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Information Technology and
Knowledge-Based Engineering for
Enhanced Electronics Manufacturing

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Rockwell Collins Logo


Rockwell Collins - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Phase 1: Circuit Board Rule-Based
Design-for-Manufacture Verification

Electronics companies are constantly seeking ways to enhance their effectiveness. Recent advances in information technology (IT) and knowledge-based engineering (KBE) offer such opportunities particularly in terms of automation and knowledge capture.

In this project Rockwell Collins (RCI), Georgia Tech (GIT), and others have worked together to apply these techniques within the electronics manufacturing domain. This effort is part of the Simulation for Flexible Manufacturing (SFM) project within CAM-I, and it is conducted in collaboration with the PDES Inc. Electromechanical Pilot.

Initial focus has been on automating design-for-manufacture (DFM) rule checking and enhancing other manufacturing process planning capabilities for printed circuit boards/assemblies (PCA/Bs). We have applied rule-based expert systems, standards-based architectures, and information content standards like AP210 for electronics from the ISO 10303 family of standards (a.k.a. STEP - Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data). The methodology is such that DFX rules involving other disciplines can be similarly implemented in future phases (where X = performance, reliability, cost, test, maintenance, etc.).

The first set of rules went into production usage at RCI in June, 2003. Expected benefits include reduced engineering effort and manual errors, increased consistency and DFX verification coverage, and increased corporate memory that is more modular and reusable. Together these capabilities will help RCI enhance product value for its customers.

Future phases are anticipated that will add more capabilities to this standards-based framework. Envisioned extensions include increasing automated DFM/X rule coverage, adding CAD-CAE analysis templates, and expanding access to other types of design information via AP210.


Peak, R. S., Bajaj, M., Wilson, M., Kim, I., Thurman, T., Benda, M., Jothishankar, M.C., Ferreira, P., Stori, J., Mukhopadhyay, D., Tang, D., Liutkus, G., Klein, L. (April 7-9, 2003) Enhancing Design-for-Manufacturability Using the ISO 10303 Standard for Electronics Design: AP210. 2003 Aerospace Product Data Exchange (APDE) Workshop, NIST, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Bajaj, M., Peak, R., Wilson, M., Kim, I., Thurman, T., Benda, M., Jothishankar, M.C., Ferreira, P., Stori J. (July 16-18, 2003) Towards Next-Generation Design-for-Manufacturability (DFM) Frameworks for Electronics Product Realization. Best Paper Award. Session 210, IEMT, Semicon West 2003, San Jose, California.

Engineering Frameworks Interest Group (EFWIG)