Device development process
SPECIFICATION OF PARAMETERS
FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEVICES
The first phase is defining the following device parameters:
a) Description of the problem which should be solved using an electronic device
b) Types of electrical (electronic) input and output points of the device
c) Casing (dimensions, type of box, whether it needs to be protected from certain aggressive agents, atmosphere, etc.)
d) Whether the device is intended for serial or mass production
SELECTION OF COMPONENTS, SCHEMATICS DEVELOPMENT AND BOARD PRODUCTION
After defining the parameters, development starts – which means a proper selection of the main microcontrollers, the main input-output connectors (RS485, Profibus, KNX and similar), and schematics development.
After the schematics and schematics approval by an experienced engineer, the production of the board (PCB) itself begins. The boards are designed in Altium Designer and PCAD programs. Sometimes we also use the MENTOR program.
After the completion of the PCB design, we embark on the production of a prototype, and in parallel, on the production of the software for the device (firmware and application software), as well as the mechanical casing.
- Firmware = software, i.e. an assemblage of drivers which allow for the basic functions of the device.
- Application software = software which enables our device to be connected to a network of similar devices or to a PC
Prototype production begins as HM1 (handmade 1) – usually we first produce 10-300 pieces. In this phase we also establish the final connection of the device to the software and the mechanical construction.
TRIAL MASS PRODUCTION 1
TMP1 (trial mass production) – in this phase we analyze the possibilities of improvement of the production process, i.e. whether we can somehow improve the product or production line design to make the production smoother. We actually explore the connection between the design and the production. About 1000 pieces are produced at this stage.
TRIAL MASS PRODUCTION 2
TMP2 (trial mass production 2) is the final phase of product design and development, and in this phase we usually produce some 5000 pieces. This phase is nowadays often skipped because of accelerated production, but it has its advantages – since the quantity of manufactured products is greater, the product is already very close to its final version, or in some cases already corresponds to the finished product. This production phase can be used to test the chain of supply, delivery dates etc.
This production phase can be especially interesting to the marketing department of the company itself because products from this phase can be presented to the interested customers. One can also get valuable feedback which can help improve the product and additionally adapt it to the demands of the market.
TMP2 is most often our final phase of development because clients decide to transfer the production to China or Hungary, where series of millions are produced.
AND OUR PRODUCTION LINE
Promatis owns its own production line and is able to conduct mass production. The capacity of our production line is 250-300 thousand pieces a year.
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