FLO/PCB Software Saves 4-6 Week PCB Re-Spin Print E-mail
User Rating: / 0
Written by Robin Norvell   
Monday, 05 June 2006 04:57
Anritsu Co. has reduced the time to develop communications test solutions 4 to 6 weeks, eliminating a PCB re-spin by modeling thermal management at the board and systems level during the early design process. In the past, Anritsu engineers were not able to address thermal issues at the board level until the prototype stage when physical testing was performed. “Now we use Flomerics’ FLO/PCB software to optimize component placement before prototyping,” said Teresa Whiting, Mechanical Design Engineer for Anritsu. “The result is that no additional prototypes have been required for thermal reasons since this method has been used.”

Anritsu has modeled the thermal performance of its products for a number of years but in the past thermal simulation was not fast enough to keep up with the rapid pace at which the company designs PCBs. So, thermal design had to wait until the prototype was built and mechanical engineers created thermal photographs and measured temperatures of the boards. At the same time engineers also modeled the product at the systems level with Flomerics’ Flotherm software. Typically, the simulation identified hot spots or other problems on boards. Engineers then went back and repositioned components, rerouted traces, and built a new prototype. The extra board spin added directly to the time required to bring the product to market.
About a year ago, Anritsu became one of the first users of FLO/PCB, a software package that makes it practical to perform thermal modeling during PCB design. Electronic engineers now provide mechanical engineers with placement information and data sheets on key components of the PCB. The mechanical engineers then quickly model the board and simulate its performance under standard airflow and temperature conditions. They often reposition components at this stage or add a heat sink and, when they are satisfied, then plug the FLO/PCB model into a Flotherm system model, which usually already exists, and determine the thermal performance of the board under actual conditions.
“Modeling PCBs during the design stage makes it possible to get the board design right from a thermal standpoint every time,” Whiting said. “This has eliminated the need for a second thermal prototype and saved us 4 to 6 weeks in bringing every product to market. In a typical example, FLO/PCB showed us that junction temperatures were too high on a couple of voltage regulators. The system level simulation showed us exactly where we needed to reposition the boards to get enough airflow. We provided that information back to the EEs designing the board, so they were able to get the layout right the first time.”
Flomerics, www.flopcb.com



Eastern-US: China’s New Competitor?

Parity emerges among EMS Factories from Asia, Mexico and the US.

For the first time in years we see parity in the Eastern US among EMS factories from Asia, Mexico and the US. This EMS market condition will permit American OEMs (the EMS industry refers to OEMs as customers) to have more EMS pathways to choose from. Now more than ever, such EMS assignments will require deeper investigation relating to the OEMs’ evaluation of manufacturing strategies.

The Human Touch

For those who count on the electronics industry for big feats, it’s been a remarkable couple of years.



Advances in Concentration Monitoring and Closed-Loop Control

Contaminated bath water skews refractive index results. New technology can accurately measure aqueous cleaning agent concentration.

Circuits Disassembly: Materials Characterization and Failure Analysis

A systematic approach to nonconventional methods of encapsulant removal.





CB Login



English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish


Yincae Rolls Out ACP120 Solderable Coating
ACP 120 series anti-oxidation solderable coatings replace nanofilm gold. Are for anti-corrosion and anti-rusting on solderable surfaces on which solder paste, solder preform or a solder ball can be...