admin's blog

The latest version V13.1 of our software PCB-Investigator is now available for you!

Also this release offers you a large variety of new features, upgrades and improvements. And since we have always been focussing on you as our customer, all innovations and modifications are driven by your individual wishes or requests. For us, customer-oriented software development includes maintaining the easiest possible operability, so that you can easily incorporate all new features into your daily work as quickly as possible!

What you can expect from the V13.1:

  1. PCB-Investigator
    • Completely reworked „Measure“ dialog
      • Including „Dock to Point“
      • Including „Dock to Edge“
    • Bugfix in „Area Calculation“
    • Improvements at „Transform Dialog“
    • Improvements at „Package Editor“
    • Bugfix Dongle Recognition (x86)
    • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements

  2. Importer/Exporter
    • Cadance Allegro FABmaster Importer
      • New
    • CCZ Importer
      • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements
    • DPF Importer
      • Minor Bugfixes
    • DXF Importer / Exporter
      • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements
      • Dimensions are imported
    • Excellon2 Exporter
      • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements (e.g. Step&Repeat)
    • Fabmaster Importer
      • Minor Bugfixes
    • Gerber Importer
      • Minor Bugfixes („MI“ Command & Panel)
    • IPC356 Importer/Exporter
      • Arcs are exported
      • Profile is exported
      • Panels are exported
      • MidNetPoint information is set
    • QD Exporter
      • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements
    • Viscom Exporter (AOI, AXI, SPI)
      • vVision (V4) & SI data export

  3. Analysis
    • Bare Board Analysis (DRC):
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • DFM Paste Check
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes

  4. Others
    • DFT Preparation:
      • New Elowerk Export
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • Dimensioning
      • Create dimensions for current selection
    • Extended Design Report
      • Minor Bugfixes & Improvements
      • “Critical” markings for GraphicalBoardCompare
    • Panel Builder
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • Stencil Generator
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the latest release.

The latest version V13 of our software PCB-Investigator is now available for you!

Also this year's release offers you a large variety of new features, upgrades and improvements. And since we have always been focussing on you as our customer, all innovations and modifications are driven by your individual wishes or requests. For us, customer-oriented software development includes maintaining the easiest possible operability, so that you can easily incorporate all new features into your daily work as quickly as possible!

What you can expect from the V13:

  1. PCB-Investigator
    • New license handling
    • New SOD license Server
    • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • MPN Package support (real component outlines can be overlayed)
    • API Extensions
    • Support for Polarity Markers
    • Improved “Bottom View”

  2. PCB-Investigator Physics
    • Copy/Paste in Chronology Timeline
    • Possibility to ignore certain Pins

  3. PCB-Investigator 365 Cloud
    • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • New Functions:
      • Master Check-In
      • Un-Freeze
      • Copy Design
      • Delete Design
      • Paste Design Link
      • Notification Settings
    • Login via Microsoft Azure possible

  4. Importer/Exporter
    • CamCAD CCZ Importer
      • New
    • Fabmaster Importer
      • New
    • GDSII Importer
      • New
    • IPC 2581 Exporter
      • New
    • MPN Package Importer
      • New
      • Supports Mycronic libraries
      • Supports ASM Siplace OIB interface
    • CNC Exporter (Excellon, Sieb&Meyer)
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • Component Attribute Importer
      • Variant handling
    • DPF Importer
      • Bug fixes
    • DXF Importer
      • Bug fixes
      • Dimensions support
    • EAGLE Importer
      • Bug fixes
      • Support for “polygonshapes”
    • GenCAD Importer/Exporter
      • Bug fixes
    • IDF Importer/Exporter
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • IPC 2581 Importer
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • MPN Packages Import
    • IPC356 Importer/Exporter
      • Completely reworked
      • Support for panels, adjacency records, outlines, tracks
    • ODB++ Importer/Exporter
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • Improved netlist creation
      • Matrix drill start/end corrections
    • PDF Importer
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • QD Exporter
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • Step file Exporter
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes

  5. Analysis
    • Possibility to load/save the last analysis result and mark violations as ‘critical’ in…
      • AOI Analysis
      • Bare Board Analysis (DRC) (already existed before)
      • Component Analysis
      • DFM Analysis
      • Hazard Analysis
      • Tombstone Analysis
    • Bare Board Analysis (DRC):
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • New check “Via in Pad”
      • New check “Distance to Bord Outline” for signal and silkscreen layers
      • New check “Max. Reference Distance” for silkscreen layers
      • New check “Via Stubs”
      • Improved Stub analysis
    • Component Analysis
      • Completely reworked “Component Distance Analysis”
        • Distance Outline 2 Outline
        • Distance Pad to Outline
        • Distance Pad to Pad
        • Distance Outline to Board Outline
      • New “Component Placement Analysis” to check if the MPN Package fits to the CAD Package
    • DFM Analysis
      • Improved “Selective Soldering” Analysis
      • Improved “Panelization” Analysis
        • New “Board to Board” check
        • New “Component to Board” check
        • New “Component to Component” check
      • New “Testpoint” Analysis
      • New “Solder Paste” Analysis
      • New “Trace under Component” Analysis
    • Dielectric Strength Analysis
      • New analysis for dielectric strength testing
    • Hazard Analysis
      • Bug fixes
    • Impedance Analysis
      • Bug fixes
    • Tombstone Analysis
      • Completely reworked UI

  6. Others
    • 3D View
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • Step Download from EasyLogix Part Library (EPL)
    • Add Components
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • BOM Expert
      • New Plugin to import Approved Vendor Lists (AVL)
      • Included Library Matcher to get all available component information
      • Support for EasyLogix Part Library (EPL)
      • Checks if MPN Package fits to the CAD Package
    • Database Compare
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • DFT Preparation:
      • New Spea Export
      • New options „Not in BOM” and “Omit in Output” for components
      • Needle Size Optimizer
      • Netlink function
      • Many improvements and bug fixes
      • DFT Session Viewer in PCBI main window
    • Dimensioning
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • Extended API
      • Text Rotation possible
    • Extended Design Report
      • Completely reworked
      • Can export last analysis result of all Analysis Plugins (optional: ‘only critical’)
    • Graphic Board Compare
      • Minor Bug fixes
      • Can be included in the Extended Design Report
    • Library Manager
      • Improved Part/Package/Symbol Library Manager
      • Supports local/XML/365 Cloud libraries
    • Marker List
      • New
      • Tool for defining/editing markers (fiducials, bad markers, tooling holes)
    • Panel Builder
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
      • Bug fixes when using “Nesting”
    • Script Engine
      • Minor improvements and bug fixes
    • Stencil Generator
      • New
      • Automatic rule-based stencil generation

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the latest release.

Hot Surface!














1) Introduction

For a battery-powered Motor, the DC battery current must be converted into alternating current (AC). In a compact manner, the conversion takes place on a printed circuit board with transistors, a control and monitoring processor (gate driver) adapted to the tasks and other sensor components. However, the power supply is not possible without losses, which heat up the assembly. The temperature does not only depend on the current, but this is one of the decisive factors.

In order not to have to take into account the electro technical details of the discharge process, the stand-by operation and the characteristic curves of the components [1], we simplify the examination and try to generate a temperature calculation only from the VM-GND circuit (see. Fig. 1) by numerical simulation.
For this purpose, PCB-Investigator Physics from EasyLogix is used.

Starting with CAD files in ODB++ format, it automatically shows a 3D model of the assembly, which must subsequently be provided with electrical and physical parameters, e.g., the material properties, currents and power dissipates.

Fig. 1: Block diagram of a battery-operated motor. Source: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS [1].



2) TI Sample Board

As an example, the 3-phase gate driver evaluation board BOOSTXL-DRV8304H from Texas INSTRUMENTS is used [2]. The board is 56 mm x 61 mm in size and has 4 signal layers (Fig. 2). The three discrete MOSFETS allow high power consumption and generate a lot of heat under these circumstances.

Fig. 2. Photograph of the BOOSTXL-DRV8304H by TI [2] (left) and PCB-Investigator model (right)


The top layer of the assembly is shown in Fig. 3. In this article, only the yellow bordered area is of interest, not least because of the striking label "Hot Surface". How much °C and how many amperes "hot" mean is not further described in [2]. That's why we want to find out whether it can really be so, with meaningful assumptions from the technical documentation [3]. "J1" is the connector ("Power"), that operates the power supply via VM+ / GND-.

Fig.3: Top layer of the TI evaluation board of DRV8304H, labeled with "Hot Surface". Left: Technical documentation of TI [3], Right: PCB-Investigator ODB++ import.



3) Modelling

The geometric construction of the layers, prepregs and drills is done automatically from the ODB++ files. The physical circumstances (materials, environmental conditions, etc.) and electrical relationships (path of the current) are input variables.


3.1 Current path

PCB-Investigator Physics specializes in temperature calculation, based on the currents in the conductors and the power dissipation in the components. It is none and does not require circuit simulation a la SPICE. This allows great freedom in modeling, requires fewer input data and it is much faster. There are 2 ways to bring the electric heating into the model

Method 1: (Only) in the networks of interest, sources and sinks in the pads of the components define sectioned starting and stopping points for the current path.

Method 2: Components can be defined as current permeable and connect the sectioned starting and stopping points of the current path by so called pin-bridges.


3.2 Components

Again, there are 2 possibilities for heating.

Method 1: Direct input of power dissipation.

Method 2: If the component is used as a bridge between networks, the power can be implicitly defined via the electrical resistance of the component.



4) Model and results

The layer structure, traces and drills are imported from the ODB++ files and could even be modified afterwards in PCB-Investigator.

Fig. 4: Layer structure of the test board


The part of the circuit under discussion in this article is the path VM+ → GND- from connector J1, through the components U1, U2, U5 and R15, R29 and R33 and back (Fig. 5). We deliberately select a high RMS value of 30 A as the power requirement. As an electrical resistance of the U1, U2 and U3 we assume RDSON = 8 mΩ for high temperature and 7 mΩ for the 3 resistors [3]. For one and the same design, several so-called operation states can be created (by copying and changing) and calculated.

Fig. 5: The part of the circuit considered in this article: VM+ → GND−


4.1 Method 1: Sectional current path definition

PCB-Investigator knows the pads of the components and the networks that connect them. The input mask is used to indicate which networks are possible from component to component. After the choice of a network, the current can and must be entered [4]. The current situation is displayed immediately and the result shows Fig. 6. The advantage of this method is, that only certain parts of the layout can be calculated quickly and specifically without taking into account the connection with the rest of the circuit.

Fig. 6: Operation State of the current path from VM+ to GND− in Method 1. Each current path needs an ampere assignment and each component needs a power dissipation.


4.2 Method 2: Pin-Bridges

Only start and end pins receive the (total) current. The intervening nets and pads are "bridged" through the components in the algorithm [5]. How the current is then divided on the paths is determined by the (temperature depending) resistances of the components and the conductor paths. The power dissipation of the component is defined by itself during the calculation via the flowing current from I²R, plus additional losses added by the user. The advantage of this method is, that the total current for a new calculation can be varied very quickly.

Fig. 7: Current path from VM+ to GND− in method 2. Only the amperes of the total distance must be entered. The sections are "Auto". Component losses are determined by the electrical resistance.


4.3 Result of the current flow

With both methods, the same electrical flow behavior is available as a result (Table 1). Because the inner signal layers are thinner than the outer signal layers, the current density (A/mm²) inside is higher.

Top Inner 1 Inner 2


GND−

VM+

Table 1: Current density and current direction


Nevertheless, the current in the individual paths differs slightly. With method 1, exactly 10 A flow in each path according to the input parameters. With method 2, the paths of the smallest resistance carry more current. Tab. 2 shows the current through the components. Through U5 the way is the longest.

Component Current Method 1 Current Method 2
J1 30.00 A 30.00 A
U1 10.00 A 10.18 A
R15 10.00 A 10.18 A
U2 10.00 A 9.98 A
R29 10.00 A 9.98 A
U5 10.00 A 9.84 A
R33 10.00 A 9.84 A

Table 2: Current flow through the components


4.4 Result of the temperature

For the temperature calculation, the ambient conditions must be specified. We choose 20 °C air temperature with free convection. The differences in the current flow can affect the component heating and thus the temperature because of I²R (Tab. 3). However, the differences in the calculated project are too small and are not noticed in the plots. The plots in Tab. 4 show the top 50 K. The middle component is warmer than its neighbors due to its location. The jump from yellow to green is caused by the horizontal traces or their insulation distances.

On the whole, the calculated assembly temperature is 100°C. This confirms, that the specified region can really become a "hot surface" at high currents.

Method 1 Method 2
Component Power Temperature Component Power Temperature
R15 0.700 W 97.01 °C R15 0.724 W 97.94 °C
R29 0.700 W 99.02 °C R29 0.697 W 99.14 °C
R33 0.700 W 95.85 °C R33 0.676 W 95.26 °C
U1 0.800 W 97.18 °C U1 0.827 W 98.06 °C
U2 0.800 W 98.61 °C U2 0.796 W 98.79 °C
U5 0.800 W 95.60 °C U5 0.773 W 95.19 °C

Table 3: Component temperature



Top signal layer

Bottom signal layer

Table 4: Temperature distribution in the layers



Sources:

[1a] Texas Instruments. "Driving Motors in Battery-powered IoT Systems" by John Lockridge
https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/industry-articles/driving-motors-in-battery-powered-iot-systems
[1b] Texas Instruments. "How analog integration simplifies the development of engine control in the car"
Elekronik Praxis 06.07.2021 by Arun Vemuri
https://www.elektronikpraxis.vogel.de/wie-analogintegration-die-entwicklung-der-motoransteuerung-im-auto-vereinfacht-a-1037022
[2] Texas Instruments. "DRV8304H Three-Phase Smart Gate Driver Evaluation Module".
https://www.ti.com/tool/BOOSTXL-DRV8304H
[3] Texas Instruments. SLVUB97–October 2017. BOOSTXL-DRV8304H EVM User's Guide.
https://www.ti.com/lit/ug/slvub97/slvub97.pdf
[4] Easylogix. "Tutorial 6: Transient simulation with different operating states."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Q5UGt1TVk
[5] Easylogix. "Tutorial 7: PinBridges & Easylogix Part Library."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDVDZAIagU

PCB-Investigator V 9.0 is now available!

Our new release offers you many new features, plug-ins and upgrades!

We rely on a continous developement of our software with objective to extract the maximum benefits for you.
Our efforts satisfy the demands of automation according to the slogan: Better, faster and more efficient!
Still, the simple usability will always remain a key element of our aspirations.

Save valuable time and prototype costs with the thermal analysis and current simulation of PCBi-Physics (edition):
Welcome to the new world of simulations - with PCB-Investigator Physics!
Simulating by GPU makes it even faster!
Also new: HTML-Report! It enables and facilitates team work due to an effective flow of information by bringing all participants down to a common denominator, archiving the data and allowing an easy access to the outputs.

New plugin available: Eagle Import (Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor)! You can now integrate your data into PCB-Investigator!

Automate your business with Creepage Analysis (plugin): Ensure the functional safety of your PCB design by using PCB-Investigator's Creepage Analysis for your layout review! 3D graphics will help you to interpret data better.

List of all new plugins and features integrated in PCB-Investigator 9.0:

  • Eagle-Import: Now compatible with PCB-Investigator
  • Creepage Analysis: Leakage current prevention by an automatic leakage current analysis
    in PCB-Investigator
  • AOI Check: The automated optical inspection is an important step to find defects in the production of PCBs and to fix them if necessary! With the help of PCB-I failings can be spotted and corrected even before manufacturing. It is proven as highly efficient for process improvements and quality achievements.
  • Capacity Calculator: Gauges the capacity between two nets. It ensures the impendance control!
  • IBIS View (Input Output Buffer Information Specification): Ibis files contain the core attributes of a component (e.g. temperature, voltage) and enable an optimised visualisation (chart view).
  • HTML Reports: Lists and reports can be stored in HTML files. HTML-reports facilitate the archiving and transmitting of data: perfect for succesfull teamwork and interactive organization.
  • Online Support: Disposable online manual that supports the easy usability of our software. Contents are constantly expanded (http://manual.pcb-investigator.com).
  • Order Report: Summary for a PCB order; registers e.g. drills, material, size and layer overviews (f.e. 300 x 200 mm in 8 layers).

Further improvements:

  • PCBi-Physics: Upgrade with a new GPU solver (up to 10x faster) and HTML-report.
  • Panel Builder: The ideal tool for planning and realising simplifications regarding the production. Arrange PCBs on a large production panel with only a few simple steps.
  • Scripting: Automate your daily tasks with the improved PCB-Investigator scripting tool.
  • Package Library: A library for data processing. It enables the editing of components.
  • Xpedition Net Groups: Integration of Xpedition Net Groups via Netgroups.
  • DRC (Design Rule Check): Additional silkscreen analysis available.

When developing circuits with more than 30V, certain security parameters will need to be considered. For leakage current prevention the layout must meet minimum distance requirements as those defined in a series of standards such as DIN EN 60664 VDE 0110, IPC2 221A or UL60950-1.

It is a highly complex issue - for leakage current properties of insulation materials, the degree of pollution needs to be considered and, whether expected non-conductive pollution may temporarily develop conductivity through condensation. It gets even more exciting for applications involving much greater voltages and risks of damage such as for drive technologies.

The automatic leakage current analysis in PCB-Investigator calculates the shortest distance from the outer edges of the conductive components to one another and to the outer edge of the board. It also considers uncoated drill holes (e.g. mount drill holes) and indentations which otherwise would be too time-consuming to calculate manually.

Results are displayed as 3D graphics for better interpretation. At the same time, many measurement errors made during manual analysis are avoided. For example, paths that lead around the edge of a board or around drill edges in a flatter angle are really measured diagonally instead of the very often simple right angle manual measurement. For thicker stacks, such deviations can be significant.

The results of the creepage distance and clearance analysis is shown as a percentage of the specified distance parameters. For each calculated path segment between two points of contact, the software determines what proportion of the specification has been achieved. If it is less than 100%, the vulnerable path is highlighted in the analytics report

Take a look at our new Video Tutorial and contact us to get a trial version.

Ensure the functional safety of your PCB design by using PCB-Investigator's Creepage Analysis for your layout review!


In the News:
English: Simplifying Automated Leakage Current Analysis



Our new Video Tutorial Playlist shows how to use PCB-Investigator Physics to improve the thermal behaviour of your PCB in many different ways.
In our new Video Tutorials we show you how PCB-Investigator Physics helps you with your thermal management already in design phase - even before the first prototype is produced!
You can simulate different heat reducing mechanisms like:
  • Changing the base materials
  • Optimizing the copper structure
  • Adding more thermal vias
  • Adding heat sinks to certain components
  • Using insulated metal substrates (IMS)
And the best thing is, you can do all of this within the same tool - PCB-Investigator Physics!
You do not have to switch back to any layout tool! Try it out!

Watch our PCB-Investigator Physics Videos here:

Physics SimulationTutorial 1: How to use PCB Investigator Physics
(» download video)

Physics SimulationTutorial 2: Improve thermal behaviour by using different materials
(» download video)

Physics SimulationTutorial 3: Improve thermal behaviour by optimizing the copper structure of your layout and adding thermal vias
(» download video)

Physics SimulationTutorial 4: Improve thermal behaviour by adding a Heat Sink to a component with high power dissipation
(» download video)

Physics SimulationTutorial 5: Improve thermal behaviour by adding an Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS / Aluminum Plate) to the bottom side of the PCB
(» download video)

The Bare Board Analysis (DRC) of PCB-Investigator has been completely reworked in the new Version 7 (coming soon!) and now offers a broad range of design rule checks with a dramatically increased performance!

By using the new Design Rule Check (DRC) of PCB Investigator's Bare Board Analysis, you can easily ensure the manufacturability of your PCB design!

A perfectly designed board not only improves your failure rate (ppm), but also has a strong impact on the manufacturing costs! Additionally the time to market can be reduced by less call backs from the PCB suppliers!


The predefined rule sets can also be easily extended by adding your own rule sets, with the newly included Rule File Manager feature. Rule sets can be created according to your company's design rules or your supplier's requirements.

Within a few seconds, the whole design will then be checked for its producibility:

  • Spacing in copper / Trace width / Slivers
  • Annular Ring check for drills/laser-vias and copper pads
  • Mask clearance checks for drills (plated/non-plated/laser-vias), SMD pads and test points
  • Copper clearance for non-plated drills
  • Drill diameters and distances
  • Missing Drills / Duplicated Drills
  • Coverages and exposed copper areas by wrong solder masks
  • Stubs
  • Open/Shorts

Take a look at our new Video Tutorial and contact us to get a trial version.

Ensure the manufacturability of your PCB design by using PCB-Investigator's DRC for your layout review!

Our new Video Tutorial shows how to automate simple processes in PCB-Investigator with small C# Scripts.

In this Video Tutorial we create a new small synchronous C# Script within PCB-Investigator, which highlights the ground and power pins of each component with predefined colors.

Although it's only a small task, it demonstrates how powerful the PCB-Investigator API is. You can access all objects on the board (e.g. layers, components, pins, nets, copper elements, ...) and evaluate or even modify each one of them.


For more information, please visit our SDK Online Documentation and SDK Samples.

PCB-Investigator Physics is the perfect tool to simulate the physical behaviour of your Printed Circuit Boards during development phase.

It enables you to find thermal hotspots, critical trace resistances and voltage drops that are too high, even before prototyping begins!

With the built-in editing functions of PCB-Investigator Physics it’s even possible to optimize the layout and stack-up to achieve the best possible physical behaviour with only a few clicks!

Save valuable time and prototype costs with the simulations of PCBi-Physics!


To get information about the physical behaviour of your Printed Circuit Board during operation, PCB-Investigator Physics enables you to simulate the following physical properties:

  • The Temperature raise at each location caused by power loss of components or by high currents
  • The Current Density, e.g. at copper bottlenecks or in drills
  • The Voltage Drop and Copper Resistance between any pins on any layer

Welcome to the new world of Simulations - with PCB-Investigator Physics!

PCB-Investigator @Electronica 2014
Visit us at the Electronica 2014 exhibition in Munich, November 11th to 14th at hall A1, Booth No. 148

Our Team will be happy to inform you about the latest PCB-Investigator News and to answer your questions!


http://www.electronica.de

With the PCB-Investigator it is already possible to develop own Plug-Ins to optimize and automate specific processes. This concept is perfectly suitable to accomplish larger tasks and flows, which do not change often and need only few adaptions.

As an innovation in version 5 of PCB-Investigator, this existing concept was completed by a new and simple method for smaller flows and automations: The PCB-Investigator Script Engine

The script engine offers an outstanding master plan to create, manage and use scripts to facilitate the daily workload of all users in all areas of application and helps saving time and money.


True to the maxim “What doesn´t fit, will be made to fit” nearly all recurring tasks can be automated by a simple script to fulfill the needs of the respective user.

We paid particular attention to the well-structured organization and simple handling of the scripts. They can be easily edited and stored in different folders and sub-folders within the UI. A comfortable syntax highlighting helps to create or adapt the modern and easy to understand C# source code. Furthermore an integrated online library with a large variety of script templates helps to understand and apply the enormous possibilities of this scripting interface. Of course there is also a detailed interface description (SDK) available on our Website.

The possibilities of this scripting engine are almost endless. Common examples for scripts are:

  • Colored and blinking highlighting of Ground-Pins
  • Calculation and exporting of layer sizes, copper areas, component sizes, net lengths, …
  • Creation of own, pre-filtered bill of materials (BOM) in company-specific formats
  • Renaming of layers and objects according to company-specific naming conventions
  • Adding information from company-specific files, e.g. variant information from CSV files
  • Automated creation of data packages, e.g. ODB++ including BOMs, Gerbers and Drawings
  • Comparison of different data sets (version control)

Enter into a new dimension of process automations with the PCB-Investigator Scripting Engine!

Make design suggestions by adding objects and adapting them according to your wishes. In that way you can easily visualize your proposals to your PCB Designer.
With "Edit" --> "Add Object" you can add various items, like:
  • Lines/Arcs
  • Surfaces
  • Texts
  • Pads

Select the required layer(s) and add the wanted item(s). Besides the hands-free version, there is also the possibility to determine the element's position using coordinates.

The menu offers a variety of design options to customize the selected objects and to adapt them to your requirements. For pinpointing the elements with check marks, please activate the "Snap to end" option.
This tool is the perfect way to present your design suggestions.

With latest update you get the option to flood layers with surfaces. This can be used as basis for hatching the empty areas.

It is always important to easily and quickly find the component or net currently needed for your work. PCB-Investigator therefore offers a mighty Search&Find functionality, described in this blog.

To open the Search&Find Dialog, please click on "Selection->Find" or press CTRL+F

By using regular expressions it’s easy to find a group of elements (e.g. all IC* or all R1*). Examples for regular expressions are available when clicking on the question mark symbol in the lower right of the dialog.

To increase the speed for searching, you can define whether the text should be searched everywhere (all) or only e.g. in the net or component data.

In the result tabs you can select and jump to the found objects by double clicking the item in the list. To clear the result list, please select "Clear results" in the context menu of the list.

Everybody knows this issue, it took several time to find and select certain objects, and then a wrong click and the selection is lost. We have the solution!

In PCB-Investigator the last selections are automatically saved and can easily be restored. Just click on the "Previous Selection" item in the “Selection" menu and your last selection is rebuilt.

Also even earlier done selections can be restored in this way.

To delete empty or unwanted layers for a clearly represented layer stack up, PCB-Investigator offers a simple method by using the layer matrix dialog

Four simple steps to modify the layer stack up:

  • Open the layer matrix dialog (Shortcut Ctrl+M)
  • Select the layers to delete with your mouse
  • Click the menu item 'Edit->Delete'
  • Save the matrix and close the dialog

It is also possible to just modify the layer order by using the up/down buttons in the matrix dialog

EasyLogix is happy to attend eCarTec 2013 October 15th-17th 2013 at Messe Munich, the 5th International trade fair for electric mobility and instead of hybrid mobility.

Main topics are fair eCarTec electric vehicles, storage technologies, drive and engine technology and also energy, infrastructure and financing. The range of exhibitors eCarTec Munich through a conference and a road is completed to test the latest electric vehicles.

eCar Tec 2013, October 15th-17th
Munich Trade Fair Centre, Hall A5 - 420

The E-Mobility Cluster Regensburg will be represented for the first time this year with a joint stand. Take a look yourself and see the most innovative developments in the e-mobility, which we will present together with our partners at the eCarTec 2013.

You will find us in Hall A5 at the stand 420.

The following companies of the cluster exhibit at the booth:

  • Continental AG
  • INSYS Microelectronics GmbH
  • MBtech Group GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • OPTIMUS Meine Energie GmbH
  • Schindler & Schill GmbH
  • Schneider Electric GmbH
  • Siemens AG
  • Vector Informatik GmbH
  • Technical Hochschule Deggendorf - Technologiecampus Freyung
  • Ostbayerische Technical Hochschule Regensburg
  • regenics e.V.

The PCB-Investigator starts the next round – Integration of internationally established procedure IDF. Edit and comparing data is almost child's play. IDF serves as an interface to transform ODB++ data into any flexible ECAD system.

The "Intermediate Data Format" is an established and reliable method to transfer PCB data into other CAD systems. The import and export of data is placed in the focus, in order to ensure a permanent overview in terms of data exchange.

The practical implementation by using the PCB-Investigator is a breeze. Users can import IDF data, edit and convert it into any other formats. This data is then forwarded to satisfied customers for use. Regarding the graphical presentation, there are two options available - 2D or 3D.

Therefore, the concern can be illustrated customized. Depending on your complete records may be disclosed in the form of images. Similarly, the transfer of part of data is possible, which is particularly important for customers who are interested in partial solutions.

Features in summary:

  • Processing of IDF data
  • Comparison of the IDF data
  • Rear placement of ODB + + - via IDF - in each ECAD

Design for Manufacturing invites you to create a cheap product realization!

Designing in an economical way needs the support of advances tools, making it fast to find possibilities to improve the design. PCB-Investigator will be the best choice to cope with constraints by creating cheap electronic products.
Many Analysis options, easy to adjust to the product constrains, are implemented within PCB-Investigator.

 

The export of the results is available everywhere. All collaboration exports include formats for Excel (CSV) and ASCII for any text based software.

Taking care of all stages in the design process to ensure compliance with all design-for-excellence criteria is very important.

Available bundles are:

  • Design for Manufacturing (DfM)
  • Design for Test (DfT)
  • Design for Cost (DfC)

Collaboration functions are wealth included for Layout and Assemble purposes. PCB-Investigator can also be integrated in existing data management tools to review all parts of the Printed Circuit Board and the Assembly data.

“The flexibility of customization brings you fast from the idea and concept to the development of the desired function and quality. This is important for prototype and series development”, explains Günther Schindler, CEO EasyLogix.

We focus in bringing information to all project members to evaluate while seeing the whole.

Application:

  • Idea sharing
  • Collaboration
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Quality assurance

An accurate Design Revision Process is necessary to verify requirements for the production of a printed circuit board.

PCB Investigator helps you to take care of corresponding demands like functional or legal regulations to create successful products.

Use the benefit of the integrated time saving concepts. A Task List to organize revisions and involved departments makes it easy to launch new products in short time.

Development of large circuits requires a large number of standards and specifications to be fulfilled. Not only has the product, also the process of production had to be done regarding specifications.

How to integrate customer-specific requirements in a process? OEM’s have to cope with different specifications for the same product. Customers will require different plugs and housings to integrate the printed circuit board. Housing material should protect against external influences and sometimes also act as a functional part.

This creates a direct link between the product and the used processes to manufacture it. Physical properties of used materials can influence the electrical behavior and production processes.

Analyzing distances between two conductors to find violations regarding the rules defined by the PCB manufacture but also by the voltage level on the track is important. Similar rules apply to the width of conductor tracks and the annual ring on interconnections used in the printed circuit board.

Knowing exactly what changes are made at each revision helps to concentrate on the actual task. Having all information at one place reduces misunderstandings and makes the whole team aware of the margins defined e.g. by used equipment for production or due to electrical or material specifications.

Legal requirements always influence the development of high volume products. There are many aspects to take care off. Starting with Human Voltage Protection or environmental protection like lead-free materials. Manufacturing an electronic device needs to consider general rules which includes a set of legal regulation and standards such as DIN, IEC, as well as standards of the "Institute for Printed Circuits (IPC)". Many large companies also set up specific company standards. In addition, standards for interfaces and localized versions are available.

PCB Investigator is the perfect solution to verify many requirements for accuracy. How to create consistent quality? Best method is to create automated processes to verify designs where it is possible.

Defining rules to analyze whether the requirements of your product is met creates reproducible results in high-quality.

Using ODB++ as basis for your layout data, PCB-Investigator can easily be integrated in your design revision flow. The automation interface allows integration in all data management tools to direct access functions or analysis extensions. Design revision with the help of the PCB Investigator provides support to Circuit board designers and EMC specialists to verify the required regulations.

As an example of new products following aspects will be discussed with the PCB-Investigators:

  • EMC
  • Clearance of components
  • Production violation analysis
  • Surge protection for humans
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Materials such as lead-free
  • Leak current
  • manufacturing preparation for mounting and assembly
  • Change documentation

To satisficing our customers, we are expanding PCB-Investigator with an integrated interface to implement localization of languages!

Speaking your language provides the ability to use PCB-Investigator in a wide range of processes.

Use the advantage to get.

  • Fast usability
  • Bring details quick on top
  • Rapid implementation and integration in an existing workflow
  • Integrate it within existing tools like SAP, ERP
  • Fast use without training
  • Save time
  • Fast intelligibility

 

Adjust menus to fasten the process of integration in all areas from development to production and use the same tool in different process with the right amount of information. Integrate PCB-Investigator in different languages to save time and money. Take the advantage of a simple and effective concept to achieve localization for a flexible adaptation of new applications.

 

Global benefits of localization will be:

  • Improvement in quality
  • Process optimization
  • Internationalization / Globalization
  • Faster launches of products

Developer benefits are:

  • Concentrate on the development not on translation
  • Find information faster
  • Utilize PCB-Investigator faster
  • Integrate the whole team

 

About easyLogix

EasyLogix provides global software solutions, which are characterized by simple user interface and reliability. A milestone of the company is our PCB-Investigator, a CAD / CAM software for the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards. The visualization of data is not only limited to conductors, but also includes all the components and network information of the PCB layouts. Import formats, that are supported by PCB-Investigator, are ODB + +, Gerber274x, Excellon, Sieb & Meyer, GenCAD 1.4 and IPC 2581st

Latest Feature - localization in different languages

The translation of the plug-ins in many languages gives the customer the opportunity to open up details timeless. Time savings, which are far from negligible, can be used for the actual business operations. Terms in the existing tool can be identified rapidly and thus find no great zeal.

Especially in the current era, in which companies seek to maximize profits, it is important to minimize the cost factor. Expensive training that are aligned to account for intelligibility, through translation into many languages. Companies that act as an interface to the end user, the information can be forwarded directly to the customer without having unnecessary translation activities to build in the necessary time. The advantage is therefore both corporate and client side, and represents a benefit to both parties.

Reasons in favor of localization

Globalization is leading to grow international networks and customer demands for various products are always complex. The location allows the customer needs, and to receive, in the launches may tend to be more quickly accomplished. Process Improvement - a phrase which brings it home. Adapt products to local needs is also associated with significant improvements in quality.

Developers also beat them profit

Developers also come in the localization not too short and benefit from this achievement. Communication errors are things of the past, thereby avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort can be avoided. Developing the aim of minimizing the operation becomes more convenient.

Putting our cutomers' needs and wishes first, the new release is providing what you asked for!

Reduce prototypes by using the new bridge between 2D to 3D and use the new combination of multiple boards in one step. Find out the correct connection over PCB boards. Enjoy the freedom of importing and exporting all important formats for the PCB development business in 2D and 3D.

PCB-Investigator is designed to solve common needs from development till production. Try it for free and get full support from your easyLogix Team.

We are looking forward getting in touch with you.

EasyLogix just published the release PCB-Investigator V3.4.6.

Many new features have been added. However, the user friendly surface is still there.

The new features are part of the Plug-Ins System, which is the "APP Store" for PCB-Investigator. This concept gives the customer most freedom for creating own working flows or integrate it in Systems like SAP/ERP.

In the development of previous CAD systems for electronics design a two-dimensional layout of the PCB was enough to fulfill all tasks. Through progressive development and external influences, such as miniaturization and digitization, CAD systems also have to improve.

The new 3D-View feature of PCB-Investigator contains functions for a realistic representation (3D) of PCB components, signals and drills as a network.

Flexibility for users

The 3-D tool is integrated directly into PCB-Investigator. A fast switch between 2D and 3D with cross probe selection opens a new possibility of analysis of circuit boards. A fast, simple and detail representation of the components allows a preview of the finished solution. Best is the integrated rotation with arbitrarily selectable axis, a view from every angle. The zoom option also allows a close view to even the smallest part in 3D. Predefined views make it easy to use the 3D even if you are not a 3D CAD expert.

Proven in practice

Expert reports confirm the advantages of PCBI: Matulka electronic GmbH, a service provider which is placed in Nördlingen, is specialized in electronic devices (EMS). For that purpose the company`s client base is multifaceted. "Garage-developers" belongs to its customers as well as suppliers of the automotive industry. That's why Matulka electronic GmbH has to consider and implement a multiplicity of parts lists and changes of layouts.

Using data types like ODB++, PCB Investigator offers a best CAD-Tool, which enables fast and visual implementation of required modifications.

More quality and productivity while lowering costs

The preparation costs fall also by saving precious time. The 3-D tool allows following networks in the 3-D. The advantage over previous programs represents the enormous temporal factor. Coil or ring networks can be identified in an amazingly short time.

Use the intelligent output of your PCB Design System and check the output before sending it to the manufacturer.

Going to the edge of production technologies needs more knowledge about PCB and Components. Use the many features we have implemented.

Double your Success

Utilize ODB++ to combine Printed Circuit Boards makes it possible to use different CAD programs such as Mentor Expedition or Zuken CR 5000 to get a complete electronic development at one place.

More quality and productivity parallel with cost reduction

Many advantages are obvious: up-to-date data, available at each station at the same time. Reduce sources of errors and minimize numbers of reoperations; eventual problems, like faulty assemblies, identified easily and can be corrected - quality and productivity grow significantly. Time savings create a positive effect on the cost side. The customer’s directly benefits from a higher punctuality of delivery.

Get support from start of a development until delivering it to your customer

PCB-Investigator observes PCBs and Assemblies in every development and production stage without using any sheet of paper. The complete workflow of the developing and production process - incoming orders, equipment, assembling, functional check, packaging and even delivery - becomes digital whereby the printing of endless documents occurs unnecessary. Use the advances digital signing concept to fulfill ISO standards.

EasyLogix is happy to attend at electronica 2012 , which takes place from November 13th - 16th.

CEO Günther Schindler gives you a warm welcome to join his speech at electronica.
The topic “Multi-Board System Development” is targeted to all electronic developers.

Agenda

  • Combine electronic design from multiple sources
  • Trace a net between different PCB boards
  • Cross probe between multiple schematic and boards at the same time
  • Verify embedded mainboard and satellite boards with all information in one environment

 

 

Date: Wednesday 14th November
Time: 16.30 to 17.00h
Place: Session 5, tools and software

Find more information here: www.electronica-forum2012.embedded-know-how.com

EDA MultiBoard PanelBuilder - a milestone in the field of cross development of Printed Circuit Boards

The EDA MultiBoard Panel Builder enables the combination of different Printed Circuit Boards to trace a Net over the limit of a PCB. The modular development of electronic and mechatronic systems gets closer.

The new innovation offers the opportunity to import a second PCB including Net data and offers free positioning on a Panel.

Get a complete electronic development at one place!

Utilizing ODB++ to combine Printed Circuit Boards makes it possible to use different CAD programs such as Mentor Expedition or Zuken CR 5000 to get a complete electronic development at one place. With the new Plug-In available for PCB-Investigator "EDA Panel Builder", it is now possible to combine different boards to one Panel.

Easy use – great benefit

The picture shows five boards designed with different libraries and stack-up. The source of the PCB design is unimportant just get the output in a proper format like ODB++ or IPC2581. Our flatten feature which also takes care of all net information enables a new way of cross probe PCB data. Net names can be accessed directly on the new panel. All Tools like Component Manager or BOM output will be available now. The new Panel works like an ODB++ Board import including all information. Now cross probing any BUS Systems across Printed Circuit Boards like Board to Board interconnections will be simplified.

Combination of different boards to one Panel

Utilize ODB++ to combine Printed Circuit Boards makes it possible to use different CAD programs such as Mentor Expedition or Zuken CR 5000 to get a complete electronic development at one place. With the new Plug-In available for PCB-Investigator "EDA Panel Builder", it is now possible to combine different boards to one Panel.

The picture shows five boards designed with different libraries and stack-up. The source of the PCB design is unimportant just get the output in a proper format like ODB++ or IPC2581. Our flatten feature, which also takes care of all net information, enables a new way of cross probe PCB data. Net names can be accessed directly on the new panel. All Tools like Component Manager or BOM output will be available now.

The new Panel works like an ODB++ Board import including all information. Now cross probing any BUS Systems across Printed Circuit Boards like Board to Board interconnections will be simplified.

PCB-Investigator can achieve the vision "Paperless fabrication" in the field of printed circuit board-fabrication: no longer unnecessary piles of paper, increased quality with regard to zero-defect production, falling costs and an essential fee for sustainability and environment protection.

Time to say goodbye to additional sheets

Additional sheets are now thing of the past; they are not only a burden for the environment but also a challenge for the organization processes in a company.

Updating individual stages in the production process can even cause difficulties.

 

 

PCB-Investigator – a miracle of time

The long-awaited dream comes true by the innovative product of Schindler & Schill GmbH. Applying PCB-Investigator on every step in the manufacturing process allows to finish project faster and without using a sheet of paper.

At each work station, the latest version of project is available by using a central server in the "paperless factory" so waiting for the new version (improved sketches) finally comes to the end.

Proven in practice by customers

Expert reports confirm the advantage of PCBI:
For instance Matulka electronic GmbH, a service provider which is based in Nördlingen (specialized in electronic devices (EMS)). To achieve that the company`s client base is multifaceted.

"Garage-developers" belongs to its customers as well as suppliers of the automotive industry. That's why Matulka electronic GmbH has to consider and implement a multiplicity of parts lists and changes of layouts.

The preparations for the exhibition in November are getting up to speed. The first invitations were sent out; new flyers were printed and the company shines with a new logo.

Come by and visit us!

25th International Trade Fair for Electronic Components, Systems and Applications
November 13 - 16, 2012
New Munich Trade Fair Centre
Hall A6; F02

We are looking forward to meet our partners in person and to show them our latest developments.

 

Attend our product presentations and learn from the developers themselves how our products can improve your workflow. The main focus is also on you and your ideas - just talk to our developers about their realization!

Also visit us at the presentation of the forum Embedded Know-How: Multi-Board System Development (Wednesday, November 14th, 4:30pm - 5pm)
Combine electronic design from multiple sources. Trace net between different PCB boards. Cross probe between multiple schematic and boards at the same time. Verify embedded mainboard and satellite boards with all information in one environment.

Download the official schedule: http://electronica-forum2012.embedded-know-how.com

Just follow the following steps:

  • Convert ODB++, IPC2581 or GenCad files to Google SketchUp 3D
  • The Export writes the Board and Components of your design in the COLLADA-File format.
  • Import the *.dae file now in Google SketchUp by using File -> Import COLLADA-File (*.dae) In 3d View.

Download Goolgle SketchUp: http:www.sketchup.google.com

Enjoy your design in 3D and combine it with other 3D parts. It is already a part of PCB-Investigator Demo.

Get the Plug-In to extend you current version: Sketchup-Export

Add new functionality to work with PCB-Data. The rich mathematical and geometrical library let you create new analysis in short time.

Possibilities:

  • Add/Change Net Name
  • Edit CAD Objects
  • Get all Information from Components
  • Analyze Distances
  • Add own Objects
  • Add new Information to Objects / Components

 

 

Samples:

Use our forum for unanswered questions and get professional answers from our development team.

Simply select a component in the design to edit properties.

The checkbox "update with selection change" turns on the automatic update of the component to edit. Design a rough overview of placement using "drag and drop" for the placement.

Create a custom library just by adding components of the current component layer to subjoin a certain directory. All added components will be available through "add component from library" in all designs.

Add or change height, rotation, mirror or location of the selected component. Then press "OK" to update changed data.

Find out more about the Plug-In here: Edit CMP

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - admin's blog