Electronic Product Development

How is an Electronic Product Developed?  An overview of the complete product development process can be found here on the Overview of a Design post.  In this post, we go through the design of the electronics.  Typically, the process proceeds like this:

  1. The customer writes down the basic functionality of their product.  What does it do?  This will determine the input and output functionality.  The input functionality is how you get information into the device.  It could be a sensor or a pushbutton or a keyboard.  The output functionality is how information is retrieved from the device.  This could be a printer, a display, a blinking LED, etc.  We’ll guide you through the process of detailing how the device will work.
  2. Next, we choose the devices that make up the product.  Numerous electronic parts will need to be chosen.  In many cases, there are a number of options and we will help you select the appropriate part based upon look, feel, and price.
  3. Once the device is specified, we can begin drawing up the connections between the components which is referred to as a schematic.  We provide schematic capture services.  These schematics are also used to troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
  4. After the schematic is created, The schematic interconnections of the electronics parts are used to generate the circuit board.  It generally takes about 2 weeks to get the circuit boards.
  5. At this point the circuit boards are ready to have the parts soldered onto them.
  6. Basic functionality can now be tested.  If a microcontroller is used, the debugging capabilities can be tested.
  7. Typically some changes will be required at this point.  For the most part, simple modifications called blue wire mods can be used to patch in new functionality or parts so further improvements, fixes or changes can be implemented.
  8. Once the functionality has been proven, steps 4-6 can be repeated.  Modifications to the prototype are faster because much of the design (form, fit and function) has been completed prior to step 4.

At this point, the product is pretty close to production.  We’ll go through the production process in a different post.

Additional Product Development Links

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