Optimize your design to manufacturability process with Siemens’ cloud solution – PCBflow

The most recent release of PCBflow streamlines the process of PCB design and manufacturing, enhancing efficiency and speed through the consolidation of all necessary resources on a unified and secure cloud platform


Fast & Easy

The DFM report is intelligent, self-explanatory, and interactive, featuring filtering, statistics, summary tables, and error grouping.

It facilitates Design for Assembly (DFA) for manufacturer-specific BOM validation, identifying component placement and manufacturing violations.

For users without ODB++ or IPC2581 access, designs in Gerber 274x format can now be conveniently uploaded.

Smart, Self-Explanatory & Interactive

Easy zooming and navigation through all board layers, as well as interactive viewing of DFM results, powered by Valor Parts Library.

Secure, in-app collaboration and downloadable PDF report.

Powered by the Valor NPI engine, an industry standard for DFM analysis.

Quick Pricing powered by Boardera

PCB designers can use the QuickPrice function powered by our partner Boardera to receive instant, accurate price estimates within PCBflow for the manufacturing and assembly of their projects.

Connect, Network & Get-to-market faster

Save time and costs, designed to accelerate, simplify and improve the handoff process from design to production. Designers and manufacturers can connect to share and collaborate on the platform, and instantly deliver designs to production.


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Roberto Campri, Elco, Corporate Asia Manager

Digitization has led to a different way of thinking.  You can do things in new, previously unimaginable ways. Elco has used PCBflow to help various customers streamline their design process and plans to continue using PCBflow with customers in the future.

Mauro Sandri, CEO, Elco

DFM software tools are generally expensive. Using PCBflow is a game changer in the DFM field, as it is affordable enough to allow companies of all sizes to adopt DFM best practices.

Pavel Yankovich, Sintecs

PCBflow directly connects PCB designers with manufacturers and assemblers. Checking for compliance with the technological requirements of the definite manufacturer or assembler allows for preventing the occurrence of potential problems before placing an order and adjusting the project. A simple and intuitive interface with an utterly easy workflow helps to start using PCBflow with no time losses.

Peter Fruehauf, Project Manager, Siemens CT

Especially designers in small and medium businesses should run a DFM analysis as well, because otherwise they would make PCB designs, which are actually not manufacturable.

Tamir Hazan, Owner, Speed – Board Electronics Ltd.

For PCB designers, project sharing is very important. Designers and manufacturers should be able to work with OES. PCBflow allows that.

Evgeny Makhline, Nistec CTO

With PCBflow, manufacturers can prevent losses related to false production, reduce repairs by 80% and free up to ~600 engineering and quality hours per year – hours that can be invested in innovation and improvement

Martin Franke, Business Development Electronics, Siemens CT

A manual check always includes the risk of overlooking things. But, using this tool, you have an automatic iteration between the PCB fabricator on one hand and the designer on the other hand. The report hepls us to improve the process in two ways: first of all, time, but also quality.

Compliance and Export Control

Siemens is committed to strict compliance with international data protection standards. Our Information Security Management System (ISMS) at SISW ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets in SISW cloud environments. Explore our System Certificates page for additional information.

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  • Designer
  • Manufacturer

    Can PCBflow provide component pricing or availability information?

    Yes. PCBflow includes FREE access to accurate, up-to-date part availability and pricing information from your preferred suppliers. We calculate the price of your BOM for you and even provide a handy calculation of spare parts that are left over if you order a larger-than-needed quantity to get a better price.

    How do I generate a DFM Profile on PCBflow according to our manufacturing capabilities?

    To create a DFM Profile, log in to PCBflow and go to the Manufacturer Tools area. Follow the instructions to download and install the Analysis Definition Manager app (Windows only). You will use the ADM app to define your custom DFM rules. In the app, you will find several examples of DFM profiles that you can use as a starting point. You can copy those profiles and edit them or create your own from scratch. Once you have finished defining your DFM profile, click the button to upload the profile to our secure server and make them available to other PCBflow users. We would be happy to help you set up your DFM profile – contact us at info@pcbflow.com
    Remember, there is no charge to create or maintain your DFM profiles in PCBflow.

    Can everyone see my DFM profile in PCBflow?

    You can make your DFM profile as public or as private as you choose and change the status at any time.
    There are three levels of DFM profile visibility: Public, Network, and Private
    Public – any PCBflow member will be able to use this profile to perform a DFM analysis.
    Network – access to the profile is limited to your PCBflow network connections only. Only users that are approved by you will be able to use this DFM profile.
    Private – access is limited to your company’s users only. PCBflow users from other companies will not be able to view this profile.

    Can someone else download my DFM profile?

    Your DFM profile can only be downloaded by users in your company who have been granted permission by your administrator.
    If you choose to allow it, other PCBflow users may use your DFM profile to perform analysis.

    Is my data secure on PCBflow?

    All data uploaded to PCBflow is compliant with Siemens highest security standards. We are ISO 27001 compliant and undergo regular independent audits to ensure that we remain vigilant to prevent data leaks for both data at rest and in transfer. Each request you make to PCBflow is protected by a unique access token that ensures you only perform authorized actions. If you have specific security-related questions or concerns, please reach out to us at info@pcbflow.com.

    Does PCBflow share my personal information?

    PCBflow is compliant with global data privacy laws to protect your personal information. Click here to read our Data Privacy Notice

    How can PCBflow improve the quality of my designs?

    PCBflow provides access to the manufacturing capabilities so you can ensure that your design complies with the fabrication and assembly environment even before you go to production.
    Being able to test your designs for manufacturability improves your design skill and being aware of manufacturing constraints allows you to avoid the design pitfalls in future projects. Our downloadable Excel DFM report can be used to feed your own design quality process, providing insight about common errors and how you can improve your design process going forward.

    Why do you recommend PCBflow for my small / medium sized business?

    PCBflow is a cost-effective DFM tool that requires no setup or maintenance. Our paid usage-based subscription model is designed to accommodate your budget and unique DFM needs.
    Of course, reducing the cost of your projects and speeding time-to-market is a win for any size business.

    What kind of DFM checks can I run in PCBflow?

    There are hundreds of DFM checks available on PCBflow such as feature size and spacing, annular ring, drill checks, component placement, solderability and more. You can see a full list of checks in the application or on our website

    How can I share my DFM results with others?

    There are several options to share your DFM results with others. You can share your PCBflow project with other PCBflow users, using the Share button. If your colleague is not already registered on PCBflow, you can automatically send them an invitation to join. You can also download the results of your DFM analysis to Excel or PDF format and share the file with others.

    Can I view the results of DFM offline?

    You can download the results of your DFM analysis to Excel or PDF format. However, we do recommend our online viewer as the easiest way to view results of DFM.

    Do I need special training to use PCBflow?

    No training is required. PCBflow is designed to be accessible and guide you through the steps needed to upload a design, select a DFM profile and see results fast.
    If you need special assistance or have additional questions, we are always here to help at info@pcbflow.com

    How do Manufacturers use PCBflow?

    Manufacturers register PCBflow FOR FREE and can use the Manufacturer tools to define and upload their custom DFM profile(s), FOR FREE. We are happy to provide assistance to ensure that your DFM profile is defined in the best way possible for you. Please reach out to us at info@pcbflow.com and let us know you need a hand.
    Manufacturers can also use PCBflow as your customer facing DFM tool. You can run DFM for your end-customers to confirm manufacturability and share the results online or by downloading an offline report in Excel or PDF format.

    How do companies get into the PCBflow network?

    To make yourself visible in the PCBflow network, you need to complete your company profile and submit it for review. The PCBflow support team reviews and qualifies all companies that appear in our network. If you don’t see your manufacturer on PCBflow, please reach out to us at info@pcbflow.com and we will try to assist in bringing them onto the platform.

    How can I find the right DFM profile on PCBflow?

    During the DFM workflow, you will be prompted to select a DFM profile from a searchable list, grouped by manufacturer. DFM profiles in PCBflow include a short description of each profile, that can be used to select an appropriate DFM rule set.

    What’s the difference between PCBflow and Valor NPI?

    PCBflow is an online, DFM tool powered by a cloud-based Valor NPI engine. PCBflow provides DFM service on demand and is available 24/7 from anywhere to anyone. PCBflow requires you to upload your PCB design to our secure servers.
    Valor NPI is the Siemens premium on-premises DFM tool, offering a more extensive lineup of DFM checks and advanced methodologies for custom setup and configuration.

    Can I use PCBflow if I own Xpedition?

    Xpedition customers can access DFM profiles that are available on PCBflow, for use directly in Xpedition DFM.

    Do I need PCBflow if I have Valor NPI?

    Valor NPI customers can access the DFM profiles that are available on PCBflow, for use directly in the Valor NPI tool.

    Can I use PCBflow if I already own PADS Professional?

    Starting in vX2.13.2, PADS Professional Premium DFM customers will have access to PCBflow analysis directly from within their design tool. Ask your account manager or distributor for details.
    Mentor PADS customers can also subscribe to PCBflow and use the service to perform online DFM.

    How does PCBflow reduce time to market, increase product quality and save money?

    As a designer, PCBflow provides a fast and comprehensive check to reveal manufacturability issues that can slow down your product, and affect quality and price. You receive an easy-to-understand, standardized, visual report of design issues that need to be fixed and actionable suggestions for how to fix them.
    You can easily connect with real-world manufacturers to check your design using their custom-built capabilities. Handoff to your manufacturer through PCBflow is secure and seamless.

    As a manufacturer, PCBflow provides a simplified, standardized method to define your manufacturing capabilities and constraints (DFM Profile) so that designers can check their designs and comply with your needs before they pass the design to you. PCBflow provides visibility to your company in our network, qualified leads when a designer chooses to work with your profile, and secure seamless handoff of PCB design data when your customer chooses to work with you.

    How does PCBflow connect designers and manufacturers?

    PCBflow provides a protected cloud platform to connect PCB designers with manufacturers. Manufacturers create a set of production capabilities/constraints/rules called a DFM PROFILE, which is securely stored in the manufacturer account. Layout designers upload their design to their secured PCBflow account and run Design-for-Manufacturability (DFM) analysis using a selected manufacturer’s DFM PROFILE.

    Manufacturability issues are reported in a simple online board viewer that guides the user through potential faults in the design for easy investigation and immediate correction, resulting in a more robust design and shorter time to market.

    PCBflow members can also collaborate on any project using a secure Share function or the PCBflow in-app chat feature.

    Does PCBflow support DFM for assembly analysis?

    Yes. PCBflow automatically retrieves accurate part geometry from the Valor Parts Library and merges this information with your design to give advanced assembly analysis including issues such as component spacing and solderability (pin measurements vs pad requirements).

    As a manufacturer, can I provide PCBflow DFM reports to my customers?

    Yes, you can run your own DFM analysis using PCBflow and share the report with your customers. This report supports up to 5 error listings per category. To gain access to the full report, a subscription purchase is required. Once the designers have fixed all the violations specified in the DFM report, should I assume that the design is ready and expect that my on-prem DFM tool will not find any violations? Correct. If your PCBflow Classification Set was configured correctly, and your customer has implemented all the fixes identified in the DFM report, you can assume that the design is ready for production and will not cause any further DFM violations.

    Who pays for the DFM analysis?

    Sign up for a FREE trial of PCBflow DFM analysis. After your trial is finished, upgrade to a paid subscription. Our SaaS pricing model adjusts to your DFM needs. Use the contact us button in your free DFM report to hear more about our subscription packages, or contact us at info@pcbflow.com

    Can I use PCBflow to generate leads?

    You will receive a notification each time your DFM Profile is used to run a DFM analysis. Designers who wish to contact you about manufacturing their design can do so easily with a single click from their DFM report, resulting in a qualified lead for you and a great start to a business relationship.

    Can I prevent the exposure of our thresholds in the DFM report?

    Yes, once the DFM report is uploaded to your PCBflow account, you will be able to restrict access to your threshold parameters. However, since the DFM analysis is based on the threshold parameters that you specified, it would be very efficient to let the designers access the parameters so that they can fix their own design violations.

    Can I publish several DFM Profiles?

    Yes. There is no limit to the number of DFM Profiles that you can create or upload to your PCBflow account. Remember, there is no charge to create or maintain your DFM profiles in PCBflow.

    How do I upload my DFM Profile?

    Once you have finished defining your DFM profile, click the button to upload the profile to our secure server and make them available to other PCBflow users. Your uploaded DFM profiles will appear in the Manufacturer Tools area, and you can edit their description and availability at any time.

    Is there a way to run DFM using a specific manufacturer’s capabilities?

    Manufacturers can publish their DFM PROFILE on PCBflow. When you run DFM, you can select your preferred manufacturer’s DFM profile. If you don’t find your manufacturer in the list, please contact them to register and publish a DFM profile on PCBflow (its FREE!). Or, you can reach out to us at info@pcbflow.com and we would be happy to approach your manufacturer about making a DFM profile available.

    How does PCBflow benefit manufacturers?

    PCBflow provides a simplified, standardized method to define your manufacturing capabilities and constraints (DFM Profile) so that designers can check their designs and comply with your needs before they pass the design to you. PCBflow also provides visibility to your company in our network, delivers qualified leads when a designer chooses to work with you.

    Is there a way to run the DFM test against a specific manufacturer’s set of constraints?

    Manufacturers can publish their DFM PROFILE on PCBflow in a secured account and in a controlled way. This allows designers to run a DFM analysis against a real manufacturer DFM PROFILE that fits their preferences.

    Do you have some generic DFM rules that I can use if I don’t know who my manufacturer is?

    PCBflow provides a choice of DFM profiles that are representative of average industry capabilities for fabrication and assembly. In the software you Select profiles provided by PCBflow or “DFM by Siemens”. We are planning to expand our collaboration with standards organizations to create compliance DFM profiles.

    Does PCBflow support Gerber formats?

    Yes. Compress your Gerber 274x files to a single archive (.zip) and upload them to PCBflow. We will guide you through a quick process to define the PCB stackup including layer position and type, copper weight, and drill span. We can even auto-generate dielectric layers before you go on to DFM analysis.

    Which file formats does PCBflow support?

    PCBflow supports PCB designs in the following formats: ODB++ (.tgz), IPC2581 (.xml), Gerber (.zip), FABmaster FATF, Altium Designer (.pcb .ddb), Altium PCAD (.pcb .asc), Mentor PADRS (.asc), Zuken CADIF (.paf .cdf), GenCAD, PDIF (.pdf).
    We strongly recommend that you export ODB++ or IPC2581 from your CAD tool to fully take advantage of the DFM capabilities in PCBflow.

    What DFM software does PCBflow use behind-the-scenes?

    PCBflow is powered by a cloud-based Valor NPI engine, which is the industry standard for comprehensive and effective DFM.

    Can designers trust PCBflow to secure their files?

    All files are stored in highly secured cloud environment that complies with the best security standards and audited by Siemens.

    Why should I consider a cloud-based DFM tool over an on-premises solution?

    Cloud-based tools have several significant advantages over on-premises solutions. There is no IT overhead of install, upgrade, integrate, manage, or otherwise maintain cloud tools. There is no cost or effort needed to setup and maintain onsite servers or databases. All that is required to ensure that you have the latest version and access to all data, is a stable connection to the internet. Security compliance and reliability of cloud-based tools are continuously monitored and updated to eliminate risk to the user. Cloud tools are designed to be accessible, user-friendly, and attractive with no additional burden of training. New users can achieve proficiency quickly and easily. Support for cloud tools is included in the subscription cost and easily accessible from within the tool.

    Collaboration between colleagues and partners across the globe is easy with cloud-based tools – these tools are agnostic to user time zone or geographic location. In today’s post-pandemic hybrid employment model, cloud tools are essential to keep your business agile and productive no matter where or when your employees need access.

    Is it necessary to train a PCBflow expert in order to use this solution?

    No training or prerequisites are needed. PCBflow is designed to easily guide the layout designers to the manufacturability violation location in the design. PCBflow provides designers with images, tooltips, measurements and location of the violation on the PCB design.

    How does PCBflow find the best manufacturer for the job?

    PCBflow quickly qualifies potential manufacturers based on their competencies as matched to designers’ requirements; no need for lengthy research or email exchanges. This way, designers can team up with a capable manufacturer to streamline their DFM flow.

    Why use PCBflow?

    PCBflow reduces time to market and increases product quality by promoting first-time-right manufacture of your PCB. We provide an easy, affordable, cloud-based service where any PCB designer can validate their PCB design for compliance with real-world manufacturing capabilities. Checking your design for manufacturability before you hand it to your manufacturer ensures quicker time-to-market by eliminating re-spins and engineering changes.

    How does PCBflow benefit PCB designers?

    Test your designs with real world manufacturing capabilities/constraints with NO SETUP REQUIRED. You can use industry compliant manufacturability rules or pick up a set already customized and provided by a participating PCB manufacturer.
    You receive an easy-to-understand, standardized, visual report of design issues that need to be fixed and actionable suggestions for how to fix them. Handoff to your manufacturer through PCBflow is secure and seamless.

    What challenges does PCBflow address?

    Manufacturers can publish their DFM PROFILE on PCBflow in a secured account and in a controlled way. This allows designers to run a DFM analysis against a real manufacturer DFM PROFILE that fits their preferences.