A key stage in the development cycle for any electronic hardware is the creation of a set of prototypes that form a platform to test and prove the fundamental features of a new product.

The delivery of a fresh set of prototypes is always a highly exciting event at TDI. Nevertheless, prototype bring-up can form a nervous undertaking, especially because by their very nature the products we develop contain some novel and untried characteristics. Through careful checks made throughout the design process, our engineers will have every confidence that new hardware is going to exhibit “right first time” operational success.

We take care to select the most appropriate manufacturer to carry out PCB fabrication and board assembly. Our choice will take account of the anticipated volumes for the new product as, very often, it makes sense to carry out prototype manufacturing with the same supplier that is expected to perform production manufacturing. By taking this approach, valuable lessons can be learnt during prototyping that can help to maximise build efficiency – and minimise costs – once the design progresses to full production.

Once we take delivery of the prototype hardware our engineers will work through a commissioning plan that allows the core hardware functions to be enabled and tested in a carefully structured sequence. Ideally the commissioning work will proceed without complication but sometimes unwanted setbacks do take place. In such situations we put our sharpened analytical problem-solving skills to good use. We also take advantage of our network of technical support contacts to help identify and resolve any functional issues with critical components.

Our logical approach to commissioning and proving new designs is based around the application of a comprehensive set of functional tests. These can prove invaluable – with further development – as the foundation for production test routines that can deliver efficiency improvements during subsequent volume manufacturing.

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