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Lean NPI solution integrates PCB design, manufacturing

27 Mar 2014

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Mentor Graphics Corporation announced its new product introduction (NPI) solution that seamlessly links 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. This Lean NPI solution benefits NPI product and process engineers by reducing design re-spins, improving overall product quality and shortening product delivery schedules.

Mentor Graphics' lean NPI flow solution provides a 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.

The ODB++ Solutions Alliance (, 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.

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