Get email delivery of the Cadence blog featured here
Before manufacturing, PCB fabricators analyze Gerber data to verify if it is manufacturable or not. If the artwork data meets the requirement, it is processed to make it usable by production tools and equipment. The various stages of data analysis and processing are automated at the manufacturer's end. Depending on the PCB maker you are working with, you may need to create artwork data files per their requirement.
Allegro layout editor's artwork generation command provides options to create the artwork files per manufacturer requirement. For example, you can specify a prefix or a suffix to the file name or change the file extension.
If you are working on a critical project, data security and privacy will be a concern. There is another useful control that secures your outgoing data. It is available as an environment variable, and if set, stops printing the complete design path in the artwork data file. The name of the environment variable is art_stripdirectoryname. You can find it in the Artwork section of the Manufacture category in User Preferences Editor. Enabling this variable before creating artwork data removes the board design path from the comment section of the art file.
If you are interested in knowing more about other manufacturing controls, check out Allegro Layout Editor Environment Variables Reference.