It is vital to verify the device with a prototype made in a fast and efficient manner before beginning mass production. Completing an assembly allows the project to be checked in terms of design and assembly goals.
The process of implementing the mass production of an electronic module is very difficult and time-consuming. In order to minimise the time taken and verify the R&D departament objectives, it is key to produce the prototypes as soon as possible. This is why Elhurt offers fast prototypes – we can quote prices within 24h and produce prototypes within 5 working days (depend on the complexity of the project, number of prototypes, and the availability of components).
A prototype is the basis for designing the final product. With a prototype, the project’s objectives can be verified, the time necessary to produce the final product will be shortened, and the risk of costly corrections at later stages of life time of the product will be lowered. It is good construction practice to create MVPs (Minimum Viable Product – a working product with minimal functionality). This can require up to a dozen revisions of the project before you reach DFMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly), i.e. a design ready to be produced in mass production.
Our services are mainly aimed at construction departaments (R&D), and thanks to our rich experience in the field of production, we are the perfect choice for all prototype designs. We have an experienced team of engineers and we offer high quality production possibilities. Our clients can count on professional support during the implementation of a new project, both in terms of purchasing the components and assembly. We offer comprehensive help: from design, to efficient purchase of the necessary components and PCBs, and ultimately assembling prototypes and testing. Many years of experience allow us to offer to our clients a variety ways to improve their product and production process, even during implementation (e.g. choosing components by offering modern technological solutions and help in selecting substitutes).
Thanks to our specialisation in contract manufacturing services (EMS), Elhurt offers comprehensive services at competitive prices which fulfill the needs of many industries, from automotive to consumable goods. We do almost all operations associated with the realisation of a project, including purchasing printed circuits and components, SMT and THT assembly, application of conformal coating, testing, module casting, packaging in accordance with ESD standards, and shipping. Our qualified personnel will make sure that all processes associated with the assembly and realisation of products will be done diligently and on time.
Depending on the project, the prototyping process includes the following stages:
- Analysis of customer requirements
- Adaptation to production requirements
- Elastic implementation plan
- Support in the selection of components
- Components purchasing
- Supplying high quality printed circuit boards
- Making stencils for soldering paste
- SMT assembly
- THT assembly
- Conformal coating
- Electronic circuit testing
- Final assembly
- Preparation of circuits for transport
Development of a New Product – Elhurt’s Plan of Action
Developing a product is a complex process consisting of many stages, where each subsequent stage is as important as the preceding one. An inexperienced company may be tempted to skip certain stages to shorten the device implementation time. Such practices often lead to the creation of a device that does not fulfill its basic objectives or is simply too expensive.
The quick prototyping service offered by Elhurt allows you to conduct a full implementation of a device thanks to our high flexibility and specialisation in this area. Our dedicated construction unit services can shorten the time needed to validate the project and allow for a faster transition to mass production.
The full process of implementation of a new product can be divided into six steps:
1. Coming up with an idea and verifying it
If you are not sure how your idea might perform on the market, try to answer the following basic questions:
- What problem does the product solve?
- Who is the product is targeted at?
- Do similar solutions already exist?
- What will make the new product stand out on the market and will it satisfy the clients’ expectations?
- How big is the potential market for the product?
Finding the best way to solve the problem that the new product is supposed to tackle can not be done without researching the market and the consumers’ needs. In order to identify the product’s potential, it is necessary to assess how many consumers face the problem and how much they are willing to pay for a device which will solve it. Finding the right product with the right price range at the very start of the undertaking will help you create a successful design.
2. Product design
Once armed with knowledge about price ranges and consumers’ expectations, R&D departaments and companies specialising in design will tailor the technological solutions to market demands. During design, it is crucial to be familiar with technological innovations and knowledge of the electronics market. These organisations know the competition, have the necessary knowledge, can test and do the requisite research, and can guide the project through the legal procedures set out by the harmonised standards of the European Union.
3. Prototyping the device
The next step is to create a prototype of the device. This is best outsourced to a company specialising in contract production. The development of a new product and selecting of components does not end with design. At this stage of the project it is necessary to adjust the product to the EU standards, because introducing such changes at later stages may be much more expensive. This phase is often omitted because of pressure to implement a new device, which increases risks. The module may simply not work correctly, not be in line with objectives, or even not meet quality standards. Each new device’s prototype should undergo a few revisions so that its design and operation can be validated, as well as to optimise the design for production. It is normal to create several, or even over a dozen, versions of a device. It is a perfect solution to contract prototype to a company such as Elhurt: this allows for the early detection of design faults, problems with assembly, and can help you assess production scalability and availability of components.
4. Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA)
When contracting production to Elhurt, you can take advantage of the broad knowledge of our field application engineers who can advise you in selecting components in a way that allows for maximal cost reduction, prevention of problems with component availability, and can advise you on modifying the product in order to improve the quality of the module. This way, we can make a final revision of the product which includes the preparation of full documentation, material requirements, a detailed specification, and a full description of the product.
The previous step is finalised by the creation of a so-called “golden sample” – a pilot version of the product. This is a full realisation of the product in its final casing, fully functional and fulfilling all technical requirements. It is the standard for every item produced afterwards during mass production and its creation is a milestone in the design. Remember, the bigger the planned production for a module, the more effort must be made in the DFMA and pre-production stages. This is minimises the risk of starting production with an “immature” product.
6. Mass production
The final step is producing the first batch. This allows you to analyse possible faults in the product. It allows you to establish a paradigm for quality control which, in the future, will detect faults in the products.
It does not mean that work on the product is complete. We have to remember that today’s markets are so dynamic in their demands on the producer that you must be constantly alert to possibilities for further optimisation – both in terms of design (which can be introduced in subsequent versions of the product), and components (which usually comprise up to about 80% of the cost of the device). A reliable partner, experienced in these two areas is priceless. This is the model of cooperation proposed by Elhurt. It makes both the cooperation and the product/design successful.