ELECTRONICS AND HARDWARE
If you are looking for an electronic design company to take your idea from a concept and develop it into a finished product, we can help you. We take your concept from bright idea to finished product in logical and manageable phases, one step at a time.
Refine the Concept - We write a brief document to specify the project’s technical scope. This sets agreed boundaries and endpoints, bright ideas often involve pushing boundaries. Consideration should be given as to whether a feasibility study would be useful to answer significant unknowns before a detailed project specification is written.
Feasibility Study - This is a paid for study, usually directed to answer the question: “is this project technically possible within my budget?” Sometimes this requires us to check the data behind your concept. Rest assured that we will do our utmost to deliver a solution to any of these above problems. We typically start with verifying the suitability and availability of the major components required. We then investigate the cost of major parts and explore the options and trade-offs between cost and performance. Part of this process may justify construction of “proof of concept” hardware to find out if the idea works, or works well enough to take it further. This work will result in more reliable estimated costs of development and better prediction of finished product manufacturing costs. Finally, we write a draft report and present you for feedback. Any necessary changes will be made and incorporated into a final report which will include a final project specification.
Starting with the project specification, available components are once again reviewed and final selections made taking into account cost, performance and availability factors. Next, using Altium Designer, we design the electronic circuitry and produce the schematic design, including generating a bill of materials, creating CAD layouts of the PCB, and manufacturing benchtop prototypes.
The next step of the design process is the software and firmware development phase. This consists of generating state diagrams and firmware documentation. From this, well commented software code is drafted. Test - Only when software and firmware are complete can serious bench testing commence. Several hardware spins are expected in order to refine the performance of the prototypes. Our strong manufacturing resources allow us to turn-round spins promptly. The cost of as many spins necessary is included within our quotation. When we are satisfied that the design meets the project specifications at a bench-top level, the results will be demonstrated to you.
During the pre-production stage, we incorporate further design revisions arising from client feedback, and generate the professional CAD layout, design enclosures (if required), fabricate and populate pre-production PCBs. We once again test pre-production units against the project specification to check if any revisions are necessary before the results are presented to the client. Field trials - These are an essential part of the electronic development process. They are the responsibility of clients. Comprehensive field trials are essential, and they will often throw up unexpected issues. These problems must be resolved and modifications incorporated into further pre-production builds. This feedback loop continues until sufficient confidence is reached to commit to production.
The PCB design and bill of manufacture (BOM) is now at production release stage. We design and fabricate the multi-circuit bare PCB pallet and manufacture matching laser cut solder paste screens. Components are kitted and pick and place machines are programmed, once again checking the correct fitment of all parts prior to component placement. Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI), X-ray inspection, and flying probe test are included in the process as required. We recommend a complete functional test before shipment. The nature and extent of these tests must be agreed, and suitable test jigs constructed. Functional test is at additional cost. We provide technical support to verify that volume produced electronic assemblies function correctly. Having designed the hardware, we are well placed to determine what verifications might be necessary. End of line test rigs can be designed and manufactured. We can also assist to ensure firmware is flashed onto assembled boards repeatedly and reliably.