Changing PCB Tools when Something Better Comes Along - Part 2 of 2

This post is part 2 of 2 as we explore the process of changing PCB tools when something better comes along. Most often, three factors typically come to mind first when making the decision to change. In Part 1 I discussed issues pertaining to migrating design data when considering changing tools. I hope it sparked some conversations between you and your team. In this post, we’ll focus on the third factor – costs to train designers.

  1. When to migrate current designs and libraries.
  2. The benefits of purchase versus subscription.
  3. Costs to train designers.

Changing expectations

With more than 35 years in the EDA industry, I have taught my fair share of training classes for Zuken users on both our mainstream and enterprise-level design suites. Over the years the training audience has declined, not due to cost or tool usage, but due to expectations:

  • With hopes of saving money and time, managers expect that tool users will quickly adapt to a new tool. With that in mind, they seek to hire designers with specific tool experience. Unfortunately, this limits their choices on EDA tools in their local geography. Companies are limited to users’ skill sets that may not meet the company’s requirements for PCB design experience but have used a tool at their last job.
  • Users who fall into the “younger” demographic typically prefer not to sit through training classes but instead, expect to find answers with Google® or Siri ®. Looking up videos or conversational How to’s is their preferred source for training and suits their learning style. This is not a bad thing, provided EDA vendors are willing to meet this paradigm shift in training methods.

Free training

Last year at the PCB West Conference in Santa Clara, CA, Zuken featured eCADSTAR, our newest product for PCB design. eCADSTAR is a mainstream 3D PCB design tool build on the latest gaming technology. The tool raised some eyebrows and was an ideal fit for the design needs of many of our booth visitors. Managers, engineers and PCB designers alike were fascinated by the native 3D architecture and 4K graphics.

Zuken works hard to address the expectations of every member of the design team by offering free on-line e-training for our mainstream product, eCADSTAR. Users will benefit from D.I.Y. training as well as an on-line tour full of videos segmented by topic.

Hosting media on-line allows us to add and enhance materials and topics easily from a remote location to provide the best experience. This experience is further enhanced using a built-in web browser. Users simply log into their personal support account within the eCADSTAR desktop and have access to hours of training content.

While at PCB West, we demonstrated this concept using a live web connection. The visitors’ reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Managers were impressed that free e-training could be so thorough right out of the box. Designers liked the quality of the content, the variety of delivery options, and the ease of accessing it.

In summary, I hope my posts have provided you with some insight on a few things to consider when deciding to change PCB tools. The intention is to debunk some of the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) and concerns that stop companies from purchasing the right tools. Changing from one tool to another is a big decision, so choose wisely.

Something better just came along

eCADSTAR hits the mark when it comes to switching EDA tools. Exceptional performance, state of the art architecture, 64-bit graphics and free on-line web services make it a new EDA solution that is worth evaluating. Something better just came along! The price? Far less than you would think. Visit eCADSTAR to register for an evaluation – that just might be the start of your journey to success.

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Andy Buja
Andy BujaApplications Engineer, Zuken USA
Andy Buja supports many disciplines of the Zuken Solutions family. In addition to providing both post and presales support to Zuken Customers and Partners, he focuses on crafting Zuken Solutions to meet emerging technology requirements. Mr. Buja has been a member of the Zuken team and its predecessors since 1985. He is currently a Technical Account Manager and Technical Marketing Manager for PCB Design Solutions.

A new internet-connected PCB design platform. Get a 30-day eCADSTAR evaluation licence with full features.

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