Top 3 Reasons why PCB design outsourcing could be good for business

When people talk about outsourcing any element of any business, people often think of the negative associated connotations, lack of control, job losses, a reduction in quality. etc.etc
But the benefits of PCB design outsourcing are often forgotten about. We thought we’d have a look at the top three reasons some people and businesses benefit from outsourcing.

Cost

By outsourcing your PCB design, it is possible to free up resources needed to help grow your business. Instead of spending time hiring staff for PCB design, or employing someone for that purpose, you can focus your financial resources on other areas that need them. Moreover, it can often be hard to find a fully qualified and experienced PCB designer that doesn’t require training/retraining.

Professional

You may have some experience in PCB creation, but when you outsource your design, you know you are getting professional service delivered by someone who regularly undertakes PCB design, making him more efficient and effective at the job at hand. These professional designers are usually highly skilled, highly experienced and carrying the right accreditations (IPC Certified Interconnect Designer) to complete the job correctly.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about purchasing the right software for PCB design or being a good artist.

Time

Keeping a project on the go and keeping to a timescale probably takes up every moment of your day. PCB design is probably just one small part of the overall project you are working on right now. And, even though it is an important part of creating your product it is a task that if not completed within the appropriate timescale, can cause delays for all other areas of the project.

 

Outsourcing PCB design gives you the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your business. In addition, by outsourcing your design you also save time on future product development. You don’t have to concern yourself with PCB design of future products because you’ll already have worked with a firm in the past. Then, you can focus on more important day-to-day activities to help your project/ business run smoothly.

For more information about PCB Design Services from Quadra Solutions contact us

Could Software Leasing work for you?

Could Software Leasing work for you?  

With 5.6M SMEs (firms with 0-249 employees) in the UK, representing 99.9% of all businesses, employing 24.3m people and delivering 51% of gross turnover, the importance of SMEs to our economy cannot be underestimated.

However, in a recent Federation of Small Business (FSB) survey, it was suggested that access to finance remains a key concern for small to medium size businesses in the UK with only one in eight seeking external finance. With over 50% of small businesses (50.4%) looking to expand in the next twelve months, despite ongoing economic uncertainty in the UK, the tension between these aspirations and access to finance is worth considering in more detail.

What are the benefits of leasing software?

Tax Benefits – Unlike cash, a lease unlocks 100% tax relief (on both capital and interest) and for many customers can make a huge difference. Match Costs to Return – With cash, ultimately you pay upfront and in full for investments which only return value over time. Why not simply spread your costs in line with your return?
Low, fixed costs – With rates fixed throughout the term, budgeting and planning are made simple.
Spread the VAT cost – VAT is paid in instalments rather than a lump sum upfront (excluding Hire/Lease Purchase agreements).

For more information click here

Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. InventorRevitAutoCAD Collections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions.

Download the new e-book: The Modern Engineers Toolkit

The Modern Engineers Toolkit

The modern engineer is under constant pressure to innovate as they search for better methods to design and make products that will have a significant impact. Yet does anyone in your organisation really know what it takes to be truly innovative? The Modern Engineers Toolkit aims to help solve that problem. While stacks of books on innovation exist, very few offer practical advice on how to do it. In this eBook, Autodesk provides you with practical tips and strategies for unlocking innovation in your organisation.

The Modern Engineers Toolkit includes advice on:

  • Data Measurement
  • Automating Design Tasks
  • File Type Management
  • Hardware
  • Design Documentation
  • Efficient CAD Software
  • Update Your Approach to Complex Modeling
  • Collaboration
  • Simulation
  • Generative design
  • Prototyping
  • Additive Manufacturing

Fill in the form below to access the Modern Engineers Toolkit

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What Next?

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Download our Inventor Tips eBook | We are always looking for new ways to help our software users adopt, adapt and advance! In the last few years, the manufacturing and engineering sectors have seen revolutionary changes and Quadra Solutions has been at the forefront of many of these technological advances.

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More about Quadra Solutions

Quadra Solutions Ltd specialise in design and data management software solutions for the manufacturing, construction, engineering and PCB design industries. Quadra is a Gold Autodesk Partner, an accredited training centre and specialists in electronic and PCB design. We provide Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. InventorRevitAutoCAD, Collections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement solutions that help customers grow and develop their business.

Our software solutions, consultancy, training and technical support to the manufacturing, architectural, construction and product design industries if some of the best in our industry. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Quadra specialises in helping businesses adapt and adopt efficient and effective design workflows, innovate and embed data management solutions. We pride ourselves on our consultative approach to working with customers as their technology partner.

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Scanning New Horizons with ISPAS

When ISPAS were developing their revolutionary new sea-surface oil detection system they chose to partner with Quadra to provide their PCB design needs. But in doing so, they were able to dramatically reduce product delivery timescales, enabling them to bring their product to market earlier than expected. Detecting and then quickly acting upon oil spillages in today’s maritime oilfields is a key requirement for any oil company. The cost of non-compliance is truly enormous, both financially and environmentally.

ISPAS has designed a phased array radar system with dual antenna arrays, dual polarisation, no moving parts and produces a swept beam across 100 degrees at a very low power. When mounted on an oil platform, it will provide a 360-degree coverage of any changes in the sea surface conditions, detecting oil, debris, changes in currents etc. Radar detection of oil on water is already in use, but X-band radar has some major limitations. Under certain conditions, oil is invisible as it is more or less transparent to horizontally polarised radar. If you combine the ability to operate in the Ku-band and also to sweep a dual polarised beam several hundred times a second, whilst simultaneously processing the enormous amount of data this produces, then the picture changes dramatically. Nine key engineers have worked on the development of this system, which is able to detect people who have fallen in the water up to a distance of up to three-miles.

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This was tested in the local fjord by ISPAS engineer Anders Rosnes, using his father’s old dry suit. As a result of this, rescue organisations have expressed interest in this capability. Static mounted versions of this same system have also been used to record glacial shifts on Svalbard to high accuracy. From an engineering perspective, local processing is provided by an Altera 1.5 Teraflop DSP processing device, which is a 1152 pin BGA using external DDR3 memory and complex multiple power supply requirements. Turning this demanding engineering idea into an economically manufacturable reality was a challenge and this is where Quadra Solutions was able to help.

Solution

ISPAS chose to partner with Quadra, after considering other local alternatives. The Quadra Design Bureau provided several advantages for ISPAS, best summed up as Capability, Capacity and Competence. All the PCB designers are CID/CID+ qualified and work within an accredited ISO9001 environment which allows total control of the process. There is always a back-up if someone unexpectedly cannot continue with a design and the experience of the team means that design pitfalls that the engineering team at ISPAS may never have even considered could be avoided from the outset. Action Quadra took the initial schematics and parts list of the design from ISPAS and after a series of online design reviews, chose a specific board technology, taking into account the time-frame, cost and technology constraints.

Early revisions of the layout were discussed and as soon as the parts list was frozen, parts procurement began in parallel with the remainder of the design process. Design iterations continued and then the bare boards were ordered. At this time, the assembly operation was scheduled so that the parts, boards and assembly line setup could all be ready at the same time. Detailed knowledge of PCB manufacturers’ capabilities and a process which always forces a “second pair of eyes” to approve all manufacturing data, ensured that the boards were ready on time and electronically and mechanically correct.

Results

Results from the first prototypes were very encouraging, allowing ISPAS to debug embedded code and to work on system software and make changes as required. There was a requirement to change the power management devices, forced by the manufacturer of the main DSP processor and these changes were made whilst ISPAS engineers concentrated on their system, software development and testing. With their proprietary radar technology, ISPAS is now conducting trials with four radar systems on the Lundin Edvard Grieg platform in the North Sea.

In addition, six further systems are being deployed by Statoil in the Johan Sverdrup oilfield. These sites provide some of the most arduous conditions, in which electronics systems are expected to withstand the elements and continue to function correctly. The analysis taken from these installations will allow ISPAS and Quadra to optimise production variants, to suit all of the envisaged uses of the system.

Board Design

Details – 16 layer with filled microvias between layers 1-2, 16-5 and buried vias between layers 2-15 – Two DDR3 RAM modules fully length matched and constrained – A bank of 4 DDR3 BGA devices fully length matched and constrained – Gigabit ethernet ports – Analog to Digital mezzanine card interfaced with multiple length matched differential pairs – Altera Arria 10 1152 pin BGA with complex, sequenced power supply requirements and extra peripheral ports for RF control – Double sided surface mount assembly – 1,952 components – 4,380 connections – Over 50% constrained by delay/ length, skew groups, differential pairs, specified impedance.

Looking for PCB design support for your next project?

Contact our experienced and knowledgeable PCB design Professionals for a quote. design@quadrasol.co.uk 01254 301 888

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