PCB profitability with Design for Test (DFT)

Design for test/testing/testability. Design for manufacture. Design for assembly. Design for…well, you get the picture. There are a lot of “design for’s” to keep in mind. But they all boil down to one concept: design for profitability.

That’s especially important when considering PCB design for test (DFT). PCBs can be complex, and they’re expected to work without errors. Inspection and testing are essential to PCB manufacturing but can be time-consuming and costly.

How can you accommodate inspection and testing requirements and keep a product profitable? DFT to the rescue.

Planning ahead

DFT or design for test involves thinking ahead to consider what needs to be inspected and what needs to be tested on each board. This thinking ahead also covers how the inspection and testing is going to be done, including equipment, methodologies and timing. The result of all this thinking is an inspection and testing plan that’s uniquely tailored to the PCB.

If this seems like a potential waste of time, consider this: inadequate inspection and testing can mean low yields of good PCBs. And, poorly planned testing can add time and cost to a product’s introduction. The result in each case is a non-competitive product.

Planning creates competitive products in the long run since it keeps testing time and costs at a minimum. In case you’re not familiar with DFT, here are two articles that cover some basics:

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  • DFT Basics – An article from radio-electronics.com that explains key elements and guidelines in design for test.

PCB design and DFT at Caltronics

As a fully integrated operation with design, manufacturing and assembly, and inspection/testing all under one roof, there’s no disconnect at Caltronics between electronic design and inspection/testing. Our designers thoroughly understand the importance of inspection and testing. We consult closely with our clients on an inspection/testing plan to ensure the highest possible yields.

Our use of DFT principles means you can count on Caltronics to develop products that deliver high functionality at the lowest possible cost. And we help get your product to market quickly because our thorough, up-front planning creates a streamlined, cost-effective production process.

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