The 2-16 Product Data Description (Laminar View) Subcommittee (IPC-2581) met in February during the IPC APEX Expo in San Diego CA. At this meeting final details for amendments and document updates as well as slight Schema modifications were addressed. The main focus of the meeting was to focus on an amendment of IPC-2581 Revision B to IPC-2581 Revision B1.
As part of the B1 modification, more descriptions, enumerated type and qualified string enhancements were made to enable adoption of 2581 Revision B without any structural changes to the schema. Examples for enhancements include, but are not limited to items such a more layer use type descriptions (flex type materials, masks, etc.), additional properties for parts and stack-up objects. The IPC-2581 Schema Document was also updated to record the new enhancements, correct spelling, and updated items overlooked between the schema and the document.
IPC-2581 is rapidly gaining support in the PCB design community as an "intelligent," vendor-neutral format that can bring design data into manufacturing in a single file. The PCB West conference in Santa Clara, California on Sept. 10, 2014 provided an update on this fast-moving standard and the IPC-2581 Consortium that is driving it.
Enhancements to the stackup and assembly data have the supply chain signing on to the electronics data transfer format.
Eighteen months ago, Fujitsu Networks Communications CAD engineering manager Gary Carter shipped CAD files for a 12-layer PCB in the IPC-2581A format to a major board fabricator. The fabricator responded, asking for a drawing and profile information. It's all there, Carter said, it just has to be derived from the CAD file.
The fabricator proceeded, and other than missing some data for machine routing for cutouts and V groove, Carter recalls, "They worked around what their CAM tool couldn't handle, and they built it."
Dieter Bergman, a champion of technical standards passed away on July 23rd. He was 82 and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Consortium members have expressed great sadness over the loss. "A true pioneer in the industry" and "one of the great ones" members have described him. As "the heart and soul of the IPC Designers Council, "Dieter Bergman contributed greatly to the birth and development of IPC-2581 with his passion for the standards. He really knew PCB design inside and out, and the information could be instantly retrieved right from his memory. When a question was asked, you did not receive only the response from Dieter, but also how and why the answer came about. "A ten second question would receive a 10 minute response, "members have said this to be one of many "Dieterisms." The answer usually included the what, why, and who asked for a particular item in the specification being discussed. His memory was remarkable, his mind sharp till the very end.