How to Minimise Error in RF design

The design world nowadays is extremely challenging and when creating something in print and converting it to real life manufacture has lots of different error points.  When you think of the potential error points along the way, these will include things such as:

  • Systems errors – Are the systems you are using fully adapted for error proofing?
  • Human error – One of the most typical and common error points are people
  • Assembly design Flaws – At a component level things may be designed correctly but when brought together, does it connect well and give the desired outcome?

Systems Errors

No matter what type of system you are using in RF design, the likelihood is that it has an element of error proofing enabled.  This could include things like live simulations.  Depending on exactly the complexity of the design, the more amount of potential error points you will have.  Using a PDN analyser may support you in actually identifying any signal errors but also give solutions to this to put you on the right path.  Make sure that you keep up to spend with the system versions as sometimes when these are updated, it is to overcome any known glitches and potentially improve any failure points that were identified.  Not all systems are fully error proofed, therefore do not automatically go for cheap replicas as this could prove to be costly and time consuming in the long run.

Human Error

Despite the technological improvements that surround us every day, most systems still require an element of human input.  This is where the majority of failure points actually occur.  The causes of this could be around distraction, complacency, tiredness or even just lack of training / competence.  It is important that you are aware of this as a problem and take the necessary countermeasures in advance to prevent an error chain forming.  This specifically then relies on our initial point to be completely robust as if a human being makes an error using the system, we would hope the system would pick this up and take the correct action (or at least warning) to ensure that you are aware of the mistake.

Assembly Design

As a sub-assembly, it can sometimes be pretty easy to just let your brain run ahead and design exactly what it is you think the customer needs.  A big problem of this is that holistically the item designed may not be suitable as an assembled unit.  It is important to remove any filters you have on the sub-assembly and take into consideration the overall assembled unit.  The systems can support you with this with innovative 3D models and integration of sub-assembly parts.  Some of the more modern and creative systems will even allow you to run simulations of your fully assembled unit.  Something just to bear in mind with this – if you are using different software packages to design specific parts, this may pose a problem when you want to bring it all together as an assembly.

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