HQ Electronics to release international version of design for manufacturing software

18th March 2024
Paige West

The new update includes a host of design verification tools and checks to cover the assembled PCB, including components footprint and BOM checks and over 150 Design for Assembly checks.

HQDFM, the free award-winning Design for Manufacturing (DFM) software developed by Shenzhen Huaqiu (HQ) Electronics (which include HQ NextPCB) in South China already has over 300,000 users worldwide and various sub-versions tailored for different users and applications.

Designed as a universal tool for engineers, purchasers, CAM engineers and general viewing, HQDFM’s verification checks leverage HQ Electronics’s decade plus years of in-house manufacturing expertise to produce an analysis suite based not only on HQ Electronics manufacturing capabilities, but the current technological limits across the PCB industry as a whole.

Electronics manufacture is still largely a mystery, particularly where manufacturing is not as open or widespread in local industries. The knowledge gap, combined with language barriers and time-zone differences can contribute to stressful relationships between designers and overseas contractors. At the same time, poor implementations of the Gerber format can result in unexpected surprises and delays, stressing the need for a reliable viewer that keeps up with changing standards.

HQDFM aims to resolve these ongoing issues via education and by providing a tool to view and analyse production files. By using the tool, designers can identify problems before handoff and resolve them at the earliest stage where they have the least impact in the product design cycle. At the same time, HQDFM highlights issues that impact reliability and can help reduce costs and lead time, which is aligned with HQ Electronics’ strive for reliable and affordable electronics manufacturing.

HQ Electronics and other manufacturers benefit from fewer production hold-ups, greater customer satisfaction, and smoother communication with customers.

HQDFM checks manufacturing data in the form of Gerber or OBD++ for over 20 different PCB design for manufacture issues and comes with helpful design tools including quick panelisation tool, impedance calculator, and parameter extraction.

The recent update expands checks to the populated circuit board, taking into consideration components and component placement data, over 150 DFA analysis items and includes footprint and BOM checkers.

With HQDFM, users can identify the exact location of highlighted issues in the simple interface, view the description and impact of the problem and receive advice on how to address it.

“The latest update is the culmination of a long-term goal of providing a complete manufacturing analysis suite for circuit board designers,” said Alex Chen, CEO of Huaqiu Electronics. “We have seen first-hand how Design for Assembly (DFA) checks, particularly footprint verification has saved hundreds of projects from potentially disastrous outcomes. HQDFM has received unanimous praise in Chinese electronics communities, and we believe the new DFA checks will be an invaluable asset to users worldwide.”

The localised version of the new HQDFM is scheduled to be released mid-spring and will be showcased at the IPC APEX Expo 2024 in California, USA April 9-11, booth 4749. Find more details and try the online lite version here.

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