How to Automatically Create and Package PCB Manufacturing Documentation

October 21, 2021 Shannon Henry

During the design process, it’s common for boards to go through multiple revisions. Managing these revisions and the associated documentation is crucial, as sending the incorrect version of a design to the PCB supplier can result in another fabrication, thousands of dollars wasted, and a delayed project. With OrCAD Engineering Data Management, manufacturing documentation can be automatically created and packaged with each board revision ensuring the correct documentation is released to manufacturing. This tutorial will step you through package for release functionality using OrCAD PCB Designer 17.4 and OrCAD EDM.

Step 1: Open the desktop version of OrCAD EDM or select EDM > Open OrCAD EDM in OrCAD PCB Designer.

Step 2: Log in to OrCAD EDM and select the desired design. Select Package for Release.

Note: This will activate the package for release window to specify the desired settings for automatic creation and packaging of manufacturing documentation.

Step 3: Enter the project information and select the desired package for release template.

Note: Templates can be defined by an administrator by selecting Admin > Manage Templates > Release Templates.

Step 4: If necessary, Browse for any additional files that need to be included in the manufacturing package.

Step 5: Select the schematic, board, and any design variants that should be used to create the manufacturing data.

Step 6: Select the documentation to create and include in the manufacturing package.

Note: This allows you to automatically create several documentation formats with a single click including Gerber Artwork, IPC-2581, ODB++, Fabmaster, IPC-356, Testprep, NC Drill, NC Route, and Pick and Place files.

Step 7: Select the files to include from the EDM Vault.

Note: These files have been generated or updated with the check in of the design through OrCAD EDM. This includes the schematic design, BOM, PCB Design, and PDFs.

Step 8: Select to generate no read me file, a basic read me file, or a read me file from a template.

Note: The Basic Read Me file includes an itemized list of all the files generated during the package for release.

Step 9: Choose to include a release options summary and error/warning files or to check in the release package even when error/warning files are generated.

Step 10: Add a Comment and select Package.

Note: A zipped file was added to the project directory containing all the required manufacturing documentation.

Step 11: Open the zipped folder to view the contents of the manufacturing package.

Note: If the design is modified, easily run package for release again to update the manufacturing documentation accordingly.

Manually managing revisions on all the documentation required to manufacture a PCB is tedious, time-consuming, and error prone. With OrCAD EDM's automatic Package for release, you can be confident knowing the correct version of your PCB is manufactured the first time with the ability to easily generate the required manufacturing data, package files, and track revisions.


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