Design for Excellence & IPC 2231
“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” –Brian Reed
It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about efforts to create an IPC Guideline document on Design for Excellence (DfX).1 Although there have been some changes for the better, there remains a lot that can be improved. Since IPC APEX Expo 2017 is quickly approaching and in light of last year’s abysmal US recall news,2 it seemed like a good time to check in on the progress of the DfX guideline.
Design for Excellence is an umbrella concept incorporating idea conception, design, manufacture, test, product lifecycle and product end of life. Designing for excellence has a powerful impact on product performance, safety3 and reliability; yet, it seems as if industry still focuses on reacting to problems rather than preventing them through better design. A good example comes from the automotive industry. Deloitte reported that “Many automakers still take a manual, rearview-mirror approach to vehicle quality and safety.” However, even Deloitte doesn’t recognize the value of prevention. Instead, they recommend “investing in predictive analytics capabilities that can help detect trouble earlier.” The problem extends beyond just the auto industry. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall highlights the pitfalls of poor DfX practices including reports of an overly aggressive design as well as failure to validate their own in house battery testing protocols.4 Severe issues like these impact the company’s reputation, finances and the customer as well. The figure below shows the breakdown of the one million phone failures in the US alone.
Recalls are just the severe tip of the iceberg. Look at the vast sums of money spent on high te ch warranty claims every year – almost $10 billion dollars in the US alone! Designing well pays big dividends in customer satisfaction and in real dollar terms.
Unfortunately, industry still seems to have a much easier time spending money fixing problems rather than preventing them through robust DfX practices.
The creation of an IPC DfX guideline was driven by the desire to connect members to the vast network of resources, standards, guidelines, and best practices developed across a wide range of industries. Because IPC members represent companies designing diverse products with vastly different needs, the decision was made to create a guideline rather than a standard containing absolute do/don’t requirements. Due to the broad focus, however, trying to create a guideline has been a challenge for the committee. The DfX committee also wants this
Recalls are just the severe tip of the iceberg. Look at the vast sums of money spent on high tech warranty claims every year – almost $10 billion dollars in the US alone! Designing well pays big dividends in customer satisfaction and in real dollar terms. Every rule and guideline provided lists the reasons behind them so that the reader can customize DFX checklists for their respective products and applications.
document to be unlike any other IPC document. The enhanced document will contain hyperlinks to take users directly to relevant documents, papers, and resources. As with all IPC standards committees, the DfX group is composed of a dedicated group of industry volunteers who put forth the time and effort to bring useful information together. However, according to co-chair Dock Brown, the DfX committee still needs members and input from small and medium enterprises in consumer, industrial and medical applications. The IPC 2231 DfX guideline has been written to provide designers and engineers at all levels of experience with an outline of the recommended processes and tool application associated with printed board assembly design. The goal of the document is to provide a framework around which to model the printed board assembly process that enables compliant, cost effective, and producible designs within program cost and schedule constraints. The scope of electronics hardware defined under the DfX Guideline is limited to features which influence manufacturability for bare printed board and electronic assemblies. The target audiences for the document are Design, Process and Quality engineers. Every rule and guideline provided lists the reasons behind them so that the reader can customize DFX checklists for their respective products and applications. Make your resolution this year to invest in DfX for your business by participating in the IPC DfX Guideline development effort! The IPC 2231 Standards committee, co-chaired by Karen McConnell & Dock Brown, will be meeting at IPC APX Expo on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to participate in the development process or simply to learn more. For those not able to attend, download a copy the February 2016 draft document of IPC-2231: Design for Excellence (DFX) Guideline during the Product Lifecycle. It’s currently available for industry review. Click on the link below for the draft or contact IPC Staff Liaison Nancy Jaster, NancyJaster@ipc. org, for further information. https://ipc.kavi.com/kws/public/workgroup? wg_abbrev=1-14
LINK TO IPC APEX EXPO COMMITTEE MEETING
- https://www.cpsc.gov/recalls, http://incompliancemag.com/topics/news/product-recalls
- https://www.cnet.com/news/samsunggalaxy-note-7-faulty-batteriesreportedly-tested-in-house/; http://
www.trustedreviews.com/news/is-thiswhat-caused-the-samsung-galaxynote-7-to-explode, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/06/samsung-galaxy-note-7-phones-caught-fire-because-of-theaggressive-battery-design-report.html, http://bgr.com/2016/12/05/galaxy-note-7-recall-engineers-investigation-samsung
Cheryl is a reliability engineering consultant with over 20 years of experience in electronics manufacturing focusing on failure analysis and reliability.