One of the challenges for businesses in this global economy is finding a niche within the larger landscape to establish themselves as the best at delivering their product. This is not an easy task for industries that have many well-established entities. Yet, to survive and thrive in competitive electronic markets; such as semiconductors and medical devices, you must find a way to accomplish this feat. And a good reliable foundation is to adopt and be able to deliver copy exact manufacturing.
What Exactly is Copy Exact Manufacturing?
Some may not have heard the term copy exact used in reference to PCBA manufacturing. If not, this is likely because the term originated as a philosophy for building manufacturing facilities that created microchips for Intel®, which would replicate the established process to deliver the same products as the original factory. Subsequently, this philosophy has found a home in many aspects of electronics manufacturing. As a result, copy exact manufacturing may be defined as follows:
Copy exact manufacturing refers to the implementation of proven replicable activities and procedures to ensure the transition from design validation to production validation is the same for all manufacturing runs resulting in boards that meet the same quality standard.
As the above definition indicates, achieving copy exact manufacturing means that the processes utilized for the board build are replicated for each run reliably. Copy exact manufacturing allows manufacturers to ensure a smooth scale up from smaller to larger runs or switch from one CM to another without having to reinvent the wheel. Successful consistency requires that companies first optimize the PCBA development process and risk analysis plan.
How to Ensure Your Board Builds Meet Copy Exact Standards
Incorporating copy exact principles into a board and product development may be voluntary or required. For example, some semiconductor industry manufacturers have specific copy exact standards and training programs to ensure suppliers adhere to them. Typically, a central theme of these standards is traceability which seeks to open the supply chain for inspection at any point. At the heart of traceability is the documentation of all process aspects that may impact reliability, quality and efficiency.
As copy exact standards are not issued through a regulatory body or accepted standards organization, such as ISO or IPC, there is no industry requirement for them. However, it may prevent some from working with certain major electronics companies. There are attributes, as listed below, that are similar to requirements for industries that necessitate a critical PCBA capable CM, such as medical devices and aerospace.
The PCB Design Development Checklist
|Copy Exact Manufacturing Process Attributes|
|Qualified personnel||For a manufacturing process to meet the standards of a typical copy exact process, all appropriate personnel should be trained on the expectations and requirements.|
|Thorough documentation||A major key to executing a copy exact process is that every step, including the equipment used, is documented and verified to ensure the process adheres to the established standard.|
|Validated process||Copy exact manufacturing requires that the process be replicated “exactly.” Ideally, this means that once a process of record (POR) is validated, no changes will be made, which applies to the components, materials, design and manufacturing process.|
|Comparable equipment||In order to duplicate a process, the equipment used must be the same or similar and deliver the same results.|
As aforementioned, copy exact manufacturing indicates that the process has been verified, documented and produces acceptable results in terms of yield rate and board quality. If a change is required, it must be approved by the customer and justified through testing with specific benefits identified.
Although not required for many PCBA manufacturing projects, copy exact manufacturing does set forth a high standard that, if implemented, will result in a consistently high-quality, low-risk process that promotes fast bring up and scaling to high-volume production.
|Tempo’s Software-Driven Smart Factory Delivers the Industry’s Leading Custom Turnkey PCBA Manufacturing Services
At Tempo Automation, high quality is fundamental. This commitment is reflected throughout their software-based digital thread manufacturing process, which produces boards faster than anyone in the industry.
And to help companies get started on the best path, Tempo furnishes information for DFM checks and enables access to view and download DRC files easily. For Altium Designers or Cadence Allegro users, simply add these files to PCB design software. Finally, Tempo furnishes DRC information in different CAD formats and Excel for Mentor Pads or other design packages.