Everything a PCB manufacturer should know before designing

23 Jan, 2022

By ren

With so much riding on the design and manufacture of Printed circuit boards, it's critical to get production up and running as quickly as possible. DFM principles enable manufacturers to preserve all design standards in a functional layout, regardless of the size of the PCB in issue, in PCB design engineers. When combining the components of a larger board into a smaller PCB, it might be challenging to put the pieces in position and avoid complications like acid traps and edge clearance challenges.

DFM aids in the prevention of these issues before the board is put into production. Certified manufacturers verify the design of a PCB fabrication using DFM engineering to guarantee that the measurements are adequate for the PCB's intended functions. They also look at the board's design to see if it will work in the conditions it was designed for. If the board is going to be used in equipment that creates a lot of heat, for example, the PCB designs will need to include components and protective devices that can survive the heat.

what design does manufacturing require?

Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a technique that allows manufacturers to assess a product's design in several areas to optimize its dimensions, materials, tolerances, and usefulness using the most cost-effective production methods.

Certified product contractors examine each new product concept in a variety of areas using DFM to determine the optimal dimensions, materials, and production procedures for the items in question.

DFM is used by manufacturers who want to cut costs while improving product quality. In the near term, DFM allows for the discovery of alternate production processes for things. For example, if a corporation just requires a small quantity of a product, setting up a costly, high-tech armory of forming equipment to make that limited-run item might be inefficient.

At the same time, that product may demand certain measures that would be difficult to produce without a traditional industrial arsenal. DFM assists producers in identifying cost-effective alternatives, such as heat-shaping techniques for parts that would otherwise require separate molding cavities.

DFM also assists manufacturers in making improvements to current designs. If a corporation has previously mass-produced a product and now intends to do it again, it can save money by reevaluating the original design and the techniques employed to turn it into a product. They can remove any of the previous phases in the process if they find them to be wasteful.

DFM purpose?

DFM was created to prevent once-common confusion between PCB designers and manufacturers. Due to mutual misconceptions, the two parties have frequently clashed in the last decades. In a typical case, a PCB designer would develop a product based on a set of measurements and a materials list. After that, the PCB manufacturer would give the blueprint and sketches to the manufacturer, who would then put the design into production. If any flaws in the design were discovered, the designer would delegate responsibility for fixing them to the producer.

The procedures that transpired following the design stage, including revisions, were the responsibility of the company, according to the designer. The problem is that while the manufacturer may not comprehend the complexities of the design process, they will recognize when particular specifications or materials are unrealistic or unattainable. In situations like these, projects have been known to be delayed due to last-minute design changes that are typically costly to the parties involved. Manufacturers have been known to hurry ideas into production despite faults and the danger of product problems and consumer unhappiness.

Specialists from all levels of the design, development, and manufacturing processes collaborate with DFM engineers at every stage. As products are built, tested, and given back for modifications, they form a combined team in which engineers from each department hear each other's input and comments in real-time. DFM helps firms save money and time by catching design faults early and correcting them before the manufacturing team begins production.

Outside of the manufacturing process, such as purchasers, vendors, and attorneys, are included in the product and development teams that use DFM. Companies will have spent a percentage of their entire manufacturing budget on completing a product's design, yet the design will decide the majority of the product's expenses. As a result, when a company commits to a product, it has a lot riding on it.

Thanks to the collaborative monitoring of engineers from each department involved in the process, organizations may minimize mistakes that could result in costly halts in production and wasted runs using DFM. DFM also assists producers in avoiding circumstances in which defective items are introduced to the public, resulting in unexpected problems, customer complaints, multiple lawsuits, and other public relations disasters that might harm a brand's reputation.


To determine the process, design, material, environment, and compliance of a specific product, DFM follows the processes below.

1. Process of manufacturing

The first step in DFM is to figure out which manufacturing techniques are appropriate for the product in issue. When producing a large amount of a product, the process should reflect the breadth of the production as well as the number of pressings scheduled for the run.

Consider criteria such as the product's size and the materials required for its creation when determining the ideal manufacturing technique for a certain product. Consider the processes that the product's surface necessitates, as well as if any additional actions are required beyond the basic assembly phases.

2. Design of the product

The next step in DFM is to look at the product's PCB layout and see if the specifications will work with the final product or if any adjustments need to be made before manufacturing begins. The goal of this stage is to fix any design flaws from the last run so that your manufacturing runs more smoothly and effectively this time.

If you're revising an existing design, ensure sure your changes adhere to basic design principles. Always consult your contract manufacturer before making any decisions in this area, since doing so will assist you to guarantee that your planned production follows the manufacturing guidelines for the product in question.

3. Material of the product

Another important part of DFM is determining which materials are required for the product. You'll need to consider a range of elements, such as the material's toughness, structure, and thermal qualities, based on the shape, volume, and intended usage of the product.

During this phase, you'll need to contact a contract manufacturer to ensure that the materials you've chosen fulfill the specifications for the project. If you have a specific material in mind, you'll want to know if it can endure heat and conduct electricity, as these characteristics may make or break a project.

4. Eventual Environment

Before you make your final decisions on the product's process, design, and material, you should look at the surroundings in which customers will use it. Once you've determined what type of effects this environment could have on the product's material and form, you'll need to decide which of the three DFM options will satisfy.

Consider how and where your product will be used by customers while designing for production. If you're creating a product that will be used outside all year, the materials must be able to resist a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. The design will need to support a range of settings if consumers will be attaching the product to other things.

5. Testing

The last stage of DFM is to establish if the design and materials for the product in issue will meet the safety and quality requirements of the various stakeholders. This can be determined by a third-party ISO-certified testing laboratory. The testing must be overseen by an impartial manufacturing analyst. Various organizations may have requirements that affect your ability to proceed with a design in its current condition.

Regulatory standards at the state, federal, or international levels, for example, may judge your product as dangerous in its current form.The product's design may even fail to fulfill your company's safety requirements.


You should seek the advice of an independent, skilled third party when it comes to design inspections like automatic optical inspection and compliance testing. DFM analysis is performed on PCB assembly design software and prototypes at Millennium Circuits Limited to discover flaws and other issues. Contact MCL now to find out how you can be assisted us with improving your PCBs before they go into production.


In conclusion, PCB engineering, DFM principles enable manufacturers to maintain all design criteria in a functional layout, regardless of the size of the PCB in question. Putting the parts in place and avoiding issues like acid traps and edge clearance challenges can be difficult when integrating the PCB components of a bigger board into a smaller PCB. Before the board is placed into production, DFM assists in the prevention of these difficulties.


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