Circuit board spin required
If your custom test equipment requires a PCB to be designed, you’ll want to pay close attention here. PCBs are super expensive to design, between analysis, schematic capture, board layout, fab, assembly, and unit test, the NRE involved is often in the $10s of thousands just for this aspect of the custom test equipment. So, if a board needs to be re-spun due to a missing or ill-defined requirement, the re-spin, while usually only a small fraction of the original NRE, is still significant. There’s also likely going to be a delay in the delivery of the custom test equipment. PCB designers are generally particularly anal/detail-oriented for good reason. If it seems like they’re poking at some detail more than they need to, it’s not because they want to be a bother, it’s more likely because they care and recognize the implications of not being anal.
Gotchas to watch out for:
- Concurrent design – if the UUT is still being developed, changes to the UUT may force changes on the test equipment. This could be from a mechanical or electrical standpoint.
- Noise-related requirements on interface signals. Unexpected noise could require some additional filtering on the PCB.