New to product development?
According to Medium:
The process behind developing the electronics hardware product is to develop the electronics and develop the enclosure. But there is the number of stages and steps involved in product development life-cycle. The development process can run-down into obvious six stages as shown above.
Brainstorm with like-minded people. Find out the problems and think about how can you provide a solution by a product. Club all the available information you gathered and Define inspiring user stories.
Can I sell it at a profit? Is the product feasible to develop? How long will it take me to develop? Can I mass manufacture the product?
Iterate your ideation process. Until you find answers to the above questions.
The electronics will usually be the most complex and expensive part of your product to develop. Engineers aren’t cheap. Especially good ones. an electronics design engineer you will need to hire an engineer to develop the electronics. In the United States, you can expect an electronics engineer to cost you between $100 to $200 per hour with most charging close to $125/hour. Lower cost engineers in other countries commonly charge around $50/hour or less(According to Hackster.io report). In India, it’s very hard to find such engineers, If you are lucky to find one they will charge 1000 INR — 2000 INR per day. The engineering required for the development of the electronics can be broken down into several steps.
1.) system architecture,
2.) components selection,
3.) schematic diagram,
4.) PCB layout,
Hire Embedded Hardware Design Engineer for step 1,2,3,4 & 6 and Embedded software design engineer for step 1,5.
Pick your microcontrollers/processors, sensors, display, connectors, actuators based upon the desired functions. The rule for the Component selection process is, choose components with EOL (End of life) greater than 2 years for consumer electronics.
The higher-level block diagram is detailed to circuit diagram called Schematics along with electronics components. Circuit Simulation tools, insights into the behavior of electronics circuit designs, waveforms and are so advanced that it can help you find faulty designs. The PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is the physical board that holds and connects all of the electronic components. In general, the smaller the product, and the tighter the components are packed together, the longer it will take to create the PCB layout.
The cost of the blank PCB is mostly determined by its size and the number of routing layers. At a bare minimum, two routing layers (top and bottom) are required however, most designs will require from four to six layers. More complex designs may require eight layers or more. Increasing the number of layers generally allows you to reduce the overall size of the PCB. Although the use of complex PCB technologies such as blind and/or buried vias will reduce the board size, they also drastically increase the board cost. Their use will typically double the PCB prototype cost, so in most cases, it’s best to use only standard through-hole vias.
For most products producing the blank PCBs will be about a third of the electronic prototyping costs, and the board assembly will run about two-thirds of the cost. So starting off with about three to five boards, then potentially increasing the quantity for each iteration. Once you’ve confirmed functionality and worked out most of the major bugs then you can increase the prototype quantity and begin sharing with them with investors and potential customers.
Hardware Enclosure prototype
Prototyping of the plastic enclosure is most commonly done using 3D printing technology. 3D printing builds a custom shaped part by stacking layers of molten plastic. The popularity of 3D printing has really helped to bring down the cost of creating plastic prototypes. For some startups purchasing your own 3D printer may be the most cost-effective strategy.
Manufacturing involves finding vendors for components, finding PCB manufacturer, PCB assembly line, Finding DIE manufacture, Finding Injunction mold vendors, Documentation, Product Packing, Certification.
Many hardware entrepreneurs neglect the importance of developing the retail package. Unless you plan to only sell your product online, or to industrial customers, the retail package is just as important as the product itself.
You can have the greatest product in the world but if your retail package doesn’t quickly convey this to the customer it won’t sell. Always remember, nothing matters without sales!
Most electronic products require multiple certifications in order to be sold. The certifications required depends on the product specifics and the countries in which it will be marketed. The cost and time needed to obtain all of the certifications necessary for your product are one of the most overlooked steps to bringing a new hardware product to market.
We’ll mainly discuss certifications necessary in the United States, Canada, and the EU. However, other countries and regions will have very similar requirements.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Certification is required in the United States for all electronic products that oscillate at 9 kHz or higher
Verifies that a product contains no lead. RoHS is one of the easiest and cheapest types of certifications to obtain.
To get these certificates need specific equipment which are costlier too. Some companies outside there are providing this facility as a service. Such as Intertek.
The cost to launch a new electronic product can be overwhelming, especially for entrepreneurs and startups. Development costs will be your first financial obstacle to surpass, and scaling costs will be your largest early cost obstacle. However, the landed production cost will definitely be your most important cost since it determines your profit, sales price, and inventory cost.