Design of Electronic Products : An Overview
Design process starts from management’s decision to design a particular product, its price and for whom i.e. market segment. Till we reach actual design task of a product; tasks like; data collection and study of available similar products, finalization of detailed specifications and features and list of mandatory compliances and certifications is completed.
Actual design of an electronic product is a teamwork of thoughts. Meaning thoughts can be of one person or different persons or a team. Thoughts about different tasks collaborate to finalize design of a product.
Design of an electronic product involves two main design tasks, one is electronics design and other is an Industrial Design. Electronics Design has two main tasks, one is circuit Design and another PCB Design.
‘Coordinator’ coordinates activities of teams and does a managing task. Generally coordinator is from electronics function.
Industrial Design is design of a product considering aesthetics, functional and ergonomics (man-machine interface) aspects of the product. Industrial design decides size of product, size of PCBs, interconnections of components, connectors, display, keyboard, color, material and many more parameters and components. Many times; design of enclosure of a product is also done by electronics people. PCBs are designed first and then an enclosure; to fit PCBs is made. Such product generally is not a good product.
Imagine a cell phone designed by this method, may not be pocket sized hand held etc.
Hence design of a product starts from looking at the top and coming to the lowest level of a component. This approach is called Top-Down approach.
Circuit Design includes electronic circuit blocks and their interconnections. Grouping circuits into different PCBs based on functions. Such as power electronics circuit, HV circuit, analog circuit, digital circuits all these can be on different PCBs with proper interconnections.
PCB is a very important component of any electronic product. Its design is important for a quality PCB assembly, reliable circuit functionality, certification needs and ease of production testing maintenance.