PCB MANUFACTURING Industry’s first “design WITH manufacturing” application launched
Altium and MacroFab, Inc. have announced that Altimade, the electronics industry’s first “design WITH manufacturing” application, is now available on the Altium 365 cloud platform. It is connected directly to MacroFab’s fully digital, elastic manufacturing platform, Altimade enables customers to request an instant quote and place an order to produce their PCB assembly without ever leaving their design environment.
While the electronics industry is known for producing very high-tech products, the process of getting a newly designed printed circuit board manufactured has remained stubbornly low-tech. Old-school communication methods, incompatible tools and data formats, and a lack of up-to-date supply chain information slow the process and lead to costly rework for both design engineers and their manufacturers. Altimade modernizes and accelerates the prototype manufacturing process by connecting design, manufacturing, and supply chain data and professionals on the Altium 365 cloud platform to provide an easy, convenient user experience.
“By integrating Altium’s cloud platform for PCB design with MacroFab’s modern, digital-first manufacturing platform, Altimade represents a huge step towards the digital transformation of the electronics industry,” said Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer of Altium. “We’re no longer designing FOR manufacturing as a separate activity, but designing WITH manufacturing in a collaborative environment.”
“Altium and MacroFab have modernized PCB design and manufacturing, by bringing them to digital-first, cloud platforms,” stated Misha Govshteyn, CEO at MacroFab. “Combining them truly redefines the PCB design to the manufacturing process and has the potential to accelerate product development and unlock enormous value for our customers.”
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS
What’s involved in the process of PCB design?
Using Altimade, Altium customers have access to continuously updated component and manufacturing prices and lead times at their fingertips and can place an order to produce their printed circuit boards directly within the design environment. All data required for manufacturing is shared via the secure, cloud-based Altium 365 platform, without file translations and exports. Orders are fulfilled by MacroFab’s network of manufacturers in a fraction of the time and effort compared with the traditional process of going from design to manufacture. Altimade creates, maintains, and displays a complete and continuous digital data trail that represents a true “golden record” for every step in the design, procurement, and manufacturing processes of a PCB. Any changes to the original bill of materials or design details automatically update the golden record.
Altimade helps customers achieve higher quality PCBs by maintaining a digital thread between the design intent and what is physically produced, leaving no room for errors from misinterpretation. In addition, Altimade helps engineers ensure manufacturability since the Altium Designer software runs design rule checking (DRC) to ensure the design meets MacroFab’s manufacturing specifications.
The MacroFab digital platform is used by supply chain teams to build everything from PCB assemblies to fully tested and packaged electronics products. MacroFab aggregates unused capacity at 75+ factories in the US, Canada, and Mexico to give mid-market companies an alternative to offshoring, where capacity is increasingly constrained and lead times are impacted by supply chain and freight disruptions. MacroFab turns its network of factories, logistics centers, and warehouses used in manufacturing into a cloud resource, driven by software and connected to Altium 365 through modern APIs.