process serves a dual purpose: First and foremost it guarantees the integrity of customer supplied data during the PCB manufacturing process. Second, it enables us to convert the customer’s original Gerber data into the manufacturing tools needed on the production floor.
We ensure that your flexible circuit board matches the artwork you give us by extracting a netlist from your Gerber files “as received” and comparing it to the supplied netlist (if available). Any discrepancies are discussed with the customer to ensure that we are starting with the complete and correct reference files. The netlist will be extracted again as the very last step of the CAM process and compared to the original netlist, to ensure that that there are no discrepancies between the “as received” and “as produced” data lists. The electrical test files are also based on the original Gerber extracted netlist.
Design Rule Check
Migrating your data from the original artwork to the PCB manufacturing environment is a complex process. While most of the required steps are highly automated, it is still a human-intensive procedure that requires skill, care and attention to detail. The process starts with a thorough Design Rule Check (DRC) which allows us to identify and resolve manufacturability issues before we ever start building the product. All DRC discrepancies are reviewed and resolved with the customer prior to making any alterations to the artwork and before the manufacturing process can continue.
Once the artwork clears the DRC process, product data moves through several additional steps to create the PCB manufacturing tools needed by the shop:
- Improve productivity by optimizing the number and orientation of images on a manufacturing panel.
- Add necessary manufacturing and process control tools which are located on the panel but outside the flexible PCB image such as targets, fiducials, cross-sectioning coupons and controlled impedance coupons.
- Output Gerber files to our photoplotter for our imaging processes, drill files and outline (routing) files for the mechanical processes, and laser equipment and netlist files for electrical test.