Product developement model
Several steps are needed during the design process. It is important to understand this process to avoid unnecessary redesign.
1 Prestudy & feasibility study
Initially some investigations and estimations should be made to get an overview over the business potential and roughly estimated developement costs.
2 Requirement specification
This is the most important step, since this document will exactly describe how the product shall work, how it interfaces to the user and other devices, which enviromental, mechanical and legal requirements it should fulfill. This document is also the base for a reliable estimation of developement costs.
This document needs to be reviewed by all parties and all requirements shall be unambigous. The costs for changes and modifications are increasing all the time further down through the design process.
3 Design specification
The design specification will describe exactly how the requirements will be implemented. All engineering details like exact protocol specifications, database formats, electrical connectors and interfaces are outlined and will be the reference for all members of the design team.
Even this document needs to be reviewed by all parties to detect misunderstandings.
4 Verification specification
The customer shall establish this document, which exactly describes how the requirements will be verified. This might help to find ambigous requirements since it is not possible to describe how they shall be verified. It is therfore desireable to establish this document before the design starts.
Now the requirement, design and verification specifications shall be released. After this step usually more resources get involved and the costs per day are increasing.
Now the implementation starts. Hardware and software are designed according to the specifications above. Usually several designers are working concurrently at this step.
6 PCB design
Due to the complexity of todays electronic products, we do not use breadboards for prototypes but go for pcb directly. The first pcb layouts are made for prototype production.
7 Prototype production
This is usually similar to series production and it is possible to get important feedback from the manufacturing plant as well as an reliable estimation of production costs.
8 Prototype testing
The hardware needs to be tested to see if it performs according to the requirement specification. Firmware modules are tested at this level as well.
9 Integration testing
Now all hard- and software from all team members is put together and tested for compatibility according to the design specification. After this step the system is ready for verification.
At this point the entire system will be tested regarding mechanical, electrical, enviromental, legal and functional requirements.
All documents from the design phase like schematics, mechanical drawings, parts list, assembly drawings and additionally hard- and software design descriptions and user manual are completed here.
At this stage the product will be formally released for production.
Based on the documentation an electronic manufacturing subcontractor can start first production. The documentation will be tested and missing pieces need to be added.
13 Field testing
Now the system is validated by the end user. This will show if the requirements meet the real life expectations. The end user part of the documentation is tested here and will show if the end user is able to setup and run the system.
The product is finally ready for mass production!
14 Product support & maintenance
On request we can provide these services as well.