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Design your electronics in-house or by outsourcing

Design electronics in-house, or outsource to a specialist

What steps should be taken

A development it is important to follow the process carefully:

  • Requirements
  • Development phase
  • Electronics implementation
  • Electronics qualification
  • Customer acceptance
  • Writing the manual
  • Certifications
  • Production preparation
  • Production

This applies to all applications, such as measurement or control applications as well as HVAC and heat pump systems or boilers. The importance of various steps may vary somewhat.

Development Opportunities.

There are a number of opportunities to develop the electronics for your product or part.

  • A free-lance developer
  • A specialized development agency
  • In house, with in-house R&D. If you already have a department, this may be the obvious choice.

In-house R&D

If, as a company, you have an electronics development team, the obvious choice is to bring the new development to them.
However, if there is only one developer, then a number of questions are important:

  • Does the developer really have time for this new project?
  • How long has it been since he has done a development? Does he have enough experience and is he not lagging on the state of the art by now?
  • How will you manage success later?

Some people talk about “just make a PCB,” and then don’t follow a structured product development plan. For a product this is usually not desirable, because it leads to unpredictable results and costs.

A free-lance developer

A free-lance developer may be able to complete a project, but you cannot be sure he will still be there for you next year. If he does not get the project done, you will have little option for recourse, you will be very dependent while he/she has no way to fall back on a team.

So: The success-rate and long-term support are limited. However, a free-lancer can be a solution for small or temporary products.

A specialized development agency

Electronics development agencies use a structured project approach. This approach is aimed at making the success rate 100%, but also including the less clearly expressed customer expectations about the product. The key phases that help with this are the Requirements determination that includes the Overall Design and Analysis and, of course, the Qualification Testing of the prototype.

Because you are requesting a product (or a component), the product will need to be qualified for European and/or other markets. This must already be included in the design in order not to face unexpected problems at a later stage.

These steps take time (and therefore money) but skipping them can be much more expensive. It can lead to inferior product properties or earlier product modifications.

What does Engineering Spirit do?

Specifically, we pay close attention to the Requirements and Qualification phases. We work to understand what the product is for, how a customer will see it and we will help you with aspects of which you cannot estimate the costs.
In the Qualification phase we test all features for function and reliability. For this we use, among other things, temperature tests between -40 to +180 degrees in our own climate chamber.

Click on the links to Learn more about Embedded Electronics or about How to make a PLC controller cheaper.

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