Manufacturing starts from the PCB fabrication data generated by CAD. The Gerber or Excellon files in the fabrication data are never used directly on the manufacturing equipment but always read into the CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software.
CAM performs the following functions
- Input of the Gerber data
- Verification of the data; optionally DFM
- Compensation for deviations in the manufacturing processes (e.g. scaling to compensate for distortions during lamination)
- Output of the digital tools (copper patterns, solder resist image, legend image, drill files, automated optical inspection data, electrical test files,...)