SunMan Engineering, Inc

"The Product Engineering, Layout and Prototyping Specialist" Since 1990

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Electronic Product Development Process

The idea of creating a product and releasing it into the marketplace is exciting, but seems like a long process when you aren’t sure what it entails. Therefore, it is best to break down electronic product development into these easy to understand steps.

Concept Phase

This first step in the electronic product development process is to create a document which includes the details for the product including functions, features, goals and retail price. It is important to list the specifications in order of importance. There may be compromises during the development process such as which specifications can be included based on the determined cost.

Schematic Circuit Diagram Phase

In the electronic product development phase, an electrical engineer will determine how to create a schematic circuit diagram, or schematic capture based on the specifications outlined in the concept phase. This design may include sensors, displays and microchips. A schematic circuit diagram is a graphic representation of how the electronic circuit will look for the product and is generally created with an electronic design automation (EDA) tool. Additionally, during this phase, the product’s part list (including costs) is outlined based on the what is used for the diagram.

Printed Circuit Design Phase

The printed circuit board (PCB) is created from the schematic circuit diagram, as the diagram should outline the electrical implementation of each function of the printed circuit board. The PCB is the board that supports and electrically connects all of the product’s electronic components.

Prototype Phase

With the design phases complete, it is time to create a prototype for the electronic product. This will be based on the PCB design. In the first stage, the bare circuit boards will be produced. After that, the components will be attached to the PCB. This phase will include a review of the design’s functionality, appearance and cost of creation. Based on this review, changes may be made if necessary.

Evaluation Phase

Once the final prototype is ready, the features and procedures must be tested. A case will be designed to house the final product along with assembly instructions, circuit diagrams, mechanical drawings and any other necessary documents for the product to be created by a qualified source.

When broken down into these steps, the electronic product development process is easier to comprehend. Once you have a product on the market, you will most likely continue to test and improve your product based on sales feedback. This may include design revisions using this sales data to create a market friendly product.