Category Archives: Printed Circuit Design

EMI and EMC Simulation and Analysis at Product Design phase

All electronic products which are intended for commercial, residential, industrial or military use must pass EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) standards tests. They must perform their intended function in the electromagnetic environment and also must not  degrade the performance of other devices.

These standards are country specific and are governed by local organizations. The EMI testing on electronic equipment for the United States is  handled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is commonly referred as Part 15 testing. The EMI testing for Canada is presented in the Industry Canada ICES-003 standard. In Japan the EMI testing standard is outlined by VCCI. Majority of worldwide standards are derived from Comite International Special des Perturbations Radioelectriques (CISPR)  standards or International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) EMC/EMI/ESD standards.

EMC and EMI tests are often performed late in the product development cycle, generally at the system level using expensive anechoic chamber. This approach leads to lengthy development cycle  and turns out to be very expensive if violations are discovered at this stage.

It is recommended to opt for design analysis services if your product is time or mission critical. Many optimizations can be done at PCB design phase and layout can be modified with minimal cost and effort.Using design, analysis and verification techniques early in design cycle is recommended as it helps in eliminating many layout iterations.

Analysis of radiated emission, far and near field emission , EMC emission can be done. SI and crosstalk issues can be resolved at this stage  These analyses provide insights that helps in successful regulation compliance testing and thus avoid costly hardware re-spins and reduce time-to-market.

Argus Embedded System in USA, UK and India offers various design analysis services including EMI and EMC simulation services and will help you in Identifying EMI/EMC related  problems early in the design cycle to ensure success of your new product.

Electronic Product Design and Development Process- An Overview

Electronic product design and development process involves many stages. In the first stage verbal discussion is initiated between customer and the engineering team for requirement gathering. Once the engineering team has gathered sufficient data and requirements the feasibility analysis stage starts. Our technical team review the requirements and prepare a system and design architecture document which details in concept hardware and software partitioning and architecture of the product.

Discussion is initiated between customers and Engineers to come up with product cost and if any technical trade offs is to be done. By the end of this stage we are ready with complete detailed product specifications. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is conducted on the product at system and subsystem level to ensure the system built is full reliable.

Detailed PCB design and prototyping is next stage which involves library development, schematic design and capture, PCB critical placements, PCB routing , Gerber generation, Thermal analysis and BOM validation. Periodic customer feedback and approval process is followed throughout the stages.

Once hardware and software design is completed the final product design is released for manufacturing. Argus process does not end here, once the product is fabricated and assembly is completely done, we start verification and validation process as per customer requirements on prototyped boards. After only complete testing and verification is done the product is handed over to the customers. Argus believe in “First time, Right Solution” and our numerous positive customer testimonials echos it.

Argus appoints account manager for each and every electronic product design and development project and are directly involved in assuring success of every project.

Argus specializes in end-to-end electronic product design and development services. Our design process is structured to deliver highly efficient and reliable electronic products.We have expertise in wide range of technologies including domains such as Industrial automation, Process Control , Defence & Aerospace, Telecom & Networking, Automotive, Atomic Energy and Semiconductor.

Plenty of Jobs Unfold for PCB Designing

Argus view on career in PCB design featured in “Electronics for you” magazine.

Article Title:

Plenty of Jobs Unfold for PCB Designing

Issue : August  2014   Issue Vol. 46  No. 8

Article_MFY_August_14

 

Printed Circuit Board Assembly Cost Estimation and Analysis

There are many attributes which adds to the cost of printed circuit board assembly. Technology and technique used, number of components, package size, packaging, regulatory compliance , testing requirements and quantity  are few factors which directly affects the costing. Non-direct factors like  lack of design reviews, lack of DFA or DFM experience ( Design for Assembly and Design for manufacturing ) , lack of skilled worker and lack of testing equipments also affects the overall cost of printed circuit board assembly.

Important criteria should not be overlooked in the design state. While designing a product , DFM describes the process to be done to ensure the manufacturing cost is low and tries to eliminate the issues in the design phase itself. The design, size and the placements of components can have enormous effect and increases cost , if not done properly.

Another process which to be kept in mind in the design phase is DFA process. The components chosen in the design phase should be looked at, and decision should be made whether the part can be considered for elimination or can be combined with other parts in the assembly. Also an estimation of the time taken to hold , grasp, manipulate and inserting the part should be considered.

Following are some of the factors which directly affect the assembly cost :

1. The technology used in assembly process like Surface mount (SMT), Through hole or Mixed (both). Assemblies which requires both SMT and through hole will add to the cost.

2. The components are placed on top side only (single sided) or its double sided (top and bottom) PCB. a single sided board assembly cost would be cheaper than double sided.

3. The total number of placements which are to be done.

4. Package size and packaging of the components. The smaller the size of components, the higher the price of overall assembly cost.

5. Quantity and how many types of components are used. Also the availability of components sometimes play major role in BOM costing.

6. Assembly Compliance  and test Requirements are also important factors for product based companies and it adds to the cost.

Argus offers complete electronic product design services, design analysis services, PCB fabrication services ,PCB assembly services and testing services.For turnkey projects Argus design methodology consists of both DFM and DFA processes which leads to cost reductions and improvement of design. Also feedback for projects are continuously shared with the customers which helps them to reduce cost and make products better over the years.

Outsourcing Your Printed Circuit Board Design

A start-up business or company deals with many risks . With limited time , money and resources to make a  product and deliver it with quality pose many challenges.

The complexity of development of products starts from idea to designing , prototyping, manufacturing and finally going into production. The  product development  cycle requires  expertise in all fields and in-depth knowledge of many technologies. Smaller start-ups and product companies who do not possess in depth knowledge of the product design and development turns to  other companies for their requirements. This helps the start-ups to focus on their strengths and utilize other companies strength to reduce the time to market  and build a better product.

Product development broadly can be divided into following stages :

1) Design phase : Design Feasibility and Cost Analysis , regulatory requirements, analysis of reliability and availability

2) Prototype and Validation phase : PCB design, embedded software validation

3) Manufacturing phase

Each of these phase requires expensive tools and capital equipment expenditures which can be lowered significantly if these can be outsourced to the external custom electronic design team that has the required tools and experience. This will in turn reduce the operational cost of the start-up business and help them to  focus on their strategy and lean them to profitability.

Outsourcing design requirements encourages accountability as experienced and reputed EMS team will be working on the project which in turn minimizes the chances of failure.

The high costs of CAD tools, maintenance and staff training  also make a good case for this approach. However, handing over your latest concept to a design bureau is not a decision to be taken lightly.  The design bureau should be capable with proven experience in delivering the product or design.

Outsourcing electronic design or product design has many direct benefits some of which are less time to market, less operational cost, more time for focusing on actual  product idea and last but not least delivering quality product.

Argus has long history working with some of the biggest names in the electronics industry, and have vast experience working with engineers and project managers who favor the ‘outsource’ model.  Thus the outsourcing model is recommended in electronic design and product design  fields and is a proven model which can be used to benefit any product development company.