IPC Releases IPC-2581 Revision C for PCB Design

IPC-2581C, Generic Requirement for Printed Board Assembly Product Manufacturing Description Data and Transfer Methodology is the eagerly anticipated update of IPC’s widely adopted global standard for PCB design through manufacturing data flow. Revision C introduces groundbreaking new features, automation supporting Industry 4.0, and bidirectional DFX intelligence capability that eliminates the time-consuming back and forth between design house and manufacturers before production can begin.

As technology in the industry progresses, including the latest additive processes with embedded components within the PCB, the IPC-2581 committee of experts has introduced support for the latest technologies, representing every aspect of modern PCB design. Updates include overhauled support for rigid-flex, embedded components, cavities, coins, attenuation parameters, connector ports, pin polarities, edge plating, countersink/counterbore, square drill, and intended net-shorts.

Ensuring that all related data is in digital form, IPC-2581 represents the method of choice for automation between design and manufacturing, significantly surpassing proprietary and legacy formats.

As a specific highlight, revision C includes the bi-directional DFX data exchange through which feedback between design and manufacturing is conveyed and tracked before manufacturing begins.

“DFM checking and resolution can be a frustrating and time-consuming process that poses little overall benefit for our customers” said Greg Link, FAE manager for WUS Printed Circuits. “IPC-2581 revision C addresses the need for a collaborative, executable exchange for DFM issues eliminating spreadsheets, PowerPoints, and emails, accelerating new product introduction for our customers."

“As the industry continues to move toward digital data exchange, the timing is right for the technology behind IPC-2581C to bring the opportunity for critical savings and efficiencies in engineering workload. The update benefits both design and manufacturing, supporting agility and responsiveness within the holistic electronics manufacturing process,” stated Matt Kelly, IPC chief technologist.               

“IPC-2581C is also a major component of the digital twin architecture and strategy, setting the standard for interoperability between different digital twin solutions, bringing maximum value from data,” Kelly added. “IPC-2581 revision C is much more than an incremental update, providing the industry’s only fully digitalized and automated data exchange. It is ready to be a critical part of any PCB fabrication and assembly manufacturing smart factory strategy.”