NEMI project closes in on single standard for data exchange

Recommendations for a single standard to be used in the exchange of CAD/CAM data for PCB fabrication and assembly are being presented publicly for the first time this week.

Recommendations for a single standard to be used in the exchange of CAD/CAM data for printed circuit board fabrication and assembly are being presented publicly for the first time at the APEX conference in San Diego this week.

The proposed solution uses Valor Computerised System’s ODB++ data format as a starting point and integrates strengths of the IPC GenCAM specifications to create a ‘converged’ standard format that will be in the public domain.

This recommendation is the result of a year-long industry effort, co-ordinated by the US National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative’s (NEMI’s) Data Exchange Convergence Project, and involved approximately 40 companies that broadly represent the electronics manufacturing supply chain.

By consolidating existing CAD/CAM exchange formats and standards, the group intends to promote the development of software solutions built on a single exchange format that can be widely adopted in a timely manner. The resulting specifications will define formats for the interchange of design, manufacturing, test, fixture and inspection information.

‘This project involved companies from all relevant segments of the electronics manufacturing supply chain,’ said Jim McElroy, executive director and CEO of NEMI. ‘We received input from all of the top five EMS providers, most of the solutions providers active in this area, many of the top OEMs, plus numerous PWB fabricators. Their efforts leveraged the substantial body of work already within the GenCAM (IPC-2510) and ODB++ exchange specifications to create a data exchange solution that will enable the electronics manufacturing industry to reliably and efficiently exchange CAD/CAM data in today’s distributed environment,’ he concluded.

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