About a month ago we decided to get some statistically significant information about what types of data designers are sending out to manufacturing, their levels of awareness of ODB++ and the alternatives, and what drives their choice of format for manufacturing hand-off. We invited just under 100,000 designers to respond to a web-survey, from which we got 1204 returns; a fairly normal response level for a survey such as this. Here is a summary of what came back:-
1. ODB++ awareness level.
- The majority (73%) either have never heard of ODB++, or they have heard of it but do not understand its benefits. Shock…!
- The majority of the remaining segment (27%), in other words, the people who do know what ODB++ is, regard ODB++ as an open format supported by multiple solutions providers.
2. People who have knowledge about ODB++ :- their opinions about its purpose.
- 97% agree that it is a replacement for Gerber
- 80% agree that ODB++ replaces all formats needed for PCB fabrication or assembly
- 87% agree that ODB++ is a “good” or “best” choice for data hand-off for fabrication or assembly
3. From those who have experience of ODB++, when asked what the primary value from using ODB++ was for them, the response was (total = 100%):
- 39% state “saving time when making manufacturing outputs from the design process”
- 31% state “manufacturing can get started more quickly”
- 12% state “manufacturing cost is reduced”
- 18% state “manufactured product quality is higher”
4. Standardization. 4% of respondents do not adopt ODB++ because they only believe in formal standards.
Our conclusions from all this are that, before anything else, there is still a big knowledge barrier out there. Even after being available as a supported solution in the market for more than 15 years, most designers still have little or no idea that ODB++ is an available solution for replacing Gerber! Clearly we need to focus on communicating and persuading the market in general about the opportunity. But, by contrast, amongst the group of designers who do have knowledge or experience of ODB++, most are fully aware that it presents a good (or best!) opportunity to replace all the old formats, and experience time and quality improvements. Lastly, and this has been consistent across the market for many decades already:- only a very small minority (4%) are “waiting for a formal standard”.
The main point: we need to continue the building of awareness and knowledge about the opportunity to replace Gerber, so as to save time and improve quality!
What are the opinions on this? Please let me know!