Mentor Graphics Corporation today announced its unique new product introduction (NPI) solution that seamlessly links printed circuit board (PCB) design and manufacturing operations to deliver the industry’s first integrated, automated flow for the design, fabrication, and assembly of PCBs. The Mentor Graphics® Valor® NPI software product helps the design- and product-level NPI engineer prepare and validate product models according to the manufacturer’s rule-set in the engineer’s native design tool. This ensures a perfect design for production, without requiring specialist manufacturing knowledge or expertise. This then enables the process-level NPI engineer to evaluate and create process toolkits with no manual data entry, so the manufacturer will have a “right-the-first-time” design to eliminate production errors.
As the market share leader in PCB computer-aided manufacturing, Mentor Graphics closes the gap between the designer and manufacturer. Now, the manufacturer can create and adjust the rules to meet manufacturing requirements that the designer can follow for a truly bi-directional, consistent, one-rule flow. Mentor Graphics lean NPI solution benefits NPI product and process engineers by reducing design re-spins, improving overall product quality, and shortening product delivery schedules.
“Sintecs provides a Lean NPI service to our leading electronics-OEM customers comprising full DFM analysis feedback to design, and maximum use of the intelligent ODB++ format as input to manufacturing," stated Maarten Tettero, consulting DFM/DFA engineer, Sintecs. "As a result, the PCBs go through the prototype stage into volume production much faster using Mentor Graphics Valor NPI technology.”
“We’ve experienced tremendous time and cost efficiencies using Mentor’s Lean NPI flow because it optimizes our productivity and inter-communications between NPI design and manufacturing process disciplines,” stated Nick Barbin, president and CEO, Optimum Design Associates. “Mentor’s new lean NPI flow provides a key competitive advantage for us by integrating and automating our design, fabrication, and assembly processes."
A New Level of NPI Integration for PCB Design-Through-Manufacturing
The lean NPI flow solution from Mentor Graphics provides a true PCB design-through-manufacturing solution by first preparing and verifying the final PCB product model definition, then delivering that product model through the manufacturing process definition, factory floor tooling, and documentation creation stages. The lean NPI flow leverages the ODB++ v8 open standard for intelligent design-to-manufacturing data transfer.
“Mentor Graphics is the PCB design and PCB CAM market share leader. Our depth of product and process modelling, coupled with the industry-accepted ODB++ standard, provide us with the technologies and services our customers require to deliver our automated lean NPI solution,” stated Dan Hoz, general manager of Mentor Graphics Valor Division. “Mentor’s new lean NPI flow enables PCB designers to design products and get them manufactured successfully, faster, and at lower cost. Designers benefit from DFM technology that is now more integrated into the design process than ever before, and manufacturers benefit by being able to deliver higher value to their customers’ design processes.”
The ODB++ Solutions Alliance (odb-sa.com), an open forum for implementers and developers of the ODB++ data format, has over 5,000 members and over 60 global partners to support and implement the ODB++ de-facto standard. To successfully implement a “Lean NPI” strategy, companies must support a distributed process that must be open and easily adaptable to third-parties. Hence, the ODB++ data format is well-accepted and widely used, compared to several formal standards that have not been widely adopted. For Mentor customers, the ODB++ file format within the lean NPI flow transports the product model into the process-NPI stage to fully automate design-through-manufacturing processes for a seamless flow.
Mentor Graphics “Lean NPI” Solution Features and Benefits
• Release by designers of a single-file ODB++ (v8) product model that requires no manipulation by manufacturers enhances product control and quality assurance across dispersed prototype and volume manufacturing supply chains.
• Inclusion of “virtual documentation” in the product-model coming from the product-NPI phase of the lean NPI flow eliminates the need for manual entry of product data at the process-NPI stage from drawings and “side-files”. This saves time, reduces cost, accelerates the NPI process and reduces the risk of human error in the NPI process.
• Full DFM validation of a product-design at the design-level, based on manufacturing process-constraints received from the manufacturers. This minimizes manufacturing-driven design revision-spins and delays in NPI.
The lean NPI flow from Mentor Graphics is available today and is comprised of the Mentor® Xpedition™ platform, the Valor NPI and Valor Process Preparation products, and the Valor Parts Library, to create the industry’s most complete, highest-performance, and best practice lean NPI flow. The lean NPI flow also optimally supports Frontline PCB fabrication tools and several ODB++-compatible third-party tools. Since the lean NPI solution is configured to the customer’s specific requirements, such as multiple sites or users, and third-party tools support, contact a Mentor Graphics sales representative at 1-800-547-3000 for consulting and pricing.
(Mentor Graphics, Mentor and Valor are registered trademarks and Xpedition is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.)
About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (mentor.com) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the worlds most successful electronic, semiconductor and systems companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues in the last fiscal year in excess of $1.15 billion. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.