When is the best time to engage Device Solutions? If the objective for the device is to take it to large scale manufacturing (and product costs are a factor), then making sure the device is designed for manufacturing (DFM) can be a critical step to creating the optimal design. Design for Manufacturing takes into consideration the actual processes and equipment that the manufacturing companies (typically a Contract Manufacturing Service [CMS]) will be utilizing when assembling the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), sub-assemblies and assembly of the final product. If results have been generated from Prototypes, simulations, and prior experience, the information can be leveraged to make sure the design of the device is as well aligned as possible to the processes and technologies used in the CMS facilities. For example, the choices between thru-hole and surface mount technologies may actually sway a design in favor of the thru-hole component if the manufacturing plan shows the surface mount component to be more expensive to purchase, prepare, and place on the PCB (these findings can be counterintuitive). Design for Manufacturing can also account for re-work expectations and many other factors that are critical for scaling products to large scale production quantities.
Whether Bob, Chris and the Device Solutions team did the initial design, they are always keeping in mind the objective of getting as high a quality product to market as possible given the design and market constraints. A great value of the Design for Manufacturability stage is that the process provides feedback on the design, opportunities for quality and cost improvements, and recommendations to make the device as manufacture-able as possible.
The first step, no matter what stage of your development or re-design is to contact Bob (Device Solutions’ CEO) and arrange an in person discussion. If you have already worked with Bob and Device Solutions, you know about the incredible experience of working with a company that prides itself on openness, transparency, and authenticity (and innovation). If you haven’t met the Device Solutions team, you owe it to yourself and your company to have an ongoing relationship with one of the top embedded design companies in the world.