Macaos Enterprise User guide

Macaos Enterprise User guide bruce Sat, 03/24/2007 - 15:46

Macaos Enterprise allows you to easily browse, panelize and place orders for printed circuit boards and solder paste stencils. This quick user guide will help you get started.
For more detailed info, use the Help menu in Macaos Enterprise to open the user manual.

Getting started

Getting started bruce Wed, 05/02/2007 - 14:28

From the Get Macaos Enterprise page you can order download and login info. Once you receive the download link and your login info, simply download and run the setup program. The setup program will install a starter program which is used to check your connection and configure proxy settings (if necessary) befure updating itself to the latest version of Macaos Enterprise.

Program overview

Program overview bruce Tue, 07/31/2007 - 10:54

The Macaos Enterprise main window consists of three main elements: an icon bar (top), a product explorer (left) and product details (right). The Icon Bar is used to access additional modules. These include:

  • The Import module is used to load Gerber and drill files and create (publish) a PCB product which is visible in the product explorer.
  • The Panel module is used to step up one or more PCB product(s) into a panel (array) suitable for automated assembly, and publish it to the product explorer.
  • The Stencil module is used to create a solder paste stencil product and publish it to the product explorer.
  • The Buy module is used to get prices and order the product selected in the product explorer.
  • The RFQ for Assembly module is used to request quotations from participating EMS providers.
  • The Add Masks module is used to add peel-off or other masks to a product after it has been published. This module is only available in the Pro version of Macaos Enterprise.
  • The Partner Manager and User Manager are used to manage contact info and partner relationships.

Product explorer

The Product explorer allows you to find and organize your company's products. The upper portion lists your product folders and the lower portion lists the products in the selected folder. In addition to the standard folders, you can create your own folders and subfolders to organize products however you wish.

Product details

Product details are shown in three tabs.

The Product info tab displays product properties. These include the product name, article number and description; board specifications, minimum tolerances, and board statistics. The board stackup is displayed as a diagram. Right-click on the diagram to view/save the stackup as a PDF document.

The Product view tab displays the product graphically. The check boxes in the layer list control which layers are visible. Right-click on a layer name to change the display color for that layer. The new color will be used for that layer throughout Macaos Enterprise. The current cursor position and board size are displayed below the file list.

To pan: right-click at the new center point, or right-click and drag horizontally or vertically. To zoom in: right-click and drag up to the right to select the desired region. To zoom out: right-click and drag down to the left. To zoom-to-fit: right-click and drag up to the left. The Help tab displays a quick reference for pan and zoom commands.

When no operational mode is selected, clicking and dragging with the left mouse button displays the distance from the clicked point to the mouse cursor. Press Ctrl+U to toggle between inch and mm display.

In some cases, a file list appears below the layer list. These are product data and documentation files which you may view or download. Double-click on a file to view it. Right-click on a file to save it. Right-click on the list to add a document to the product.

The Product history tab lists the order history and production history for the selected product. For each order, the relevant numbers and dates are shown. Clicking on an order number opens a PDF viewer displaying the order confirmation. Clicking on an underlined shipment tracking number opens a web browser with shipment tracking info, if available. Clicking on an underlined pack list number displays shipment details.

Import module

Import module bruce Wed, 05/02/2007 - 15:42

The Import Module converts output data from an Electronic CAD system to a Macaos Enterprise product. In most cases, you will be importing a set of Gerber and Drill files. Each of these files must be linked to the correct layer of the PCB. It is also necessary to specify the desired stackup for the product, and perhaps some other properties as well.

The Import Module also supports importing ODB++ data. In an ODB++ dataset, the graphic data is already linked to specific layers. This layer linking should be checked (and corrected, if necessary) before specifying product properties.

You can also add fiducial marks and other symbols to the product prior to publishing. There are also tools for inspecting and measuring features of the product.

Once a product has been completely specified, you must publish it to the system so that it will be available for panelization, purchase, etc.

Normally, when a product is published, the user's company will be the owner of the product. If your company has partners, then you will have the option to make a partner the product owner when you publish a product. See Product Sharing for more information about partner management.

Creating a board product

Creating a board product bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:05

In most cases, you can use the following procedure to create a board product:

  1. Open the data files. When you open the Import Module, select the zip file (or the individual files) for the product. The Import Module will attempt to autolink each file to the appropriate layer based on the names of the individual files. The files are listed in the Files pane.
  2. Check the file – layer linking. Files which are not autolinked must be linked manually, by clicking on the blue text in the Layer column of the Files tab and selecting the desired layer from the layer menu. The file image is displayed, in order to help select the correct layer. Right-click on a file to view the file as text or to change the file type.
  3. Review drill tools. In most cases drill files are read and interpreted correctly. But you should check that this is the case. You can modify tool diameters in the Drills pane. If necessary, see Scale adjustment and Offset adjustment for information on how to make adjustments. Be sure to also check/correct plating for each tool, and drill depth for each file. Right-click on a tool to specify via plugging/filling for all holes with that tool.
  4. Define the board contour. Go to the Contour pane. In many cases, the outer contour and inner contour (if any) will be defined automatically. If so, this should be checked to insure that the contour was defined correctly. Track routing and scoring (if any) must always be defined manually.
  5. Place the product/batch number. The manufacturer usually adds a product/batch number to the board. You may specify its position by clicking on the No. icon button and placing the rectangle at the desired position on the board.
  6. Specify the board parameters.
    • Go to the Specs pane. You must select a stackup. In addition, you may choose nonstandard surface finish, solder mask color and legend color and various other specifications. If the product is to have electrolytic (hard) gold applied to connector surfaces, then the gold area (in cm²) must also be specified.
    • Go to the Stats pane. Minimum track width, clearance and annular ring must be specified for the product. Correct the estimated values if necessary.
    • Go to the ID & Options pane. You must specify a product name. You may also specify an article number and description and select options.
  7. Publish the product. Choose File|Publish to Product Browser to publish the new product:
    • Go through each item in the approval checklist to insure that you haven't forgotten anything. Click the OK button to continue.
    • Once the product has been published to the server, the new product number will be displayed. You'll find the product in the Never Ordered folder and Recently Published folder of the product browser.

Linking files

Linking files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:32

The Files pane lists the files which have been added to the project using the File|Open files command. Each file is listed together with its file type and the layer to which the file has been linked. Multiple files may be selected when opening files. Additional files may be added executing the File|Open files command again.

When a file is added to the list, an attempt is made to determine the file type. If, for some reason, the file type is incorrect, it can be changed by right-clicking on the file and choosing the correct file type from the Change file type submenu. (Note: Empty image files are identified as text files.)

The contents of the file list may be filtered with the view menu:

View|Hide linked files hides all files that have already been linked

View|Hide non-image files hides all text files and other non-image files

View|Hide common part of file names shows only the portion of filenames used by autolinking

Image files

Image files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:35

Clicking on an image file imports the file into the system (if necessary) and displays the file in the Graphic Display. Macaos Enterprise is able to import the following image file formats:

  • Basic Gerber (RS-274D)
  • Gerber (RS-274X Extended Gerber)
  • NC Drill (Excellon or similar; drill only)
  • Sieb & Meyer (drill only)
  • Excellon (with limited support for rout instructions)
  • ODB++ files (in a zip, gzip, tar or tgz archive). See ODB++ for more info.

To import Basic Gerber files you must specify several extra parameters. There may also be difficulties interpreting incomplete Drill files, as explained in Drill Tools.

To link a file to a layer, click on the layer name (or Not Selected) and choose the desired layer from the menu. To unlink a file, choose Not used.

Normally, only Drill files should be linked to a drill layer. Some CAD systems generate Gerber files of drill drawings or drill templates, which are intended for paper documentation purposes. Attempting to link a Gerber file which contains lines or arcs to a drill layer (Additional layers|Drill) will result in an error message. If your CAD system outputs a drill file in Gerber, then the Gerber file must only contain pads (flashes) where the pad diameters are equal to the hole diameters. Note: Use Additional layers|Drill drawing to link Gerber drill drawings for documentation purposes.

An image file showing which drill holes should be filled or plugged should be linked to the appropriate via protection layer (tented, plugged, filled or capped) in the Additional layers submenu. See Via protection for more info.

If while preparing a product for import, you discover that a layer needs to be updated, you can replace that layer without having to restart the entire import process. Right-click on the file name and choose Replace file. Note: It is not possible to replace the board/contour file. If this file needs to be updated then the entire product must be imported again.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to use the same file for two different layers. For example, you may have only one solder mask file, which is to be used both for the top and bottom layers. To solve this problem, right-click on the file name and choose Duplicate file. This will add a copy of the file to the list, which can then be linked to another layer.

When an image file is imported into the system, warnings and errors (if any) are stored in a report which can be viewed by right-clicking on the file name and choosing View file import report.

Note: All of the Gerber files must have the same coordinate origin. If necessary, you will need to change the setup of your CAD system so that the files have the same origin.

Note: Some CAD systems mirror alternate Gerber layers when they are generated. The import module is not able to correct for this, since it is not possible to automatically determine the mirroring axis. All Gerber files must have the same coordinate origin and mirror state.

Note: Normally, only image files are included when a product is saved or published. Non-image files may be viewed locally while preparing the product. To force a non-image file to be included, assign it to a Documentation or Assembly layer. See Non-image files.

Basic Gerber files

Basic Gerber files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:48

Basic Gerber files contain only x-y coordinates and device codes. In order for these files to be interpreted, there are a number of parameters which must be defined externally to the Gerber file. When importing a Basic Gerber file, the Specify coordinate format dialog box must be filled out so that the file can be interpretated correctly. There are four parameters which must be specified. Usually, these settings can be determined from the Gerber Export settings of the CAD program which generated the files.

If you are unable to determine the correct parameters, then you should try the default values and check carefully that the resulting image has the correct size and shape. The Specify coordinate format dialog box explains the meaning and consequences of each parameter in greater detail.

Once the coordinate format has been specified, it will be used for
any additional Gerber files that are imported; until the File|New
Product command is executed or the Import Module is closed.

Basic Gerber files also need an Aperture Table, which lists the sizes and shapes of the “Apertures” (or drawing shapes) referred to by the Gerber file. Sometimes, Basic Gerber files are generated in accordance with a standardized table, such as NOR01 or PERFAG-10a, but most CAD systems generate a separate aperture file (or wheel file or tool report) together with the Basic Gerber files.

If undefined apertures are encountered while importing a Gerber file, the Specify aperture table dialog box opens. This dialog box lists the undefined apertures which were found in the Gerber file. The upper left region lists standardized aperture tables as well as all non-image files listed in the Files pane. Clicking one one of these files causes the file contents to be displayed in the upper right region.

Nearly every CAD system generates aperture files differently. Once you have located the correct aperture file, you should choose the parser for your CAD system from the list in the lower left region. The parsed aperture table will then be shown in the lower right region. Once an aperture table is located that defines all of the undefined apertures listed at the top of the dialog box, the OK button is enabled.

Note: It is sometimes possible to come up with a valid aperture table even though the wrong aperture file or the wrong parser is used. If you are unsure of the aperture table, you should inspect the graphic display carefully to insure that the Gerber files have been interpreted properly.

If the coordinate format or aperture table was not correctly specified, choose File|New Product and repeat the import process with the correct parameters.

HP-GL plotter files

HP-GL plotter files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:15

The Import Module has limited support for plotter files in HP-GL format. HP-GL files may be included in a product for documentation purposes only.

Due to the nature of the HP-GL format it is not possible to reliably detect an HP-GL file without parsing the entire file. Therefore, the Import Module detects HP-GL files as Text (or Other, if the file contains plotter setup escape sequences).

To view an HP-GL file, right-click on the file name and choose Change file type|HP-GL. The file will be displayed in the viewer.

To include the file in a product, link the file to a User layer. It is not possible to link an HP-GL file to any other layer.

The HP-GL parser supports only a subset of HP-GL commands. In particular, there is no support for fonts, line styles, wedges or filling of polygons. Unsupported commands are ignored, which may give undesirable results.

Non-image files

Non-image files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:18

Often, it is desirable to include documentation files together with the image files. For example, assembly instructions, drawings, pick and place data, etc should be included in the product so that an EMS provider can purchase PCBs and process component assembly with one set of data.

By default, non-image files are ignored when publishing a product. However, if non-image files are assigned to a Documentation or Assembly layer, then they will be included in the product. You should avoid linking unnecessary files as Documentation files.

Assembly files are given standardized filenames in the product. For this reason, only one file should be assigned to an assembly layer since duplicate filenames will cause some files to be ignored.

In the Macaos Enterprise product viewer, documentation files are listed below the layer list. Double-click on a filename to open the file, or right-click on the filename to save the file.

ODB++ files

ODB++ files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:26

When opening an ODB++ project, the layers, outer contour and drill tools are automatically imported and linked. The layers in from the ODB++ project are listed in the ODB++ Layers pane.

If a layer has been linked incorrectly, right-click to link it to a different layer.

If the board has inner contours, track routing or scoring, then these must be specified in the normal manner. The stackup, finish and mask colors must also be specified.

If the ODB++ project contains multiple steps, you must choose which step to open. In most cases, one step will be the board and another step will be a panel containing the board. If you are unsure which step to open, choose any step. After viewing the step, you can reopen the file to view a different step, if necessary. The import module has some limitations when working with panelized steps, so we recommend importing the board step and using the Panelization module to create your panel.

If the file archive containing the ODB++ project also contains other files, these will be listed below the list of ODB++ layers. You may double-click on a file in this list to view the file. All files in this list are saved with the product when publishing.

Note: Import of ODB++ files is a relatively new technology in the Import module. We recommend that you inspect your board carefully before publishing. If you encounter problems, you can help us improve the ODB++ engine by using the Help|Send problem report command to send us your files together with a description of the problem.

Note: The Macaos ODB++ engine is not able to read files in the discontinued and unsupported XML-based ODB++(X) format.

Pick and place data

Pick and place data bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:32

When a pick and place data file is assigned to a Pick & Place layer, the Import Module will attempt to interpret the data. If successful, the place points for components will be shown as a cross with an arrow. The arrow shows the rotation of the component in the pick and place data, where 0° is up and 90° is to the right (i.e. clockwise rotation).

If the pick and place data does not have the same coordinate origin as the Gerber data, then the component symbols will be offset from their correct position on the board. This may be corrected by aligning the pick and place data with the Gerber data.

Layers

Layers bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:34

A printed circuit board is made up of several “layers”. These include copper layers, mask and legend layers, drill files and more. Each layer is described by one (or sometimes two) image files, and normally a file describes only one layer. The Layer overview shows the filenames and layer names of the board. The check boxes for each layer may be used to view or hide the layer in the graphic display. The rectangle to the right of the check box shows the color used to display the layer in the Graphic Display. You can right-click on this rectangle to change the color.

The Route layer is automatically generated by adding contour objects (in the Contour pane).

The controls at the top of the Layer Overview may be used to specify the number of copper layers on the board. This is automatically increased if you link additional layers in the Files pane. However, if you want to reduce the number of copper layers, you must do so here.

For single layer boards, it is not possible to link a soldermask file to the non-copper side of the board. In the Board Specifications pane, the soldermask color for the non-copper side will be set to None. Changing this to another color will indicate that the board should have soldermask on the non-copper side.

You may right-click on the layer overview to quickly show only top layers, only bottom layers, all layers or no layers.

Autolink

Autolink bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:39

Autolinking is a process of mapping files to the correct layers of the board. The import module is designed to support Gerber and Drill files from a wide variety of CAD system; while each CAD system has its own approach to naming its output files. In order to accommodate flexibility and accuracy, there are two different autolink strategies available: filename detection and link filters.

Use the Autolink menu to enable or disable autolinking. The menu items are:

  • Autolinking off – disables autolinking
  • Link by filename – enables autolinking with filename detection
  • Link by filter – enables autolinking with link filters
  • Create filter from current mapping – creates a link filter based on the current link status
  • Link filters... - opens the link filter manager

If, during autolinking, two files appear to belong to the same layer, both files are displayed graphically and the user may choose which file to link to the layer. The other file will be left unlinked, and may be manually linked to its correct layer after autolinking has finished. This situation typically arises when there are several mechanical files and the autolinker is unable to determine which one contains the board contour.

Autolinking is usually able to map most or all of the image files properly. But it might also make wrong assumptions. The user is strongly advised to review the file mappings carefully.

Autolinking is only automatically applied the first time files are added to a product. The autolink process may be repeated by right-clicking on the file list and choosing Re-link files.

If, for some reason, a file is improperly linked during autolinking, this may be corrected by relinking the file to the correct layer.

If, during autolinking, a file has been linked to the Board layer, then an attempt will be made to automatically define the outer and inner (if any) contour objects. This operation may be disabled by selecting the Autolink|Automatically define contour (if possible) menu item, so that the check mark is removed.

Gerber Job File

Gerber Job File bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:44

If the product you are importing contains a Gerber job file (*.gbrjob) then file linking information and product parameters will be extracted from the file.

Note: The final format of the Gerber job file has not yet been published. Some Gerber job files may not be compatible with the current draft specification. We will update this feature when the final format is published.

Filename detection

Filename detection bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:46

Filename detection analyzes all of the filenames against a set of rules in order to match each filename to its appropriate layer. Filename detection also analyzes any text files to see if they may contain the correct file mappings.

When filename detection is enabled, two additional columns are shown in the Files pane: Side and Style. The Side column shows which side of the board (Top, Bottom or Inner) that filename detection has determined the file to be. The Style column shows which type of layer has been detected. The styles are: Cu (copper), Cu out (outer layer), Cu in (inner layer), Cu in/neg (inner layer negative image), SM (solder mask), No (legend), PM (paste mask), PLT (plated through drill), NPT (unplated through drill), B/B (blind or buried drill), Rou (routing or contour), Drw (drawing), Mech (mechanical), Gold (hard gold), Glue (glue layer), Assy (assembly drawing), Peeloff (peel-off mask), and v-cut (scoring).

If the autolinker is not able to match all of the image files to a layer, then the user is given the option to try autolinking with link filters.

Link filters

Link filters bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:50

A link filter is a set of filename substrings, each mapped to its appropriate layer name. There are a handful of pre-defined link filters built into the import module. Users may define additional filters as needed.

The program compares all image file names with all filename substrings in all enabled link filters. It then selects the “best” filter to use when autolinking. The “best” filter is the filter having the largest number of filename matches. However, more than half of the image files must match for a filter to be considered among the best.

Link filter manager

Link filter manager bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:51

A Link filter is a list of filename substrings and layer names. If an image file name contains a substring from a filter, then the file will be linked to the corresponding layer.

Choose Autolink|Link filters to open the Link filter manager. There are a few built-in filters which can serve as examples when creating filters. Use the check boxes to enable filters.

To create a new Link filter:

  1. Click on the New button to start a new filter.
  2. Click in the first row of the Filename substring column, so that an edit cursor appears.
  3. Type in the desired substring (they are not case sensitive).
  4. Press Enter to complete the substring. Pressing enter again opens the next row for editing.
  5. For each substring, click on the text in the Stackup layer column and choose the desired layer from the menu.
  6. Save the filter by clicking on the Save as button and giving the filter a name.

An existing filter may be modified in the same manner and then saved with the same name (using the Save button) or as a copy with a new name (using the Save as button). Any link filters you create will be available to all users within your company.

When making a Link filter, care should be taken to use filename substrings which are unique among the image files generated by your CAD system. Check the user documentation for your CAD system, and take advantage of any output options or scripts when making a link filter.

A link filter may also be created by manually linking all of the files in a product and then executing the Autolink|Create filter from current mapping command. If drill files have been scaled, rotated and/or mirrored, these values will also be saved as a part of a filter created with this command.

Aligning drill files

Aligning drill files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:48

In principle, all Gerber and drill files should have the same coordinate origin in order to insure that all layers match. However, some CAD systems generate Gerber files separately from drill files, resulting in the two file types having different origins. This can be corrected as follows:

  1. Click on the Align drill with pattern button to depress the button.
  2. With the left mouse button, draw a selection rectangle around a drill hole. A rubber band segment stretches from the hole to the mouse pointer.
  3. Draw a selection rectangle around the corresponding copper pad. All drill holes move to snap onto their pads.

Aligning pick and place files

Aligning pick and place files bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:54

In principle, all files should have the same coordinate origin in order to insure that all layers match. However, some CAD systems generate different file types with different origins. This can be corrected as follows:

  1. Click on the Align Pick&Place with Gerbers button to depress the button.
  2. With the left mouse button, draw a selection rectangle around a pick and place component symbol. A rubber band segment stretches from the symbol to the mouse pointer.

Draw a selection rectangle around the copper pads for the corresponding component. The selected component symbol will move to the center of the bound box surrounding the selected pads. (All other component symbols will also move the same distance.)

Note: Only visible pick and place layers will be moved. If you have pick and place data for both sides of the board, you should show or hide pick and place layers appropriately before aligning them with the Gerber data.

Drill tools

Drill tools bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:34

Unlike with Gerber files, there is not a clearly defined standard for the format of drill files. The program does its best to interpret drill files, but sometimes they simply do not contain enough information to do so automatically.

For best results, you should (if possible) configure the NC Drill generator in your CAD system to use 3.3 METRIC format and to include tool diameters in the drill file. For example, in PADS you should use the configuration shown here.

Drill files should always be checked. For example, some drill files have the hole coordinates in inches while the tool diameters are in millimeters, which will lead to incorrect interpretation. Or perhaps the entire file is in millimeters without specifying so, in which case the file will be interpreted as being in inches and will be too large by a factor of 25.4.

Note: If you are having difficulties with a file that has been generated with metric coordinates, open the file in a text editor and add a line containing M71 immediately after the line with a % character (if it exists) or at the beginning of the file.

The Drill tools pane lists all of the drill files which have been linked. Each drill file has a depth (by default Top to bottom) and a type (by default Plated). Right-click on a file to change its hole depth.

If the drill tool diameters are defined within the drill file, then these will be automatically interpreted. If the drill tool diameters are listed in a separate file (or not listed at all), then you will need to enter the tool diameters into the program manually.

Tool definitions

Tool definitions bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:59

The tools in the selected file are listed in the middle of the tab. The Manuf. size is the tool diameter that will be used in production. This is rounded from the Orig. size (the tool diameter specified in the input file) to the nearest 0.05mm (or 0.01mm for very small tools). Tool diameters are shown in the unit of measure selected at the bottom right corner of the Drill tools pane.

The Tool number is the tool identifier in the drill file. If Plated is checked, then holes drilled with this tool will be plated. Count is the number of drill holes in the file to be drilled by that tool.

To modify a tool diameter, click on the diameter in the Manuf. size column and type the desired size. Press the Enter key to finish editing. Pressing enter again allows you to modify the diameter of the next tool.

You can copy all tool definitions to the tool list in one operation. To do this, locate the drill report file in the file grid, right-click and choose View file. Select the rows of text which contain the tool definitions, rightclick and choose Copy. Then right-click on the tool list and choose Paste tool sizes from clipboard.

Pasting tool sizes makes the following assumptions:

  • One tool definition per line of text
  • Individual parameters in each line must be separated by spaces or tabs
  • If a parameter contains 'T' followed by an integer value, that will be the tool number. Otherwise, the first integer value found in the line will be the tool number.
  • If the tool number was specified with a 'T' then the tool diameter will be the first numeric parameter found in the line. Otherwise, the tool diameter will be the first numeric value after the tool number.
  • If the tool diameter contains 'mm', 'mil' or 'inch' then that text will determine the unit of measure for the tool diameter. Otherwise, currently selected unit of measure will be used.
  • If a parameter of 'N', 'NTPH' or 'no' is found, then the tool will be marked as unplated.

Note: A hole will not necessarily be plated just because the tool is specified as a plated tool. The hole must also be surrounded by copper pads on the top and bottom layers in order for the plating process to be successful. The manufacturer enlarges plated tools slightly to compensate for the plating thickness. Therefore, “plated” holes without copper pads will be slightly larger than if they had not been marked as plated.

Scale adjustment

Scale adjustment bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:05

Some CAD systems generate drill files which do not have the same scale or offset as the Gerber files. In such cases, the scale or offset must be adjusted manually so that the drill holes match their corresponding pads in the other layers. These adjustments apply to all drill files, including any drill files added to the product after scaling. If the drill files do not have the same scale, then this must be corrected by the CAD program. There are typically two kinds of scaling errors:

Decimal point errors: To adjust for decimal point errors, click one or more times on the x10 or ÷10 button. x10 makes the drill image 10 times larger than it was, while ÷10 reduces the drill image to 1/10 of its size.

Inch/mm errors: In the same manner, the x25.4 and ÷25.4 buttons may be used to adjust for inch/mm errors.

It may take some trial and error to find the correct scale. Avoid using x10 or x25.4 after having used ÷10 or ÷25.4, since this will lead to some loss of precision in the hole coordinates. It may be a good idea to use File|New product and reimport your files once you have found the correct scaling factor.

Once you have found the correct scale (and rotation and mirroring, if necessary) use the Autolink|Create filter from current mapping command to create a filter which includes these drill file parameters.

Note: If you are having difficulties getting the correct scaling of drill files, you can open the files in a plain text editor (such as WordPad) and modify them manually. Adding something like the following 3 lines will specify the correct scaling to the Import module.

M48
METRIC,TZ,000.000
%

In this example, metric coordinates without leading zeros and 3 digits after the decimal point are used. If coordinates are in inches, then the first parameter should be INCH. If trailing zeros are omitted, then the second parameter should be LZ. The third parameter should list the number of digits before and after the decimal point (such as 00.0000 or 00.000). If your file already contains any of these lines, then you should only add or edit the text which is not present. A drill file should only contain one of each of these three types of lines.

Offset adjustment

Offset adjustment bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:10

Some CAD systems do not generate drill files with the same coordinate origin as the Gerber files. If this is the case, then the drill hole coordinates must be offset so that they align with their corresponding pads in the Gerber files.

To move the drill files so that they match the Gerber files:

  1. If necessary, use the Rotate or Mirror buttons so that the drill pattern matches the copper. The Rotate button rotates around the file origin. The Mirror button mirrors along the X=Y diagonal. You may need to zoom out to see the entire image.
  2. Click on the Align drill with pattern button (leftmost button above the graphic display) so that it is depressed.
  3. Using the left mouse button, click and draw a selection rectangle around a drill hole, and then release the mouse button. A “rubber-band” line should appear between the selected drill hole and the mouse pointer. 
  4. Using the left mouse button, click and draw a selection rectangle around the corresponding pad for the selected drill hole, and then release the mouse button. The drill image should snap to the Gerber image, and the Align drill with pattern button be released.

Drill file offset applies to all drill files. If necessary, adjust the setup of your CAD system so that all drill files are generated with the same coordinate origin.

Via protection (plugging, filling, etc)

Via protection (plugging, filling, etc) bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:14

IPC has defined several types of via protection in the IPC-4761 standard. In order to specify which holes should be protected, a separate layer showing the holes to be filled should be added to the board. This layer may be imported as a separate Gerber file, or it may be generated from the existing drill file(s).

If your CAD system has generated a Gerber file with the via holes to be protected, link that file to the Tented vias, Plugged vias, Filled vias or Capped vias layer in the Additional layers submenu.

If you do not have such a Gerber file available, a via protection layer may be created by specifying the via protection for one or more tools in a drill file. This is done by right-clicking on a tool in the Drill tools pane and choosing the desired type of via protection.

To remove via protection from a tool, right-click on the tool and choose Remove via protection.

The About via protection menu item opens a web page with an explanation of the various via protection types.

Contour

Contour bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:35

The Contour objects define the routing and scoring processes for the board. The simplest case is four lines defining the perimeter of a rectangular board. However, many PCBs have much more complex geometry. Every product must have one (and only one) outer contour. Additional contour objects may define large openings in the board, slots, scoring lines for breaking up a panel after assembly, etc.

There are four types of contour objects:

Outer contours are closed paths (no openings or overlap between segments) describing the outer boundary of a board. When manufactured, the cutting tool will cut on the outside of the line. Inside corners in the contour will have a radius of half the tool size.

Inner contours are closed paths (no openings or overlap between segments) describing the boundary of an opening in a board. When manufactured, the cutting tool will cut on the inside of the line. Inside corners in the contour will have a radius of half the tool size.

Track contours are slots in the board. The center of the cutting tool follows the line, and the slot width is the tool size.

Scoring is a process where a pair of circular blades cut into the top and bottom of the board, so that the board may be broken at a later point in time (usually after components have been mounted). Scoring lines must be straight horizontal or vertical lines which extend to the entire height or width of the board.

To create a contour object:

  1. Choose a cutter diameter. If necessary, enter a diameter (in mm) between 0.6 and 3.1.
  2. Check off for plated edges (if desired). The outer contour of a product can not be plated.
  3. Select the segments from the active layer.
  4. Select/specify the routing depth (applies only to inner contours and track contours).
  5. Click on the button for the desired contour object.

If the selected segments do not describe a closed path, then the Outer and Inner buttons will be disabled. In the same manner, if the selected segments include anything but straight horizontal or vertical lines, then the Scoring button will be disabled.

The icon buttons at the top determine how segments are selected or created. The first four buttons set the segment selection mode:

  • Select chain selects all segments in a path. A path is defined as a sequence of segments where the start point of each segment is equal to the end point of the previous segment. For a closed path, you only need to select any part of the path. For an open path, you should select the beginning of the path. Previously selected segments will be deselected.
  • Select selects all of the segments within the selection rectangle. Any previously selected segments will be deselected.
  • Selection add selects all of the segments within the selection rectangle without deselecting any previously selected segments.
  • Selection subtract deselects only the segments within the selection rectangle, leaving the remaining segments selected.

Use the left mouse button to draw a selection rectangle around the segments to select. Only segments on the Active layer (shown in blue) are selected. To change the active layer, choose a layer from the Active layer drop down list at the top of the Contour pane.

Note: Normally, only lines and arcs may be selected as contour objects. In order to select a round, oval, square, rectangle or rounded rectangle as a contour object, press the Ctrl key while selecting.

The next two buttons may be used to draw segments:

  • Draw contour segment allows you to draw a contour segment manually. A straight line segment is created from the point where you press the left mouse button to the point where the mouse button is released.
  • Quick contour allows you to draw a contour rectangle manually. Four straight line segments are created from the selection rectangle.

Drawn segments are used in the same manner as selected segments when creating a contour object.

Note: The two drawing modes may be useful if you have difficulties defining an outer contour, or if you simply want to do a quick import for the purpose of getting a price estimate.

The rightmost button clears all selected segments:

  • Selection clear deselects all selected segments.

To delete contour objects, right click on the object and choose Delete or Delete all.

Drawing contour segments

Drawing contour segments bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:25

Contour segments may be drawn manually. This is especially useful if the active layer has an incomplete contour, where you need to close one or more gaps.

To draw a contour segment:

  1. Click on the Draw contour segment button.
  2. Move the mouse pointer to the position where the segment will start. If desired, press the X key to snap the mouse pointer to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  3. Click and hold down the mouse button to start the drawn segment.
  4. Move the mouse pointer to the position where the segment will end. If desired, press the X key to snap the mouse pointer to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  5. Release the mouse button to create the segment.

To draw a rectangle:

  1. Click on the Quick contour button.
  2. Move the mouse pointer to one corner of the rectangle. If desired, press the X key to snap the mouse pointer to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  3. Click and hold down the mouse button to start the drawn rectangle.
  4. Move the mouse pointer to the opposite corner. If desired, press the X key to snap the mouse pointer to the nearest existing segment endpoint.
  5. Release the mouse button to create the rectangle.

Automatic contour definition

Automatic contour definition bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:28

If a file has been linked to the Board layer, then an attempt will be made to automatically define the outer and inner (if any) contour objects. The auto-contour operation is performed after autolinking, or when switching to the contour tab (if the outer contour is not yet defined).

Auto-contour does not work properly in all cases. Therefore, the contour should always be checked before publishing the imported product. In particular, automatically generated contour objects will have the default tool diameter specified with the Edit|Options… menu command. If this is too large, then the objects must be deleted and re-created manually.

Auto-contour may be disabled by selecting the Autolink|Automatically define contour (if possible) menu item, so that the check mark is removed.

Board specifications

Board specifications bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:35

The Specs pane is used to specify board properties, such as stackup, surface finish and silkscreen colors.

Click on the select button to choose a stackup.

Choose a surface finish and colors for solder mask and legend. You can change the default values for these with the Edit|Options… menu command.

If the board is to have hard (electrolytic) gold, specify the total area to have gold for each side.

Specify additional properties as appropriate.

If you have additional remarks that need to be passed on to the fabricator together with the production data, these can be entered either added to the Remarks layer or by using the Edit|Remarks to fabricator... menu command of the Import module.

If you are importing a board that is a revision of an existing product, you may use the Edit|Import board specs from product... menu command and enter a product number. This will populate the board specifications and minimum feature sizes with values from the specified product.

Note: For single layer boards, it is not possible to link a soldermask file to the non-copper side of the board. In the Board Specifications pane, the soldermask color for the non-copper side will be set to None. Changing this to a color will indicate that the board should have soldermask on the non-copper side. This may increase the cost of the board.

Stackup selection

Stackup selection bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:35

The Product layer buildup dialog box is used to choose from among the pre-defined layer builds, or to specify a custom build.

Click on a build number in the matrix to display an overview of the build. Right-click on the overview to view a detailed stackup drawing as a PDF file or to copy a simple diagram to the clipboard as text.

There are three types of builds:

  • Free builds: These are builds where the total thickness and copper thicknesses are specified, but the distance between layers will be determined by the manufacturer. These builds are the least expensive.
  • Constrained builds: These are builds where the thicknesses of all layers are specified.
  • Custom builds: These are builds where each layer and material may be specified individually. A custom build may be specified as a free custom build or a constrained custom build. Note: For 0-2 layers, a custom build is always specified as a free build. Custom buildups are subject to approval by the manufacturer, who may suggest changes to improve manufacturability.

Specifying custom buildups in Macaos Enterprise

Specifying custom buildups in Macaos Enterprise bruce Wed, 12/08/2010 - 10:15

Custom stackup definition

To specify a free custom build, specify the thicknesses for each conductor layer, and specify the total thickness.

To specify a constrained custom build, select or specify a thickness for each layer in the build.

Thicknesses may be selected from the drop down list or entered in the text box. An integer value will be interpreted as µm. A value with a decimal character will be interpreted as mm.

By default, custom builds are symmetric. When first specifying a thickness in the upper half of the build, the same thickness will be applied to the corresponding layer in the lower half of the build. In order for this function properly, all conductor and dielectric thicknesses should be specified before adding other layers to the build. Asymmetric buildups should be avoided, as this can lead to warping and other difficulties during manufacture.

The dielectric material for the build should be selected from the list at the bottom of the frame (to the right of the Help button). A wide variety of commonly used dielectric materials are included in the list. If you require a material that is not in the list, choose User defined (from the bottom of the list) and specify the material. The use of non-standard materials or thicknesses can greatly increase the cost and delivery time of the product.

The standard thickness tolerance is ±10%. Specifying a tighter tolerance will lead to higher costs.

At the bottom of the dialog box, there is a list of previously specified custom builds (if any). Select one of these to reuse the build in the new product.

Conductor layers

Select or specify a thickness for the conductor foil. The specified thickness should not include the thickness of hole plating. Plating is specified as a separate “layer.”

Conductor layers may be marked as flexible.

Conductor layers may be marked as having a thickness which is impedance critical.

By default, conductor layers are copper. To specify special requirements for the layer, check off for Choose another and enter the material name, manufacturer and/or description as desired.

Dielectric layers

Select or specify a thickness for the dielectric layer. The thickness of a dielectric layer may also be specified as a combination of prepreg sheets. Prepreg should be specified as follows:

qty x type [+ qty x type [+ qty x type]]

(without any spaces). For example, combinations such as 2x2116 or 1x1080+2x7628 are allowed. Valid prepreg types are 106, 1080, 2112, 2113, 2116, 2125, and 7628. Note: A nominal thickness is used for each prepreg type. The actual thickness may vary slightly depending on manufacturer.

Dielectric layers may be specified as core, prepreg or either. (If the thickness is specified as prepreg sheets, it will automatically be interpreted as prepreg when specified as either.)

Dielectric layers may be marked as flexible.

Dielectric layers may be marked as having a thickness which is impedance critical.

By default, dielectric layers use the material specified at the bottom of the frame (to the right of the Help button). To specify special requirements for the dielectric layer, check off for Choose another and select a material from the drop-down list.

Cover-layer layers

Cover-layer layers may only be added to conductor layers which are marked as flexible. Right-click on the desired conductor layer to add a cover-layer. You need only add a cover-layer layer to the build if you have special requirements, or for rigid-flex boards.

By default, the thickness is specified as Nominal thickness, which means that the manufacturer will use a suitable thickness. A different thickness may be selected or entered as desired. Cover-layer layers are always marked as flexible.

By default, cover-layer layers use the manufacturer’s standard material. To specify special requirements for the layer, check off for Choose another and specify the material.

Stiffener layers

Stiffener layers may only be added to cover-layer or copper layers which are marked as flexible. Right-click on the desired layer to add a stiffener layer. You need only add a stiffener layer to the build if you have special requirements, or for rigid-flex boards.

By default, the stiffener thickness is calculated to give a total flex+stiffener thickness of 0.30 mm, if possible. A different thickness may be selected or entered as desired. Stiffener layers are not marked as flexible.

By default, stiffener layers use the manufacturer’s standard material. To specify special requirements for the layer, check off for Choose another and specify the material.

Adhesive/bonding layers

Adhesive or bonding layers may be added above or below any layer. Right-click on the desired layer to add an adhesive or bonding layer. You need only add an adhesive or bonding layer to the build if you have special requirements.

By default, the layer thickness is specified as Nominal thickness, which means that the manufacturer will use a suitable thickness. A different thickness may be selected or entered as desired. Manufacturers usually know where and how to best make use of adhesive or bonding layers.

Adhesive or bonding layers may be marked as flexible.

By default, adhesive or bonding layers use the manufacturer’s standard material. To specify special requirements for the layer, check off for Choose another and specify the material.

Plating

Plating layers represent the presence and thickness of hole plating in the buildup process. They are automatically added to the first and last conductor layer of builds with 2 or more layers. For sequential buildups or buried vias, plating should be added to the inner condcutor layers. To specify this, right-click on the layer and add plating above or beneath the layer (as appropriate). Missing or improperly placed plating layers will affect the display of buried vias in the product stackup drawing.

If plating is not correctly specified for inner layers, then buried vias will not be correctly drawn in the product stackup drawing.

Note: When specifying plated inner layers, the inner layer (foil) thickness should be specified as 20 μm less than the desired layer thickness.

The plating thickness may not be specified. For IPC Class 1 or 2, plating shall be at least 20 μm thick. For IPC Class 3, plating shall be at least 25 μm thick. Note that actual plating thickness can vary greatly from one place to another on the board, subject to plating process conditions. It is therefore not advisable to use a plated layer for impedance critical signal paths.

Metal-based boards

To specify a stackup for a metal-based board, check off for Thermal substrate (near the top of the frame). For a 2-layer build, you may choose a thermal Core rather than a thermal substrate at the bottom of the build.

Board statistics

Board statistics bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:36

The Stats pane shows statistics for holes, routing, minimum features and other parameters. Parameters that can increase the cost of the product are highlighted with red text.

Minimum features

Minimum track width is the minimum width of electrical copper features on the layer. Minimum clearance is the minimum spacing between copper features on the layer. Minimum annular ring is the minimum ring width (pad radius minus hole radius) around plated holes on the layer.

Minimum track width and minimum annular ring are estimated by performing a simple analysis of the imported copper and drill layer data. Minimum clearance is estimated to be the same as the minimum track width. These estimates will be correct in most cases, but some CAD systems generate their trace and/or pad data in a manner that is too complex and timeconsuming for the rapid analysis performed by the Import module. Click on the hyperlink for more info about estimated minimum features.

If you know that one or more of the estimated values are incorrect, you should enter the correct values as necessary.

Note: If an estimated value is zero, then you must enter a value.

Note: If you have specified a stackup with a copper thickness larger than 1 ounce (35μm) then you may encounter restrictions on the allowed minimum track width or clearance. The minimum allowed track width or clearance on a layer is typically 2 to 3 times the copper thickness.

Note: Minimum feature sizes are used during price calculation, and if incorrectly specified may lead to incorrect price quotations. They are checked by the seller's CAM department prior to production, and actual prices will be adjusted if necessary.

Mulit-board panels

If the product is a multi-board panel, specify the number of boards in the panel and the number of unique boards in the panel. Click on a hyperlink for more info about specifying board quantities.

Note: These values are used during price calculation, and if incorrectly specified may lead to incorrect price quotations. They are checked by the manufacturer's CAM department prior to production, and actual prices will be adjusted if necessary.

Board ID and Options

Board ID and Options bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:38

The ID & Options pane is used to specify the product's name and description, and to specify product options as desired.

Product identification

A product must have a name. It may also have an article/stock/part number and/or a description.

If the manufacturer's packing system supports bar codes, the article number will be printed on the package labels both as text and as a bar code (unless the article number exceeds 20 characters). It should contain only English language letters, numbers, spaces, and the most common symbols (such as periods [.], hyphens [-] and slashes [/]).

Product options

Performance class: IPC, in the IPC-601x standards, has defined performance classes as a simple method of specifying tolerances and other quality requirements when manufacturing a PCB. The standard performance class is class 2, which is suitable for most applications. Class 3 is a highreliability class with very tight requirements and an extensive test and inspection regime intended for extremely demanding applications. Due to the very high cost of class 3 production, Macaos has defined a class 2+ which adds two specific class 3 requirements (hole plating thickness and annular ring) to class 2. Class 2+ provides higher reliability than class 2 with only a moderate cost increase.

Impedance control: If checked, then this product will require impedance control during manufacture. Impedance control is an added cost option.

Disallow manufacturer marking: If checked, then the manufacturer shall not add any identifying marks to the board. This option should not be selected if the board requires UL marks.

Copper shaving not allowed: If checked, then the manufacturer shall not retract copper from board edges or cutouts. Selecting this option implies that copper burrs along edges will be accepted. This option should only be checked in cases where it is necessary that copper extend to the board edges.

Padstacks

Padstacks bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:50

In this mode you can view the shapes and sizes of all pads in a padstack. Click on a drill hole to view the padstack report.

Fiducial marks

Fiducial marks bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:51

If a board is going to be sent through an automated (pick and place) assembly process, then the board should have at least one fiducial mark. A fiducial mark may be added by specifying the size and shape of the mark and clicking at the desired location. Press Ctrl+Alt when clicking to specify the location coordinates with the keyboard. Fiducials must not be placed too close to copper features or holes. If placed within a copper plane, an opening will be made in the copper. If a Pick&Place layer exists, the fiducial mark will also be indicated there.

Graphical remarks

Graphical remarks bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:51

You may add remarks to a board. This is useful, for example, if there is some information about a specific region on the board which needs to be communicated to the manufacturer. To place a remark:

  1. Click on the Add remarks to board button to depress the button.
  2. Draw a circle around the area on the board to which the remark applies.
  3. Enter the text of the remark in the Place remark dialog box. Add line breaks as appropriate. The text will be placed to the right of the circle.
  4. Click OK to complete creation of the remark.

Use the Clear all remarks button to remove all remarks from the board.

Note: If you wish to add a remark which is not tied to a specific location on the board, you may use the Edit|Remarks to fabricator menu command.

Product number

Product number bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:52

The manufacturer places a product/batch number at some position on the board, in order to identify the boards during production. If you wish, you may specify the position of this mark, rather than leaving it to the manufacturer to place the mark. The mark is normally placed on the legend top layer, but you may choose the bottom layer instead. If no legend layer exists, then the mark will be placed on a copper layer. If you choose not to place a mark, the mark will be placed by the manufacturer (unless there is not enough “empty” space on the board for the mark). To place a mark:

  1. Click on the Place Product/Batch number button to depress the button.
  2. Select the radio button for the desired layer.
  3. Select the Horizontal or Vertical radio button, or press Ctrl+R to change the text orientation.
  4. Place the rectangle at the desired location.
  5. Press Escape to exit the placement mode.

You should only place one mark on a board. For a panel of boards, a mark should be placed on each board in the panel.

Use the Clear symbols button or the Delete key to remove all marks.

Symbols

Symbols bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:53

A number of commonly used symbols may be added to the board. To add a symbol to the board, click on the Add symbols button and then do the following:

  1. Select the desired symbol.
  2. Select the radio button for the desired layer.
  3. Click and draw a rectangle for the bounding box of the symbol. (Doesn't apply to bar codes.)
  4. Right-click to cancel the operation, if desired.
  5. For a panel of boards, a symbol should be placed on each board.

Use the Clear symbols button or the Delete key to remove all of the current type of symbols.

The following symbols may be placed on soldermask or legend layers:

  • UL mark. A bounding box is drawn where the manufacturer should place their UL mark. UL marks are specific to the factory, so only the boundary is displayed. By default, bounding boxes are restricted to one of several standard sizes. To create a smaller boundinig box, press Ctrl when clicking. Note: not all factories support smaller boxes.
  • Lead-free symbol
  • CE mark
  • WEEE symbol
  • Recycle symbol
  • ESD-susceptibility symbol
  • RoHS mark
  • Annotation field. An annotation field is simply a solid rectangle, which may be used for laser etching or manual markings, such as serial numbers.
    An annotation field may either be drawn as a rectangle or placed with a size suitable for a specific marking. To define the marking size, click on the Define button. This opens a dialog box for calculating the appropriate size for a text or bar code. You should enter a text similar (and with the same number of characters) as will be actually used.
    Note: Two-dimensional bar codes use different encodings for a text with numbers-only, English alphanumeric text, or containing other-language characters. The actual bar code may differ in size from the sample displayed in the dialog if the sample text differs in number of character types.

The following text formats may only be placed on legend layers:

  • Bar code in Code 128-B format.
  • 2D bar code in Data Matrix ECC 200 format.
    Enter the bar code text in the edit box. The size of the bar code depends on the length of the text. Two floating rectangles display the size of the bar code and the surrounding quiet zone. Click to place the bar code. A bar code on the bottom layer is automatically mirrored.
    The bar code will be in the legend color, with the soldermask color as the background color. For white on green, this will result in an inverse image. Note: Many bar code reader apps do not support inverse images. We recommend the “ScanLife” app by Scanbuy, Inc., available at www.getscanlife.com.
  • A text string.
    Enter the text in the edit box. A floating rectangle displays the size of the text. Click to place the text string. Text on the bottom layer is automatically mirrored.
    A text string that complies with IPC/JEDEC standard J-STD-609A (for marking lead-free printed circuit boards) may be generated by clicking on the J-STD-609 button. This opens a dialog box where you may choose the material codes to include in the text string.

Note: Only ASCII characters from 32-127 are supported. This includes all digits, all letters in the English alphabet, and many symbols. Non-english characters or characters with accents or other diacritical marks are not supported.

Note: If the edit box is not visible, maximize the Import module window and/or uncheck the View| Edit tabs and View|Layers menu items to increase the width of the graphic display.

Panelizing a product

Panelizing a product bruce Fri, 07/10/2009 - 11:56

To panelize a product, you need to do the following:

  1. Locate the product to panelize. Select the product in the Macaos Enterprise product browser and then click on the Panel button to open the panelization module.
  2. Run an Autopanel script (optional). If desired, select an autopanel script by clicking on the Autopanel (gears) button. After running the script, skip to step 5.
  3. Specify the array. Adjust the board quantity, frame width and instance spacing as desired. You can also specify scoring, corners and copper fill in the frame. Once you are satisfied with all specifications on this tab, click on the Panelize button.
    Add boards to the panel (optional). Press Ctrl+R to show the product chooser. Drag or Double-click on a product name to add it to the panel.
    Move, rotate and flip boards (optional). Select a portion of a board contour to move or rotate the board. Right-click or press the space bar to rotate. Press Ctrl to disable snap when moving. Click to place the board or press Esc to cancel. With the mouse pointer within an unselected board, press Space to rotate 180° or Shift+Space to flip the board upside down.
  4. Specify break-off tabs. Break-off tabs are automatically generated when panelizing a single board (if autoplace is specified). If desired, click on the Tabs toolbar button to modify the default style and placement of Break-off tabs. For a multi-product panel, breakoff
    tabs must be added manually.
  5. Place fiducial marks (optional). Click on the Fiducial marks toolbar button. Specify diameters and location, and then click on the Place button.
  6. Place frame holes (optional). Click on the Frame holes toolbar button. Specify diameter and location of tooling holes and/or diameter, spacing and location of break-off holes, and then click on the Place button.
  7. Place text (optional). If desired, the Text toolbar button may be used to place text, bar code or annotation fields in the frame of the panel.
  8. Place bad marks (optional). Click on the Bad marks toolbar button. Specify the side and style of the bad marks. Specify the location of the panel mark and the board marks, and then click on the Place button.
  9. Add assembly masks (optional). Click on the Assembly Masks toolbar button. Specify the mask layer, side and fill mode; and then click on the Place button. Draw a selection rectangle around the area where the mask is to be placed.
  10. Add test coupons (optional). Click on the Test coupons toolbar button. Click on the Place button to place a registration control coupon along the frame edge. Support for IPC-2221 test coupons is under development.
  11. Add remarks (options). A remark is a note attached to a location on the board. Remarks give information to manufacturers, but are not visible on the final product. Click on the Remark toolbar button and then draw a circle around the location for the remark. Enter the remark text in the dialog box.
  12. Publish the product. Click on the Publish toolbar button to complete panel creation. Specify the product name, article number and description in the dialog box.

Panel properties

Panel properties bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:59

The Panel tab is used to specify the quantity and spacing of board instances on the panel. The Unpanelize button may be used to clear all panel settings.

Instances (x * y): These values specify the number of boards in the X and Y directions, respectively. The total number of boards in the array is the product of the X and Y values.

Rot. 90°: If checked, the board instances will be rotated 90 degrees within the panel.

Frame: These values specify the width of the panel frame on each edge of the panel. These values are specified in millimeters.

Instance Spacing: These values specify the distance between each instance in the array. Instance spacing may not be less than the rout width. Be sure to specify an adequate instance spacing, if you will be adding bad marks to the panel.

Rout width: This value specifies the diameter of the routing tool used to cut the slots between the boards. Use the default value (1.6mm) unless you have a specific need for a different value (such as due to thin slots or a small inner corner radius).

X-scoring and Y-scoring: If checked, scoring (V-cut) will be used between boards rather than routing along the outer X and/or Y edges. When combining scoring and routing, you may need to add Instance spacing to achieve a desirable result.

Note: When scoring is combined with routing, the routs will not extend past the scoring line if the Instance spacing is set to zero. For best results, the Instance spacing should be at least as large as the Route width.

Scoring lines extend normally from one edge of a panel to the opposite edge. Individual scoring lines may be pulled back from the outside panel edge to the inside edge of the panel frame by holding the mouse pointer over the end of the scoring line and pressing Ctrl+V. Note: The actual scoring cut will extend a few millimeters beyond the end of the displayed scoring line, due to the diameter of the scoring saw blade. Note: Manufacturing a panel with this feature requires Jump Scoring. Not all manufacturers are able to deliver panels with Jump Scoring.

It is not normally possible to select, move or rotate individual boards when scoring has been chosen. However, a board may be rotated 180° (by pressing the Space key) or flipped (by pressing Shift+Space) while the mouse pointer is above the board to be rotated.

Copper fill: The frame may be filled with copper on the outer and/or inner layer(s). Outer layers are filled with solid copper. Inner layers are filled with a pattern of 5mm diameter dots. Note: Adding copper to the outer layer increases panel stiffness, but may affect soldering temperature.

Copper fill helps increase the panel stiffness during the soldering process, and is especially useful for lead-free soldering. However, copper fill is not advised for vapor-phase soldering since the large copper mass may steal too much heat.

Corners: Choose between square, rounded or chamfered corners on the panel frame. Chamfered corners may be chosen for either top feeding or side feeding. Note: Rounded or chamfered corners are not available if the panel frame width is too small for the corner modification.

Break-off tabs

Break-off tabs bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:00

Tab length: This value specifies the length of the tabs. For edge tabs, this is the length of the narrowest point on the tab. For corner tabs, the width of the narrowest point is about 40% of the specified tab length.

Holes: A row of “mousebite” holes may be added to tabs. Diameter, spacing and offset of the holes may be specified. The number of holes is determined automatically. Holes are not added to corner tabs.

Autoplace: This function places tabs at the midpoints or corners of each board's outer contour. For boards with curved edges, the endpoints of arcs are treated as corners.

For boards with complex contours and for multi-product panels, autoplacement may give undesirable results.

Manual placement: To place tabs manually, click on the Place button (so that it is “down”).

If you click and drag the mouse pointer, a horizontal or vertical line appears. When you release the mouse button, tabs will be placed at each point where the line crosses a board edge.

Alternatively, tabs can be placed one at a time. Clicking on the edge of a board will place tabs at that position on each instance of that board in the panel. To place a tab on only one board, hold the Ctrl key down while clicking to place the tab.

For wave soldered panels, you should add at least one break-off tab to inner contours so that the material will not be removed during production.

Tab removal: To remove all tabs, click on the Clear all button.

To remove individual tabs, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”). Left-click and draw a selection rectangle around the tab(s) to remove. All tabs at that position on all boards in the array will be removed. To remove a tab from only one board, hold the Ctrl key down while removing the tab.

Note: If a multi-product panel is specified without any tabs, the boards within the panel will be delivered as individual boards rather than as a panel. (A single-product panel may not be specified without tabs.)

Fiducial marks

Fiducial marks bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:01

Fiducial marks consist of a copper pad and a soldermask opening. The clear zone is the size of the copper fill opening (if copper fill is enabled). A fiducial on a paste mask layer will have the same size as on the copper layer.

Fiducial marks may be added to the panel frame and/or for each board in the panel. It is not possible to place fiducials within the outer contour of any board in the panel.

Panel fiducial marks

Panel fiducial marks are added to the panel frame relative to the outer corners of the frame.

Click on the Panel radio button and specify the layers, sizes, shapes, corners and distances from corners. Then click on the Place button to place the specified fiducial marks. Repeat as necessary.

Board fiducial marks

Board fiducial marks are added to the space between boards relative to the corners of each board's bound box. The bound box is the rectangle defined by the board's maximum width and height. The center of a board fiducial may not be placed more than 10mm inside of the bound box.

Click on the Boards radio button and specify the layers, sizes, shapes, corners and distances from corners. Then click on the Place button to place the specified fiducial marks. Repeat as necessary.

Note: Board fiducials may not be placed within the contour of a board. If you need to place fiducials within a board, this should be done in the import module prior to publishing the single-board product.

Removing fiducial marks

To remove all fiducial marks, click on the Clear all button.

To remove individual fiducial marks, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”) and then click on the fiducial mark to remove.

Frame holes

Frame holes bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:02

Tooling holes

Tooling holes are holes typically placed in each corner of the panel, which may be used when inserting the panel into an assembly machine.

Specify the diameter, corners and distances from corners. Then click on the Place button to place the specified holes. Repeat as necessary. Tooling slots may also be defined. In this case, a slot height and width must be specified. The smaller dimension is the diameter of the cutting tool, and the larger dimension is the total length of the slot (including tool radius).

Break-off holes

Break-off holes are a row of holes in the frame in line with an edge of the boards in the panel. These are used to break away portions of the frame when removing the finished boards from the panel.

Specify the board edge, diameter and hole spacing. Then click on the Place
button to place the specified holes.

Removing holes

To remove all tooling holes and break-off holes, click on the Clear all button.

To remove individual tooling holes or break-off holes, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”) and then draw a selection rectangle around the hole(s) to remove.

Text and bar codes

Text and bar codes bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:03

First, select the Target layer and enter the text.

Plain text

The Font height specifies the height of the characters. Select a Rotation, if desired. Text on a bottom layer will automatically be mirrored.

Click on the Place button (so that it is “down”). Then click where you wish to place the text.

Text on Legend layers may be placed in the panel frame or within individual boards, which is useful when giving the boards in the panel individual position identifiers.

For other layers, text may only be placed where it will fit within the frame of the panel. It is not possible to place text on the boards.

To remove text, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”) and then click on the text to remove.

Bar code

A bar code may be placed on either legend layer of the panel frame. The bar code is generated in either Code128-B or Data Matrix ECC 200 format.

White legend on green solder mask will give an inverse bar code image. Note: Many bar code reader apps do not support inverse images. We recommend the “ScanLife” app by Scanbuy, Inc., available at www.getscanlife.com.

Check Vertical orientation, if a Code 128-B bar code will be placed along one of the vertical edges of the frame. A bar code on the bottom layer will
automatically be mirrored.

Click on the Place button (so that it is “down”). Then click where you wish to place the bar code. A bar code may only be placed where it will fit within the frame of the panel. It is not possible to place a bar code on the boards.

To remove bar codes, click on the Clear all button. All bar codes will be removed.

Note: The bar codes are limited to ASCII characters from 32 to 127. This includes all digits, all letters in the English alphabet, and many symbols. Non-english characters or characters with accents or other diacritical marks are not supported.

Annotation field

An annotation field is a solid rectangle which may be used for laser etching, handwritten serial numbers or other information. It may be placed on a legend or solder mask layer of the panel frame.

Click on the desired layer name in the layer list, and then click on the Place button (so that it is “down”). Choose whether the annotation field is to be drawn or placed with a defined mark size.

If drawn, then draw a rectangle defining the size of the annotation field.

If placed with a defined mark size, click first on the Define button. This opens a dialog box for calculating the appropriate size for a text or bar code. You should enter a text similar (and with the same number of characters) as will be actually used. After closing the dialog box, place the annotation field as desired.

Note: Two-dimensional bar codes use different encodings for a text with numbers-only, English alphanumeric text, or containing other-language characters. The actual bar code may differ in size from the sample displayed in the dialog if the sample text differs in number of
character types.

To remove annotation fields, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”) and then click on the fields to remove.

Bad marks

Bad marks bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:04

Bad marks are locations (either bare copper or legend ink) on a panel where an indicator may be placed to mark boards or panels that should be ignored in the assembly process. The bad boards or panels may be marked with a felt marker or a sticker. Many assembly machines are capable of detecting bad marks, and will automatically skip the bad boards/panels during assembly.

  1. Specify the side, style, diameter and shape of the bad marks.
  2. Specify the location of the mark for the panel. The position is specified as the distance from the corner, so the values will always be positive.
  3. Specify the location of the marks for each board. The position is specified relative to the selected corner. For bottom or left sides, it may be necessary to specify a negative value to place the mark outside of the board.
  4. Click on the Place button to place the specified bad marks.

Be sure to check that the bad marks for each board do not get placed within neighboring boards. If necessary, you should increase the instance spacing between the boards to make room for the bad marks.

Removing bad marks

To remove bad marks, click on the Clear all button. All bad marks will be removed.

Assembly masks

Assembly masks bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:05

Often, the necessary data for assembly masks is missing from the Gerber files created by the board designer. Especially in cases where assembly is being done by an EMS provider, this missing data can be a problem. It is the EMS provider who knows the processes and needs to specify the masks, but getting this information to the board designer early enough to be included in the design is usually not possible. With the assembly masks feature, the mask areas may be specified by the production engineer while creating the assembly panel.

Masks are specified by drawing rectangles on the panel. The Fill mode determines whether the mask will be applied to the entire rectangle or to all soldermask openings within the rectangle. This is repeated at the same location on all instances of the same board in the panel.

The following assembly masks (top or bottom side) may be defined:

  • Peel-off mask (Blue mask): Used to protect a region from the solder process(es). Normally applied to an entire rectangle.
  • Paste mask: Defines openings in a solder mask stencil. This data may then be used in the Stencil Module to create a stencil product. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.
  • Glue mask: Defines openings in a glue mask stencil. Normally applied to an entire rectangle drawn between the pads of a component.
  • Hard gold: Defines which pads should have a hard (electrolytic) gold (finger contact) finish. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.
  • Carbon print: Defines which pads should have a carbon (finger contact) finish. Normally applied to pads within the rectangle.
  • Kapton tape: Used to protect a region from chemical or solder processes. Normally applied to an entire rectangle.
  • Legend: The notation layer, sometimes also called silkscreen. Used to create an annotation field.

A mask is defined by the chosen fill mode when a selection rectangle is drawn. The fill modes are:

  • Duplicate pads: The mask duplicates all soldermask openings within the selection rectangle. This mode is normally used for paste mask, hard gold and carbon layers. The mask will normally be somewhat larger than the copper pad it covers, but this should not be a problem. For a paste mask, the actual stencil opening size may be adjusted to a percentage of the copper pad size in the stencil product creator module. For hard gold and carbon layers, the mask is simply used to document to the manufacturer which pads should have a hard gold or carbon finish.
  • Rectangle: The mask covers the entire area within the selection rectangles. This mode is normally used for peel-off and glue mask layers.

Note: For the Legend layer, you choose a placement method rather than a fill mode. This is the same as for placing an annotation field.

Note: Assembly masks are added to the panel, and not to the boards within the panel. For this reason, if a board is moved or rotated, any assembly masks will not follow the board.

To remove all mask objects, click on the Clear all button.

To remove individual mask objects, click on the Remove button (so that it is “down”) and then draw a selection rectangle around the mask object(s) to remove.

Test coupons

Test coupons bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:06

 

Registration control coupon

A registration control coupon may be added to the panel frame by clicking the Place button (so that it is “down”) and then clicking at the desired location. The coupon has a combination of thin (0.1 to 0.175 mm) lines and plated holes, for use with cross-section or registration testing of the finished panel. The product number is encoded as a Data Matrix at either end of the coupon.

To remove all coupons, click on the Clear all button.

Note: If the stackup has copper layers with a copper thickness of more than than 35μm (1 oz) then the lines in the registration coupon are enlarged accordingly.

IPC-2221 Test Coupons

Support for IPC-2221 test coupons is under development and planned for release later this year.

 

Graphical remarks

Graphical remarks bruce Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:07

You may add remarks to a panel. This is useful, for example, if there is some information about a specific region on the board which needs to be communicated to the manufacturer. To place a remark:

  1. Click on the Remark toolbar button to activate the graphical remarks mode.
  2. Draw a circle around the area on the board to which the remark applies.
  3. Enter the text of the remark in the Place remark dialog box. Add line breaks as appropriate. The text will be placed to the right of the circle.
  4. Click OK to complete creation of the remark.

Click on the Remove remarks toolbar button to remove all remarks from the board.

Creating a solder paste stencil product

Creating a solder paste stencil product bruce Thu, 07/29/2010 - 09:01

A solder paste stencil is used to apply solder paste to the surface mount pads of a PCB. Typically, a stencil is stretched over the PCB so that the correct quantity of solder paste may be placed on each pad. The amount of solder paste is a function of the stencil opening size and the stencil thickness. Often, openings in the stencil are reduced, relative to the copper pad size, by some percentage so that the correct amount of solder paste will be applied to the pads.

You can use the Stencil Creator Module to create solder paste stencil product(s) either by extracting the paste mask data from an existing PCB product, or by importing the data from a Gerber file.

Creating stencil products

  1. Locate the PCB product for which you wish to create a stencil and then click on the Stencil button to open the Stencil Creator Module. If you wish to create a stencil product directly from Gerber files, then click on a folder name (so that no product is selected) before clicking on the Stencil button.
  2. On the Stencil and frame data panel, specify the layer(s) and frame to use for the stencil.
  3. On the Placement panel, specify the placement of the data within the frame.
  4. On the Shape manipulation panel, specify opening size adjustments and corner rounding.
  5. On the Fiducials panel, it is possible to define fiducials.
  6. On the Split or edit openings panel, it is possible to replace an opening or break a large opening into a pattern of smaller openings.
  7. On the Text and identification panel, specify the product's name and description, and place text (if desired).
  8. On the Delete objects panel, delete any unnecessary objects from the stencil data.
  9. On the Reduced thickness (stepped) regions panel, it is possible to define regions of the stencil that should be thinner than the rest of the stencil.
  10. On the Transfer objects panel, objects from any other layer may be copied to a stencil layer.
  11. Click on the Publish button to create the new paste mask stencil product(s). By default, a stencil product is created with the same product number as the PCB product, plus pt (for top) or pb (for bottom) or just p (for both). If the paste mask product already exists, then the new product will be given a new product number (plus pt, pb or p).

Stencil and frame data

Stencil and frame data bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:41

The check boxes at the top of the panel specify the layer(s) for which stencils will be created.

If no product has been selected, then the Load buttons may be used to import Gerber data for the stencil(s) to create. The Load top and Load bottom buttons import the stencil opening data for the top and bottom layers respectively. The Load outline button may be used to load a board outline for use when centering in the stencil frame.

Select frame

Select a frame for the stencil product. You may choose from one of the active frames in the list or define your own frame using the Frame Manager.

Alternatively, a frame may be generated from product data in the following manner:

  1. Click on the Select from data button (so that it is down)
  2. Click on the product layer name that contains the stencil frame outline.
  3. Draw a selection rectangle around some portion of the outline.

Note: The frame outline must be a closed polygon outline (a closed end-to-end chain of line segments without gaps or overlap). If necessary, use the Delete frame button to delete the frame.

If desired, use the Rotate frame button to rotate the frame relative to the board data.

Stencil specifications

The stencil size is normally determined by the selected frame. If no frame is selected then it must be specified.

The stencil thickness is normally determined by the selected frame. If desired, this may be changed as needed. If no frame is selected then a thickness must be chosen.

The stencil type is normally determined by the selected frame. All types other than Normal are licensed or patented frame patterns that are usually related to specific frame sizes.

Set a check mark by the Coated option if the stencil should be coated (e.g. nano-coating) to improve hole wall smoothness and paste release. The actual coating process may vary from supplier to supplier. This is an extra cost option.

Set a check mark by the Polish option if the walls of stencil openings should be electro-polished, to improve smoothness. This is usually a standard option, but may incur an extra cost with some suppliers.

Set a check mark by the Protect frame option if the frame edges are to be protected (typically to help operators avoid cutting their hands on the stencil edges). For normal stencil types, this would typically be folding the frame edges back. For some stencil types there are more advanced protection methods, such as the LPKF Protect System.

Placement

Placement bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:42

The stencil data may either be placed relative to the center of the frame or the frame edge.

If there is solder paste data for both sides of the board, then you may choose to include openings for both sides of the board on the same stencil by marking the Place top and bottom data on one stencil check box. You may also choose to add text indicating which set of openings applies to which side of the PCB.

If you do not choose to place top and bottom data on one stencil, then two stencil products will be created when you publish. When creating two stencils, you may choose either to place the data at the same location on each stencil, or specify individual locations for the top and bottom data. If individual locations are chosen, then you may choose to separate the two sides either horizontally or vertically. Use the Swap left/right data position check box to swap the positions of the two layers.

If the data is placed relative to the center of the frame, then an offset may be specified. You may also choose between anchoring the data either to the center of the board outline or the center of the solder paste openings. If top and bottom data is specified with individual locations, then you should specify the distance between the two boards.

If the data is placed relative to the frame edge, then you must specify offsets. You may choose either to specify offset from the frame edge to the farthest board edge or from the frame edge to the nearest board edge. (If there is data for both sides of the board, then there will be two offsets, one from each edge of the frame.)

Normally, the bottom side data will be mirrored so that the bottom side of the stencil will be in contact with the board, regardless of which side of the board will have solder paste applied. This may be disabled by unmarking the Mirror bottom data check box. You may also choose between horizontal and vertical mirroring.

Shape manipulation

Shape manipulation bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:43

Opening size adjustment

Stencil openings are adjusted as a percentage (by area) of the reference pad size. The reference pad is either the copper layer pad or the original paste mask data pad, depending on the selected Adjustment reference.

Specify the desired percentage prior to executing an adjustment operation. A negative percentage results in an opening that is smaller than the reference pad. Repeated opening adjustments are not cumulative.

You should first adjust all openings to the adjusted size that applies to the majority of openings. Then you may re-adjust individual openings by selecting them and applying the desired adjustment.

To adjust openings, specify the percentage, select Adjust all, Adjust selected top or Adjust selected bottom and then click on the Apply button.

Use the left mouse button to draw a selection rectangle around the openings to select. Only
openings on the chosen layer are selected. The five selection buttons are used to select the openings
that will be adjusted. These are:

  • Select selects all of the openings within the selection rectangle. All openings outside the rectangle are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. All other openings are deselected. You may only select one opening.
  • Selection add selects all of the openings within the selection rectangle without deselecting any previously selected openings.
  • Selection subtract deselects only the openings within the selection rectangle, leaving the remaining openings selected.
  • Selection clear deselects all selected openings.

To undo all adjustments, adjust all openings to 0%.

Show Adjustments

As each opening size adjustment is carried out, the operation is added to the list of adjustments. Clicking on a row in the list causes all openings with the selected adjustment to be highlighted in the graphic display.

Corner rounding

Specify the desired radius for the corners of rectangular openings. You should specify a radius approximately equal to the radius of the solder grains in the solder paste.

Potential errors

Opening sizes are compared with the original paste mask layers for potential errors, such as openings that were already reduced in the original data or openings where the reference copper pad was not found. If a Potential errors button is enabled, click on the button and inspect the highlighted openings to see if there are any actual errors.

Fiducials

Fiducials bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:44

If the paste mask data includes fiducial marks, these should be selected and marked as fiducials. Fiducial marks are etched into the stencil rather than being cut all the way through.

Manual fiducial selection

Choose a layer and click the Select fiducials button (so that it is down). Use the selection buttons (described below) to select the objects which are fiducials. All highlighted objects will be treated as fiducials when the production data is generated. Note: If a copper layer is chosen, then the selected fiducials will be copied from the copper layer to the stencil.

  • Select selects the opening within the selection rectangle. All other openings are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. All other openings are deselected.

Inferred and panel fiducials

Inferred fiducials are round objects in the paste mask data with a diameter between 0.8 mm and 1.2 mm. If any such objects are found on a layer, the corresponding button is enabled.

Panel frame fiducials are stencil fiducials that were defined in the Panel module. If any such fiducials are defined for a layer, the corresponding button is enabled.

Clicking on a Show fiducials button highlights the fiducials and opens a menu with 3 or 4 options:

  • Set all to fiducials marks all highlighted objects to be etched rather than cut.
  • Delete all removes all highlighted objects from the stencil data
  • Cut as normal holes marks all highlighted objects to be cut rather than etched.
  • Edit the selection (Inferred fiducials only) lets you select which objects are highlighted.

If Warn for possible fiducials is checked, a warning will be generated if any inferred fiducials (that have not been marked as fiducials) are found in the stencil data when publishing.

Split or edit openings

Split or edit openings bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:45

Often it is desirable to split a large stencil opening into an array of smaller openings. This can give better control over the total amount of solder paste deposited on a large pad.

Choose a layer and then choose the selection mode. Use the left mouse button to draw a selection rectangle around the opening to split. (You may only select one opening.)

The selection modes are:

  • Select selects the opening within the selection rectangle. All other openings are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. All other openings are deselected.

You can use the Highlight large pads button to help you locate pads that should be split. All pads whose width and height are larger than the Min size value will be highlighted.

Note: You may select only one opening to edit. If you select more than one pad, or if an opening is made up of several overlapping graphic objects, then you may choose to treat the selected objects as a single rectangle surrounding all selected objects. In such cases, it may afterwards be necessary to delete some of the small openings created by the split operation.

Once the desired openings have been selected, click on the Split or replace openings button to open the Split or replace stencil opening editor. The unsplit opening is shown in red and the new openings are shown in magenta.

Note: The red opening is the un-split opening size, not the copper pad size.

You may choose between several options to split or replace the pad. For each New shape type you may specify the size and placement of the replacement openings to meet your specific needs.

The Original opening and New opening(s) statistics calculate how your proposed changes will affect the opening size (and thereby the amount of solder paste) for the pad.

Once you are satisfied, click on the Replace opening button to replace the selected opening(s).

Edit shapes width/height

If necessary, the height and width of individual stencil openings may be adjusted.

Choose a layer and then choose the selection mode. Use the left mouse button to draw a selection rectangle around the openings to adjust.

The selection modes are:

  • Select selects all openings within the selection rectangle. All other openings are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. (You may only select one opening.) All other openings are deselected.
  • Selection add selects all of the openings within the selection rectangle without deselecting any previously selected openings.
  • Selection subtract deselects only the openings within the selection rectangle, leaving the remaining openings selected.
  • Selection clear deselects all selected openings.

Specify the desired width and height adjustments as a percentage of the original width/height and then click on the Apply button.

Note: For purposes of this operation, the width is always the shortest dimension of the opening, regardless of whether the “width” is horizontal or vertical. In the same manner the height is always the longest dimension of the opening.

Text and identification

Text and identification bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:45

Free text

Enter a text and click the Place text button. Click at the desired location on the stencil to place the text. The Clear free text button may be used to remove all free texts.

Frame text

If there is text defined in the stencil frame, Move and Delete buttons may be used to move or delete text from the stencil.

Mark objects as text

If the paste mask data includes text, it should be selected and marked as text. Text is etched into the stencil rather than being cut all the way through.

Choose a layer and click the Mark button (so that it is down) and then select the text objects. All highlighted objects will be treated as text when the production data is generated. In the same manner, use the Unmark button to unmark text objects.

Product identification

By default the stencils are given the same name, article number and description as the PCB product on which they are based, but these may be modified, if desired.

Delete objects

Delete objects bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:46

If the stencil data contains objects that should not be included in the stencil, these should be deleted.

Choose a layer and then use the selection buttons to select objects to delete. Click on the Delete selected button to delete the highlighted objects.

The selection modes are:

  • Select selects all openings within the selection rectangle. All other openings are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. (You may only select one opening.) All other openings are deselected.
  • Selection add selects all of the openings within the selection rectangle without deselecting any previously selected openings.
  • Selection subtract deselects only the openings within the selection rectangle, leaving the remaining openings selected.
  • Selection clear deselects all selected openings.

If necessary, the Undelete objects button may be used to restore all deleted objects.

Reduced thickness (stepped) regions

Reduced thickness (stepped) regions bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:47

In some cases it may be desirable to “step” a stencil (that is, reduce the thickness of a region of a stencil), in order to better control the amount of solder paste to be applied.

Stencil thickness is reduced in a region by etching the region until the region's thickness has been reduced to the desired thickness. This is done prior to cutting openings in the stencil.

To define reduced thickness regions, specify the side and thickness for the region, select a placement method, click on the Create region button (so that it is down) and then draw (or place) a rectangle on the stencil to define the region.

The region thickness should be defined as the desired thickness for the specified region.

Typically, etching will be done from the squeegee (top) side of the stencil, leaving a flat surface against the PCB. But in some cases, such as when there is a sticker on the PCB, it may be desirable to etch a region from the PCB (bottom) side.

There are three methods for placing a reduced thickness region:

  • Region by mouse select: Draw a selection rectangle on the stencil to define the region. The region boundaries must be at least 0.5mm from any stencil openings or other regions on the stencil.
  • Fixed size region: Specify the region dimensions and then place the rectangle where desired.
  • Region by elements and oversize: Specify an oversize dimension (in mm) and then draw a selection rectangle around the objects to be included in the region.
    • Paste layer: The objects will be selected from the paste mask top or bottom layer
    • Layer in layer list: The objects will be selected from the highlighted layer
    • by boundbox: The region will be created as a rectangle with a clearance of at least the specified oversize dimension from the selected objects on all sides
    • by objects: The region will be the specified oversize dimension larger than the selected objects on all sides, following the shape(s) of the selected objects.

To remove a region from the stencil, click on the Remove region button (so that it is in the down position), select the region thickness and then draw a selection rectangle around any portion of the region(s) to remove. Once you have removed the regions you wish to delete, click the Remove region button again to exit delete mode.

Note: Creating reduced thickness regions will increase the cost of the stencil.

Transfer objects from other layers

Transfer objects from other layers bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:48

Objects may be copied from any other layer to a stencil layer. To do so:

  1. Select the Destination layer (the stencil layer to which the object will be added).
  2. Select the source layer from the layer list. Be sure the layer is visible.
  3. Specify the size of the copy. Choosing 1:1 creates a copy with the same size as the original. Choosing Oversize creates a copy whose height and width are increased as specified.
  4. Choose a selection mode, and then select the objects to copy.
  5. Click on the Accept button to copy the selected objects.

The selection modes are:

  • Select selects all openings within the selection rectangle. All other openings are deselected.
  • Select similar selects all of the openings that have the same aperture definition (D-code) as the selected opening. (You may only select one opening.) All other openings are deselected.
  • Selection add selects all of the openings within the selection rectangle without deselecting any previously selected openings.
  • Selection subtract deselects only the openings within the selection rectangle, leaving the remaining openings selected.
  • Selection clear deselects all selected openings.

The Undo transfers button deletes all objects that have been transferred from other layers.

Using Pick and Place data

Using Pick and Place data bruce Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:49

Support for use of Pick and Place data when working with stencil openings is under development. It will be possible to modify the openings for all pads in a single component, and propagate those modifications to all components having the same footprint. This feature is planned for release later this year.

Placing an order

Placing an order bruce Wed, 05/02/2007 - 15:43

To order a product, you need to do the following:

  1. Choose a product. Locate and select the product in the Product explorer.
  2. Obtain a price quotation. Click on the Buy button to open the Quotation module. Select one or more quantities and one or more delivery times (days) and then click on the Get Price button.
  3. Add to the Shopping basket. Select a quantity/days/price combination and click on the Add to Basket button. After selecting a delivery address for the product, it is added to the Shopping basket. If you wish to order more of the same product, then select a new quantity/days/price combination and click Add to Basket again. Repeat steps 1 to 3 to order additional products.
  4. Place the order. Click on the Check Out button in the Quotation dialog. After selecting an invoice address for the order, select a payment method and enter a purchase order number. Clicking on the Final Ordering button confirms all orders in the Shopping basket. Your order confirmation is displayed and the ordered products are added to the On order folder of the Product explorer.

Alternatively, you can used Macaos Enterprise to send a Request For Quotation to participating Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers to produce your product for you.

Generating an RFQ for Assembly

Generating an RFQ for Assembly bruce Thu, 02/18/2016 - 08:24

With Macaos Enterprise, you can send a Request For Quotation (RFQ) to participating Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers. An RFQ gives the EMS provider read-only access to your board product, pick & place (PnP) data, and bill of materials (BOM) list, so that they have the information necessary to calculate their quotation.

To generate an RFQ for assembly:

  1. Import the board. If you have not already done so, use the Import Module to import your Gerber/Drill or ODB++ files to Macaos Enterprise.
    • PnP data should be imported together with your board data files. Link the PnP data file to the Pick&Place data layer. If necessary, PnP data may also be imported or created in the Assembly Manager module.
    • For best results, BOM data should be added to the product in the Assembly Data Manager module. (See step 4 below.)
  2. Panel and Stencil. Normally, you should not panelize the board or create a stencil. The EMS provider will do these steps in the manner best suited to their production processes.
  3. Choose the product. Locate and select the board product in the Product explorer.
  4. Open the Assembly Data Manager module. Click on the Assembly button to open the module. This module has tabs for processing PnP data, BOM data, remarks and the RFQ.
    Pick and place data
    Check that pick and place data is correct.
    PnP data for individual components may be created, edited, or toggled active/inactive.
    Bill of Materials
    Import and process the BOM.
    The BOM processor attempts to categorize information from each entry in the BOM and match it to known component data. BOM data is not visible to bare PCB manufacturers, but only to the EMS providers with whom you share your product.
    Remarks
    If desired, remarks may be added to the board by drawing a circle around the area in question and adding the remark text. Remarks are generated as an extra board documentation layer, which is visible to both PCB manufacturers and to EMS providers.
    Request for Quotation
    Fill out the necessary information, select EMS provider(s) and then click on the Submit RFQ button.
  5. Quotations and ordering. You should receive quotations within 2 working days by e-mail from the selected EMS provider(s). If you are satisfied with a quotation, you will need to contact the EMS provider directly to place your order with them.
  6. Make sure your selected supplier has access to your product. Generating RFQs automatically shares your product with the EMS provider(s) for a period of 10 days, but only for the purpose of viewing and quoting your product.
    You will need to change the product share for your selected supplier so that they have Order or Manuf scope, and so that the share does not expire until after they are finished with your product.
    • The product share expiry may be changed by right-clicking on the product and choosing Share|<partner name>|Make permanent or Share|<partner name>|Edit.
    • The product share scope may be changed by right-clicking on the product and choosing Share|<partner name>|Change scope to <scope>.

    See the user manual for more info about editing product shares.

Assembly Data Manager - Pick and place tab

Assembly Data Manager - Pick and place tab bruce Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:37

The Pick and place tab displays a list of all components in the pick and place (PnP) data file(s). In the graphic display, each component is shown as a small cross at the "pick-point" with an arrow indicating rotation and with the component designator nearby. The Top side/Bottom side check boxes may be used to show/hide components in the list.

For each component in the list:

  • A check mark indicates that the component is active. Inactive components will not be included in the pick and place data used for automatic placement by the EMS provider.
  • The icon indicates whether the component is top side or bottom side.
  • The component designator, rotation and description are listed.

You can do the following:

  • Double-click on a component in the list to zoom the display to the component.
  • Right-click on a component in the list to edit the layer, designator, rotation and/or description.
  • Check or uncheck a component to activate/deactivate the component.
  • Select multiple components and then right-click on the list to toggle the active state of all selected components.
  • Right-click on the list and choose Make all components active to make all components active.
  • Click on the Import (open file) button to import a PnP file.
  • Click on the Save changes button to save any changes you have made to the PnP data.
  • Click on the Align button to enter Align mode.
    1. In the viewer, left-click and draw a selection rectangle around a PnP symbol (cross with
      arrow). A rubber-band line stretches from the component to the mouse pointer.
    2. Left-click and draw a new selection rectangle around all pads of the selected component.
      The component will be moved to the center of a rectangle exactly enclosing the selected
      pads.
    3. Check that the PnP data is correctly aligned. If not, repeat with a different
      component.
  • Click on the Add component button to enter Add component mode.
    1. In the viewer, left-click and draw a selection rectangle around all pads of the component. The component will be placed at the center of a rectangle exactly enclosing the selected
      pads.
    2. In the Add Pick and Place component dialog box, specify the layer, designator, rotation and description of the component. Clicking the OK button creates the PnP component.
    3. Repeat for each additional component to be added.

Assembly Data Manager - Bill of Materials tab

Assembly Data Manager - Bill of Materials tab bruce Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:38

A Bill of Materials (BOM) is a list of the components that are to be used with the printed circuit board. The BOM is used to select and purchase the correct components as well as to specify where each component should be placed on the printed circuit board.

Frequently, a BOM generated by a CAD system or inventory system may not contain enough information for an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider to accurately select the correct components. This can lead to delays, as additional communication between the EMS provider and their client becomes necessary to clear up any questions that may arise.

The Macaos BOM Screener helps reduce these delays by processing a BOM and saving it in a well-organized manner. You can quickly see if there are components which are underspecified, and add information where necessary.

  1. Load the BOM into the Input BOM grid. A BOM may be loaded by one of the following methods:
    • An Excel .xls spreadsheet may be imported directly to the Input BOM grid. The file must be in Excel 97-2003 .xls format.
    • A Text file may be imported to the Input BOM grid. A dialog box is used to specify how the text file should be interpreted during import.
    • If file of one of the above types was linked as Parts list (BOM) in the import module, it will automatically be loaded.
    • Other spreadsheet formats may be copied and pasted into the Input BOM grid. Open the spreadsheet in your spreadsheet application. Select and copy the desired cells to the clipboard. Right-click on the first empty row in the Input BOM grid and choose Paste row(s) after.
  2. Specify correct column headers in the Input BOM grid. This is necessary to help the BOM screener best identify the contents of the BOM.
    • If there are one or more rows in the Input BOM grid which do not contain component data, right-click on the first row of component data and choose Ignore rows above.
    • If a row of theInput BOM grid contains column headers, right-click on this row and choose Column headers. If the column headers are in English then the corresponding column type should appear in the header row of the Input BOM grid.
    • For each column, as necessary, right-click on the column header and choose the appropriate column type. If a column contains a mixture of different types of information, it should be marked as Description, Comment or Ignore. The Comment and Ignore types are both ignored by the BOM screener, but the contents of a Comment column are included in the Output BOM grid.
  3. Click on the Process output BOM from input BOM button. The BOM Screener will go through each row of the Input BOM grid, interpret the data, and create a corresponding row in the Output BOM grid. If a matching component is found in the Macaos Component Database, its details are also listed and the row is colored green.
  4. For components where there was not a single match (yellow or white rows), you should consider adding additional information to the Output BOM grid. To edit a parameter, click on an empty cell and enter the desired parameter value. Or click twice (without double-clicking) to modify existing text in the cell.
    • If multiple matching components were found (yellow row), double-click on the MACAOS key name cell to open the Macaos Component Chooser with a list of all matching components. This may give an indication of additional parameters that could be specified for this component, if necessary.
    • If no matching component was found (white row), then either the component does not exist in the database, or there is not enough information specified to clearly identify the component.
      • Consider specifying the component more clearly by adding additional parameters to the appropriate cells in the component row.
      • Double-click on the MACAOS key name cell and use the Macaos Component Chooser to search for the correct component.

    If you have made changes to the Output BOM grid, click on the Process Output BOM again button to check all modified rows for matching components in the database.

  5. Once you are satisfied with the Output BOM, click on the Save button.

Note: The Macaos Component Database is still under development. It contains several thousand common components, but there are still many components which have not yet been added to the database. If you wish, you may contribute by using the Add new part to database function in the Macaos Component Chooser.

Assembly Data Manager - Remarks tab

Assembly Data Manager - Remarks tab bruce Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:39

Remarks are comments or information that is attached to a specific position in the product. Macaos Enterprise supports a graphic layer for remarks. This layer is visible together with the other layers in the product viewer. It is also exported as a separate Gerber file when data is transmitted to a manufacturer. In this way, remarks will always follow the product data, so that all parties will be informed about the remark.

Add remark
  1. Click on the Add remark button to activate the button.
  2. Draw a circle around the area on the board to which the remark applies.
  3. Enter the text of the remark in the Place remark dialog box. Add line breaks as appropriate. The text will be placed to the right of the circle.
  4. Click OK to complete creation of the remark.
Edit selected remark text
Only newly added and unsaved remarks may be edited. Click on a line of text to change the text in that line.
Delete remarks
  1. Click on the Delete remark button to activate the button.
  2. Draw a selection rectangle around all drawing primitives on the remark layer which are to be deleted.
Save changes
Click on the Save button to save changes to the remark layer. Once changes have been saved, it will no longer be possible to edit remark text. Saved remarks must be deleted and recreated if changes need to be made.

Assembly Data Manager - Request for Quotation tab

Assembly Data Manager - Request for Quotation tab bruce Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:40

Once your PnP and BOM data are ready, you can send a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for purchasing and assembly of your PCB to any participating Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. This is a quick and easy way to get your PCB into production, since Macaos Enterprise makes the necessary information available to your partners in a reliable and orderly manner.

Generating an RFQ for assembly does 3 things:

  1. If one does not already exist, a partnership is created between your company and each selected EMS provider.
  2. The product is shared with each EMS provider. If not already shared, then the product is shared with Quote scope for 10 days.
  3. A message is sent to each EMS provider informing them of your RFQ. The message is also visible in the EMS provider's Macaos Enterprise, together with your product data.

You must confirm creating partnerships and shares (where necessary), specify quantities and delivery times, and enter contact information.

Once everything is in place, click on the Submit RFQ button to send RFQs to each selected EMS provider. They should respond by mail within 2 working days.

Creating a "Bed of Nails" test fixture

Creating a "Bed of Nails" test fixture bruce Mon, 04/25/2016 - 09:20

Test jig - click for a larger imageA test jig is an apparatus which into which a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) may be inserted, so that appropriate contacts may be made for in-circuit testing. Typically, the test jig holds the PCBA between an upper and lower test fixture. When the two fixtures are pressed together, test pins make contact with test points on the PCBA.

A test fixture is a plate with holes where test pin receptacles and guide pins may be inserted. At each test pin point, a pin receptacle is inserted. A spring-loaded test pin (or Pogopin) is then inserted into each receptacle so that it will make contact with desired test point on the PCBA. The PCBA is placed on top of the pins and then pressed down so that the pins make good contact with the test points.

Creating a test fixture

Creating a test fixture in Macaos Enterprise involves several steps:

  1. Select a test jig style and fixture style. Select or specify a fixture material and other dimensions, as appropriate. Set a check mark if you wish a protective cover.
  2. Click on the Redraw fixture button to view the fixture and jig.
  3. If desired, annotation text may be added to the fixture plate. Enter the desired text in the Text to place edit box, select a rotation, and click on the Place text button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location to place the text. Right-click on the edit box to load texts such as the product number or company name.
    To delete text, click on the Delete text button (so that it is down) and then draw a selection rectangle around the text to delete.
  4. If you have chosen a box-style fixture, then you may place connector openings in the side walls of the fixture. Select a connector style and click on the Place connector button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location along the edge of the fixture top plate.
    Note: The vertical position of the connector in the side wall is not adjustable.
    To delete a connector, right-click on the connector in the list of connectors and select Delete.
  5. The piston offset should be set to the actual position of the handle piston of the test jig. (For the Macaos standard jig, this would be 32mm plus 8mm for each spacer plate used when mounting the handle on the jig.) Use the green Offset buttons to adjust the piston offset from the back edge of the active area. The press point offset buttons will move the press point down or up 10mm per click. If you press the Shift key, then the press point will move 1mm per click.
  6. Use the blue Rotate and Offset buttons to place the board within the active area, as necessary. The board offset buttons move the board right or up 10mm per click. If you press the Shift key, then the board will move 1mm per click.
    Note: If all of your test points are on the top side of the PCB, you may use the blue Flip button to turn the PCB upside-down in the test fixture editor. This mirrors the board, and allows placing test pins at pads on the copper top layer (rather than the copper bottom layer).
  7. To place pins, go to the Pins tab. Select the type of pin to place and click on the Place pins button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location to place the pin.
    • Press/support pins may be placed at any location.
    • Guide pins (used to align the PCBA on the fixture) may only be placed at a hole of suitable diameter.
    • Edge guide pins may be placed at any location along the edge of the PCB. A hole with the specified diameter will be placed one pin radius from the board edge.
    • Test pins may be placed at any hole or pad.

    When placing a test pin, the following should be specified:

    • Signal name
    • Connector name and pin number

    The signal name and connector pin number are used to generate a wiring list for the test fixture.
    Although this is not recommended, you may also modify the pin location and/or hole diameter, if desired.

  8. Ideally, the press point should be located over the centroid (geometric center) of the fixture pins. Click on the Centroid button to move the board so that the pin centroid is aligned with the press point. Note: If pins fall outside of the active area or test fixture, then you will need to adjust the press point offset and/or adjust the position of the board. (If you change the press point offset, then you will also need to click on the Centroid button again.)
  9. Go to the Z-axis tab to check the z-axis spacing for the jig and fixture. Specify the dimensions as necessary, and select guide pin and test pin types. Use the radio buttons to view spacing with the jig handle up and down.
    When the handle is down, if there is too little or too much spacing between the fixture plate and the PCBA, then a warning message is displayed in the diagram.
    Note: Test pin dimensions are based on the test pin connecting to the surface of the PCBA. In cases where the test pin will contact a solder bump or component lead some extra space will be needed. It is therefore advisable to have 1-2mm of deflection space available when the handle is down.
    Note: The most recent view of each Z-axis diagram (handle up and handle down) will be included with the fixture data when the fixture is published. If you do not view a diagram, then it will not be included.

When you are finished placing pins and positioning the press foot and board, click on the Publish or Save button. This generates a drill file for the fixture plate, as well as a wiring list and documentation.

Note: The minimum allowed edge-to-edge spacing between receptacle holes is 0.4mm.

See the user manual for more information.

Importing mechanical parts

Importing mechanical parts bruce Thu, 07/26/2018 - 10:32

The Mechanical Part Import Module may be used to import a 3D mechanical part from an STL file.

Use the New button to import an STL file. The file is displayed in the 3D viewer.

The width (X), depth (Y) and height (Z) of the object are displayed. If these dimensions are incorrect, it is because the file units are not millimeters. Click on one of the units buttons to change the object size.

Note: STL files are “unit-less,” which means that they contain only numeric values, without any information about scaling. Macaos Enterprise assumes that the STL file is in millimeters. If the file is in inches, clicking on the in button should display the file with correct dimensions. In the same manner, the other units buttons may be used to select the appropriate scaling.

The volume, weight and total surface area of the object are also displayed.

Use the Publish button to publish the product.

Use the Exit button to close the Mechanical Part Import Module.

Material properties

Select the desired material for the mechanical part. A selection of photopolymer or stereolithographic plastics are available for 3D printing. It is also possible to select aluminum (with a variety of finishes) for machining.

If a plastic is selected, then you may click on the datasheet link to view the material datasheet.

If a non-transparent plastic material is selected, then you may choose a paint color and finish.

Note: Online prices are not available for machined aluminum parts.

Navigation cube

A navigation cube is shown in the top right corner of the 3D viewer. Click on any face, edge or corner of this cube to rotate the object view so that the selected face/edge/corner is pointed toward the user.

The 3D viewer allows viewing the object from more or less any angle. The available operations are:

  • Rotate camera viewpoint: Drag with left mouse button. Press Shift to reduce the rotation speed.
  • Rotate object: Drag with right mouse button. Press Shift to reduce the rotation speed.
  • Pan along axis: Press X, Y or Z key and drag with right mouse button.
  • Pan slowly along Y axis: Mouse wheel

Publishing

When publishing the mechanical part product, you will be asked to include a step file with the imported product. A step file gives more accurate machining information than an STL file, especially if the object contains many detailed curved surfaces. For machined aluminum parts, a step file must be included.

Macaos Enterprise needs an STL file to display and calculate the dimensions of a mechanical part. And for simpler parts, the STL file is sufficient for manufacture. However, best results are obtained by importing both files to the product.

Partner Manager

Partner Manager bruce Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:00

text

Configuration

Configuration bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 09:18

Startup parameter

By adding a product number as a startup parameter to your Macaos Enterprise shortcut, you can force Macaos Enterprise to locate and load that product when the program starts. In the shortcut parameters tab, define the target as "C:\Program Files\Macaos\macaosenterprise.exe ProdNr" where ProdNr is the product number you wish to locate. See the user documentation for your operating system for more information about creating and maintaining shortcuts.

User administration

Clicking on the User Admin button opens either a dialog box with the user's contact information, or (if the user is an administrator) the user manager.

Certification documents

If you wish, you may upload documentation about yourself to the server. Typically, this would be done by a PCB designer who wishes to attach their professional certificates (such as an IPC CID+ certificate) to the products which they have designed. Your uploaded documents may be viewed when viewing the product history for any product that you have published.

To upload a document, choose the Tools|Upload certification document menu command, and select the file you wish to upload. You may upload more than one file (but only one at a time).

Options

Selecting Tools|Options in the menu opens the Macaos Enterprise Options dialog box, allowing you to specify default settings that will be used each time you start Macaos Enterprise.

Connection settings

Selecting Tools|Proxy server settings in the menu opens the Internet connection proxy setup dialog box, allowing you to specify settings for a proxy server if needed to use your internet connection.

Move Macaos Enterprise to a new PC

Use the Tools|Move Macaos Enterprise to new PC command to copy all program and settings files to a flash drive (or other storage location). These files may then be copied to an appropriate program folder on the new PC. The first time Macaos Enterprise is run on the new PC, the settings files will be moved to the user’s settings folder on that PC.

User information

User information bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 09:57

The user info dialog box allows you to edit your contact and login information. To make changes, simply enter the correct information into the dialog box and click on the OK button.

If you are an administrator, you will also be able to view and change the access rights for the user.

To change the postcode/city/country, you must click on the Post code button. Here you can search for your post code from among those existing in the database, by typing the first characters of your post code into the search field at the top of the dialog box. If your post code is not found, you can add your it by entering your post code, city and country at the bottom of the dialog and clicking the Add button.

Note: The contact information here is used by Macaos. It is not the same as the contact information and shipping/invoice addresses used by a supplier when you place an order. The Macaos contact information will be passed to the supplier the first time you place an order with them, but changes here will not necessarily be reflected in the supplier's customer database.

User manager

User manager bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 10:01

If you are an administrator, then the User Admin button opens the User Manager. This lists all of the Macaos users in your company. You can view or edit the information for any user by doubleclicking on a user in the list. You can also edit the name of your company by entering the correct name and clicking the Save button at the bottom of the User Manager. 

You can add a new user to your company by right-clicking on an existing user and selecting Create new user. This opens the user info dialog box with the same address and access privileges as the selected user. After entering the remaining contact info, click on the OK button to create the user and send them a mail with downlod info.

You can add a batch of new users by right-clicking and selecting Create multiple users. This allows you to create several users with the same address and access rights, but with individual names, phone numbers, e-mail adresses and passwords. Enter the desired user info and click the Add user button for each user. Finally, click the Add users button to create the entire batch of users.

Right-click on one or more users and select Disable user to remove all access rights for the selected users. If the Hide disabled users box is checked, then users without any access rights are not listed.

When a person requests a Macaos Enterprise license from www.macaos.com, the Macaos Team verifies that the person is a valid representative of the company. If in doubt, the company will be contacted for verification before a license is created. If, however, you want complete control over users connected to your company, then check the Prevent Macaos from creating new users check box and click the Update button. If this feature is enabled, the Macaos Team will ignore all license requests for your company.

Options

Options bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 10:06

Selecting Tools|Options in the menu opens the Macaos Enterprise Options dialog box, allowing you to specify default settings that will be used each time you start Macaos Enterprise.

If Remember passwords from multiple login identities is enabled, then you will be able to choose between your different identities in the Login dialog box.

If Warn if potential fiducials are found when creating a stencil is enabled, then the stencil creator will warn you if it finds object that probably should be marked as fiducials.

Price/order settings allows you to specify ordering options that will be selected by default.

Product browser folder settings specifies if certain folders should be hidden. Folders which are hidden here will not be shown with the View|Show hidden folders command.

Product browser visible columns allows you to specify columns which are visible at program start.

Time interval for product folders specifies the number of weeks back in time for a product to be included in the Recent orders, Recent shipments, and Recently published folders.

Show title block editor specifies whether or not the title block editor dialog box will be shown when creating a stackup drawing, panel drawing or document set.

Connection manager

Connection manager bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 10:11

Selecting Tools|Proxy server settings in the menu opens the Internet connection proxy setup dialog box, allowing you to specify settings for a proxy server if needed to use your internet connection.

If a proxy server is to be used, you must check off for Use Proxy, and enter the server host name, port, username and password as specified by your IT department.

If there is no proxy server, you must remove the check mark from Use Proxy.

Once you have entered the correct settings, click on the Connection Test button to check the connection. If the test is successful, click OK to save your settings. If the test fails, you must enter the correct settings and try again.

Move Macaos Enterprise to a new PC

Move Macaos Enterprise to a new PC bruce Thu, 09/06/2018 - 10:14

The command may be used to copy the program files and your user settings to a flash drive, for installation on another PC. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Choose the Configure|Move Macaos Enterprise to new PC menu command
  2. Select a folder on a flash drive or network drive. Macaos Enterprise will copy all program files and settings files to this location. We recommend that you use a new or empty folder for this purpose.
  3. Copy the contents of this folder to an appropriate location on the new PC. Note: If you copy to a folder under the Program files area of your system, the MS Windows security system may prevent Macaos Enterprise from updating itself.
  4. The first time you run Macaos Enterprise on the new PC, your settings files will be moved to the appropriate location on the new PC.
  5. You should create shortcuts to Macaos Enterprise on the desktop, task bar and/or start menu.

Getting help

Getting help bruce Wed, 05/02/2007 - 15:43

The User Manuals give more detailed info about using Macaos Enterprise. You can access the user manual for each module from the Help menu in the main window, Import module or Panelization module.

If, after looking through the manual, you still have questions, then check our forums or contact us at support@macaos.com

Using Macaos Enterprise on Linux

Using Macaos Enterprise on Linux bjarte Wed, 02/13/2008 - 20:58

Macaos Enterprise is designed to run on Windows, but will run pretty well on Linux. Since Macaos Enterprise is built and compiled for the Windows operating system you need to fake a windows environment through a tool like Wine.

We have tested Macaos Enterprise on Ubuntu Linux 10.10 using Wine 1.2 Gecko.

If you experience any problems or have questions that are not answered on these pages, please contact us by mail or use the forums and we will try to answer as best we can.

If you have something you would like to add to these pages, please use the add new comment function.

Before you begin

Before you begin bjarte Sun, 03/16/2008 - 14:58

Preparations

  1. First you need to install Wine. The various distributions usually have Wine available in their package repository. You can also download Wine version suitable for your distribution.
  2. You now need to replace the two built-in wininet.dll and comctl32.dll libraries with the native versions from Microsoft. We recommend using the winetricks script and the command sh winetricks comclt32 wininet. However, you may choose to do this by manually obtaining the dll's from an existing Windows XP installation, and copying the dll's into .wine/drive_c/windows/system32
  3. In the libraries tab of wine configuration, add wininet and comctl32 to the list of libraries. Click edit on each one and select native (windows)
  4. The user manual depends on Adobe Acrobat being installed in wine. If you want it to work then you can install Acrobat Reader 6.0.x into wine.

    wget http://ardownload.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/6.x/6.0/enu/AdbeRdr60_…
    wine AdbeRdr60_enu_full.exe

  5. There seems to be a problem with order confirmations not being displayed properly.
    If you have an Windows XP installation, simply copy the ttf files from Windows/fonts to ~./wine/drive_c/windows/fonts.

Installing Macaos Enterprise with wine

Installing Macaos Enterprise with wine bjarte Wed, 02/13/2008 - 20:59
  1. Download Macaos Enterprise from the URL received in the mail.
  2. Create a directory for Macaos Enterprise, i.e. in ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/MacaosEnterprise and copy the downloaded file into it
  3. Open a terminal window, cd to the that directory and run:

    > wine macaosenterprise.exe

  4. Go through the install program as on Windows.

If you get access violations in comctl32.dll or errors when opening the product viewer make sure you did all the steps in the before you begin section. If you get other errors be sure to check out the troubleshooting section, to see if the problem has been solved there. If you have a problem that is not mentioned here please post in the forums or send us an e-mail and we will try to help you out.

Troubleshooting Macaos Enterprise with wine

Troubleshooting Macaos Enterprise with wine bjarte Wed, 02/13/2008 - 21:08

Problem: Loading user manuals gives error. Solution: Please look in the before you begin section on how to solve problems with adobe acrobat Problem: Loading order confirmations take a very long time. Solution: Please look in the before you begin section on how to solve problems with order confirmation Problem: The "PCB Alliance" tab displays nothing Solution: The internal web page display in Macaos Enterprise does not appear to work properly under wine. You will not be able to view the advertisements on this page, but that should not limit your use of Macaos Enterprise. If you find problems not documented here, please leave a comment, here or in the forums. Or mail us about it so we can update these pages.

Depanelizer module (future feature)

Depanelizer module (future feature) bruce Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:51

The depanelizer module will allow you to easily and quickly accomplish two specific tasks:

  • Generate a milling program for removing the break-off tabs from a panel
  • Design a fixture for holding the panel frame and boards in place during the milling process

The module will be a new feature in Macaos Enterprise version 5.0, planned for release later this year.

Generating a milling program

  1. Click on the Auto-tab button. This should automatically create a depanelization segment for each break-off tab in the panel. If necessary, you may need to adjust the maximum tab width* and try again.
  2. If you need to add a tab that was not automatically created, click on the Tab button (so that it is down). Click near the point where the tab begins, and move the mouse pointer near the point where the tab ends. The selection line will automatically snap to the nearest slot segment endpoint. Release the mouse button to create a depanelization segment.
  3. Click on the Drill button (so that it is down). Click on any drill hole in the panel to add a drill hole to the milling file. Drill holes are used for registration pins. A milling file in G-Code format includes a compulsory stop (M00) after the drill holes are drilled and before the depanelization segments are milled.
  4. If you need to delete a depanelization line or drill hole, click on the Delete tab button (so that it is down). Draw a selection rectangle around any portion of the object(s) you wish to delete.
  5. Click on the Save button to save the milling file in either G-Code format or Gerber format. In the dialog box you may specify the transformation from panel coordinates to machine coordinates, and other relevant parameters for generating the output file.

If tabs are placed at the corners of a rectangular board, they may be removed by drilling rather than by milling. The main advantage to drilled corner tab removal is improved stability during tab removal, since there is no horizontal pressure on the boards as they are loosened from the panel. Drilling also removes a tiny (<0.2mm) bit of the corner, which improves handling by removing sharp corners from the boards.

* For purposes of depanelization, a tab is measured from the endpoint of one slot to the endpoint of the neighboring slot. The endpoint is at the center of the cutting tool, which is a cutting tool radius from the edge of the slot. Therefore, the tab width is the minimum width of the tab plus the diameter of the cutting tool.

Designing a depanelization fixture

A depanelization fixture holds the panel and boards securely in place during the milling process. In addition to the fixture walls (which are automatically calculated), support pedestals and suction cups need to be placed at appropriate locations for each board in the panel.

  • Suction cups: There should be at least two suction cups for each board. These must be located at points where there the suction cup will have complete contact with the lower side of the board. (No components or component pins.)
  • Hole support pedestals: These may be placed at any through-hole with a diamter of at least 2.0 mm. There must be at least 1.5 mm clearance around the hole for the shoulder of the pedestal.*
  • Slot support pedestals: These may be placed at any slot (though we recommend a slot width of at least 2.0 mm). There must be at least 1.5 mm clearance on each side of the slot for the shoulder of the pedestal.* Note: If a slot support pedestal is placed on a curved slot or on a slot that is not long enough then a hole support pedestal will be placed instead.

Each board should have enough support pedestals to remain stable, both vertically and horizontally, throughout the milling process.

If the panel is a regular array of a single product which has been created by the Macaos Panel Module, then the lower left board in the panel will be highlighted with a yellow rectangle when placing suction cups or hole support pedestals. A suction cup or pedestal placed within this board will automatically be duplicated to all of the other boards.

Select the placement of the dust removal nozzle (for connection to a vacuum cleaner) and the vacuum hose nozzle (for connection to a vacuum pump).

You should also specify the maximum height of components mounted on the underside of the boards, the inner diameter of the vacuum hose you will use, and the outer diameter of the dust removal nozzle (inner diameter of your vacuum cleaner attachment nozzle).

The fixture will be manufactured in white photopolymer plastic. If desired, you may specify that the fixture be nickel plated (for ESD protection).

Use the Publish button to upload the fixture to the Macaos Repository. Initially, the fixture may only be viewed as a 2D schematic drawing. Once an order has been placed for the fixture, a Macaos engineer will generate a 3D model of the fixture, which may then be viewed in the product browser.

Note: Around the foot of a pedestal there should be an additional 2 mm clearance for components with a component height within 5 mm of the specified maximum component height.

Depanelizer milling program setup

Depanelizer milling program setup bruce Mon, 09/03/2018 - 14:40

The Milling program setup dialog box allows you to specify the transformation from the geometric space of the panel to the geometric space of the milling machine.

Specify the machine space parameters. These parameters will be saved for re-use the next time you generate a milling program.

  • The width and depth of the milling table
  • The location of the machine space x/y origin on the table
  • The axes and the polarity of each axis

Next, click on the Center button. This will center the fixture in the milling table. If desired, adust the panel offset values to position the panel as desired. If desired, the panel fixture may be on the milling table.

Specify the Z-axis parameters:

  • The polarity of the z axis
  • The distance from z-axis origin (z=0) to the milliing table surface. (This will be a positive value if the z-axis origin is above the table and the +Z direction is upward.)
  • The distance from the milling table surface to the top of the panel. (Always a positive value.)
  • The minimum clearance above the panel, i.e. the maximum height of any components above the panel surface. (Always a positive value.)

Note: For the Z-axis parameters, the "milling table surface" will usually be a material placed upon the machine's table. The registration holes, will drill 8 mm into this material.

Specify the feed rate, and other options as necessary.

When the dialog box is closed, the output file(s) will be generated.

 

Engraver module (future feature)

Engraver module (future feature) bruce Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:07

The engraver module will allow you to easily specify text and/or bar codes (containing serial numbers and/or date codes) to be engraved onto individual boards with a laser engraving machine. The module will support virtually any date code format. Serial numbers may be specified to properly number the individual boards within a panel.

A separate application will be available from Macaos Software for transmitting the engraving information to the laser engraving machine. (Note: This application is still under development. It is planned for availability late this year or early next year.)

The module will be a new feature in Macaos Enterprise version 5.0, planned for release later this year.

Creating text regions

Typically a text region corresponds to a rectangle on the legend layer. 

  1. Click on the Region button, so that it is down.
  2. If desired, click on the Flip button to flip the board upside-down.
  3. Select an Active layer (the layer containing the rectangle).
  4. Draw a selection rectangle around the rectangle on the active layer. Note: If multiple objects are selected, the region will be the rectangle surrounding all objects. If no objects are selected, the region will be the size of the selection rectangle.
  5. When you release the mouse button, the Define text dialog box opens. Here you can specify the text to be engraved in the region.

The regions are listed to the left of the product viewer. Right-click on a region to edit or delete the region. Double-click to zoom in to the region.

Use the Publish button to save the engraving information with the PCB product. Use the Export button to export an engraving plot in DXF or HPGL format.

Specifying text

Enter the text to be engraved in the region. The text is made up of text elements: bits of free text, serial number(s) and/or date code(s). Once a text element has been specified, click on the Add text element button to add it to the list of text elements. Line shifts may be added with the Add new line of text button.

Serial numbers are engraved with a given number of digits. They may be numeric, alphanumeric or hexadecimal. A serial number will automatically increase each time it is engraved. The amount to increase does not need to be one. (It may even be negative!) For example, a panel with four boards would have four regions to be engraved. The first board might have a starting serial number of 1001 and increase by 4. The next board would start with 1002 and increase by 4. And so on.

Date codes may be made up of the various parts of a date, such as wwyy (for week number followed by 2-digit year). The date may also be offset from the time of engraving, in order to compensate for the difference between the engraving time and the time to be represented.

The text is shown both as a block of text and as a list of text elements. Right-click on a text element to delete it. The order of the text elements may be changed by dragging elements within the list.

Text may be engraved as plain text or as a bar code -- use the radio buttons to choose. A preview frame shows how the text will fit into the region.

For plain text, you may specify a cell height (text height plus margins) and a rotation. For bar codes, you may specify the minimum bar width or pixel size for the bar code. Note: We recommend minimum 1.5mm for text and 0.2 mm for bar codes.

Pallet module (future feature)

Pallet module (future feature) bruce Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:15

 

The pallet module will allow you to easily and quickly design two types of pallets:

  • Selective soldering pallets (e.g. in firestone materials)
  • Antistatic PCB trays for storage/transport (e.g. vacuum-formed blister plastic)

The module will be a new feature in Macaos Enterprise version 5.0, planned for release later this year.