Is one engineer capable of coping with a variety of challenges and disciplines?

Design errors, included?

Is one engineer capable of coping with a variety of challenges and disciplines?

 

Can an electronic design be made perfect, taking into account the complexity of constrains, legal demands and scattered production processes?

 

To answer these questions we have to see how the designer’s world nowadays looks like. It’s true, he has a number of applications available that wil help him make his design. But which application to use when he is searching for the problem that makes his design fail.  Or maybe more interesting: how should he spend his valuable time?

 

What if there was an application where the engineer and his colleagues could share the engineering experience, find ways to analyze their designs and/or be pointed into the right direction?

 

Before answering this question, we first take a look at the design cycle: from idea to product.

 

The marketing department has an idea and needs a prototype. The engineer starts working on it and it appears to be a success. So now the questions raises: “When can you deliver? And of course, the product needs to meet all the necessary legal certificates”.

 

Now the real challenge starts for the engineer, as time to market becomes current. The product needs to fulfill safety regulations and meet the radiation norms. The design time for the engineer has become limited and an infinite number of specifications have been added to the design.

 

Let’s review three major aspects here: Functional; DFM (Design for Manufacturing); EMC (Electrical Magnetic Compatibility)

 

Functional

The marketing department just adds one feature and the engineer starts redesigning.  Given today’s simulation tools he will succeed implementing the requested changes. However, this redesign will cost him most of his valuable time of the time to market window.

 

DFM

The production department doesn’t want any failures in the assembled products during the final test, or even the biggest nightmare: “a product recall”. In many cases this is a task for the layout engineer. But when it becomes an engineers task the manager typically forgets about the knowledge of component mountebilety, solderebilety, tolerance, etc. in relation with the production techniques. Knowledge of DFM is needed here.

 

EMC

Meeting the safety and radiation norms. You all know about the black box. Today’s approach: the product goes through several design cycles with measurements in each phase. If the design is not correct, and the engineer cannot find the problem, he will send it to the expert who will fix it against additional costs and increasing time to market.

 

So, again my question: “What if there was an application where the engineer and his colleagues could share the engineering experience and find ways to analyze their designs and/or be pointed into the right direction?”

 

The expert mentioned at EMC, looks at the design and reviews the  things related to current loops, power distribution and critical signals. And then he starts to do his ‘magical things’. But actually most of what the expert does is routine, which the engineer could easily do him/herself.

 

So I ask you engineers: “Is this the way you want to deal with your design challenges?” If I had only known! I would have....

 

Yes, you're lucky. There is such an application and it’s called Hyperlynx DRC. Find out in in the coming newsletters why I believe that HyperLynx DRC is the perfect analyzing application for you.

 

Laury Watervoort

Senior Application Engineer at InnoFour