PCB layout design is not rocket science, but it does take time to do right. By taking the time to review your designs before you create your layouts, you can resolve issues early enough to lower costs and production time. This is not some new age idea either, but the time honored idea of doing things the right way the first time so you do not have to do them over and over.
In order to understand what a good PCB library administrator can do for you, you need to know what they can't do, as well. The primary features are time savings, and guaranteed accuracy. If you're a smaller shop or freelancer, saving time by paying a librarian may not be in your best interest. If you're with a service bureau juggling multiple designs, outsourcing parts for creation saves you time and money.
PCB libraries are supposed to help you do this, but the wrong library setup can turn the PCB layout process into a sponge that absorbs your R&D time and resources. Good PCB library administration can prevent your great board designs from becoming nightmares, but what is PCB library administration?
PCB library administration transforms your parts libraries into the useful tools they were meant to be.
Part libraries are the single biggest source of problems with PCB layout. They should be simple schematic inventories of all the possible components that go into your products, but keeping them that way takes time and effort that might otherwise go into developing those products.
For instance, your library needs verified and up-to-date schematic parts symbols and footprints set to industry standards to prevent defective parts from entering the production lines. Some of these defects reveal themselves through visual inspection, but others will only appear after some hair pulling and a few hours on the lab bench. Using industry standards also helps everyone understand what needs to be done to increase the speed and efficiency of your production phase. If your project needs specialized parts, a well-managed library will also provide details information on how they will interact with the other components in your PCB layout.
PCB library administration makes sure your parts library meets all industry and governmental regulatory standards as well as your own business needs. Library management services remove the burden and hassle of this library management so your company can get back to its core business by giving you access a pre-made database of industry standard parts and components.
You may not always have time to maintain your library and keep them up to date with new component parts, schematic symbols, footprints, and possible 3D representations due to constant market pressures and customer demand. PCB library administration services handle these tasks for you speeding up your library in the process.
PCB library administration ensures your parts symbols and footprints are built to industry standards and your own specifications, ensuring optimal mechanical and electrical performance of the components and the board.
Statement: This post is only the personal view of the author and does not represent the opinions of ALLPCB.com.