When you hear about 10-ounce copper PCBs, high current and high voltage come to mind. In this episode, we will have a deep dive discussion on designing heavy power boards with Mario Strano. Mario is the senior PCB designer at Nikola and also president of ECAD Central. He will share with us his 16 years of experience in PCB design and the migration services he provides through ECAD Central.

Watch this episode or listen on the go. We’ve touched on many other interesting topics, such as setting up clearance and creepage rules and a 57-ounce copper board.

Altium 365: Where the World Designs Electronics

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Show Highlights:

  • Mario’s background and professional path as PCB Designer and Component Engineer

    • He is currently the only PCB designer at Nikola
    • His expertise includes but is not limited to designing 10-ounce copper boards, real heavy power boards, HMI boards, human-machine interface boards
  • Setting up creepage and clearance rules for heavy copper was a challenge to Mario during his transition from SQL Semiconductor to Avnet
  • Mario and Zach discuss more 10-ounce copper PCBs
  • Zach was amused to hear about Taiyo Kogyo’s 57-ounce copper
    • The Japan-based company developed proprietary processes that allow them to do things like Bus Bar Embedded PCB
  • Mario briefly shares his experience as a component engineer at Avnet for six years
  • The two discuss the tantalum capacitor shortage in 2018 and compare it to the current semiconductors shortage, which started in 2020
    • How is the supply chain shortage affecting PCB designers, and how are they working around it?
  • ECAD Central, an Altium  365Concord Pro, and Altium NEXUS Database service provider – setup and configuration, database migration
    • Mario compared migrating data to “like moving mountains”
    • Is mirroring parts between two systems possible? Mario explains what can be done. Definitely not a simple drag and drop operation, though!

Links and Resources:


Connect with Mario Strano on Linkedin
Visit the ECAD Central website
Learn More about Taiyo Kogyo and their 57-ounce copper boards
Watch related podcasts:
Easily Find Electronic Components for Your Next PCB Design
The Benefits of Diversifying PCB Industry Supply Chain

Connect with Zach on LinkedIn
Full OnTrack Podcast Library
Altium Website

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