Process Driven for Successful Delivery
We know that DSL clients often have very demanding and challenging project objectives to meet relating to quality, cost and time. We will work either as a specialist extension of your development team, a multi-discipline collaborative partner or as a self-contained outsourced design and development team providing a full-service capability from design proposal through to certification and beyond into the manufacture of high volumes of production quantities. Our clients rely on us to meet their goals and so our design and delivery process has been developed and refined over many years to make this smooth and predictable as possible.
The DSL Design Process in Full
Step 1 – Requirements Definition
Projects begin with understanding your detailed engineering and business requirements. This may be pre-defined or generated in discussions with your DSL team. Our Requirements Definition template may help you define exactly what you need.
Step 2 – Design Proposal (Outline)
The first step involves formally documenting the client’s requirements, encompassing their application, required electronic and mechanical specifications alongside relevant environmental and power aspects. These are formalised into our initial Design Proposal for client acceptability sign off and thus achieve mutual agreement of expectation at this earlier stage. See an example.
Step 3 – Design Proposal (Costs/Time-scales)
Once the specification is mutually approved, by harnessing our range of skills and experience we are able to provide you with accurate and realistic proposals for the complete design process at this early stage: Based on a detailed project plan, this will define our understanding of your requirements, estimate project costs and clarify the time-scales involved.
Step 4 - Project Plan
Once given the green light, your first deliverable is our detailed project plan, showing time-scales of each sub-phase of the project. The project plan is reviewed internally weekly and re-issued to the client should any change have occured. Time-scales can fluctuate mid-project, shortened by more expedient than anticipated client approval, or lengthened by a mid-project change; time-scale impacts presented through our ECR (engineering change request) system and, assuming approval, reflected dynamically within the project plan. See an example.
Step 5 – Design Specification
The final specification provides a clear and concise description of the complete system design and its functionality, as well as how it will connect and interact with the ‘outside world’.See an example.
Step 6 - Schematic Design
Once agreed, we then design the board to the Design Specification, employing techniques to meet with client type approvals such as EMC emissions, temperature range, vibration, and circuit protection. Completed schematics are then sent for approval before moving to the board layout stage. See an example.
Step 7 - PCB Design
Our Design Engineers then proceed to the board layout stage and this addresses and specific physical parameters as highlighted within the Design Specification document. DSL typically provide a 3D CAD model, or interactive 3D PDF (Note: To use 3D PDF functionality, download the PDF and open using Adobe PDF Reader to view. Does not work directly on browsers.), of the board to help clients visualise the final board layout.
Step 8 - Prototypes
Once the board design and layout are approved we are ready to manufacture the first batch of prototypes. Fast-turn build options are available for projects working to constrained timescales. Prototypes are evaluated with a thermal camera to identify any potential hot spots.
Step 9 - Environmental Testing
We work together with our clients to ensure the prototypes pass any environmental testing that is required. This can include EMC emissions, vibration, temperature and humidity as well as other industry specific standards, some of which can be undertaken in house at DSL.
Step 10 - Delivery of manufacturing pack
With prototypes approved our job is sometimes completed and we will provide all schematics in Altium format along with PCB artwork, a full BOM as well as any other documentation and IP. A post project review is undertaken to analyse project performance in line with our ISO9001 quality system – the client is invited in to review and discuss our findings.
Step 11 - Production Management
The production stage has many prerequisites vital to the on-going success of the project. These often includes management of software versions, assembly quality, system testing and component obsolescence. We can manage this entire process allowing the client to use their valuable resource on the competencies they are specialised in.
To read some of the most commonly asked questions about our electronic design process, please click here.
Designing for clients across market sectors
AUTOMATION / CONTROL
Helping to design and develop The Form Talysurf Intra, an entry level surface and finish measurement system with high level accuracy and metrology integrity.
Medical & Healthcare
We helped resolve quality and reliability of its motion detection drive boxes within its pioneering movement analysis soltuions resulting in no returns from the field.
Automation & Control
We designed a product that uses Bluetooth to aid with fuel dispensing tracking for aircraft - a crucial data interface between the vehicle and the office system.