As part of the development process, we support transitioning the product from prototype to volume production. We accomplish this in several ways. First, we will assist your contract manufacturer in getting his production line up and in performing qualification testing on the initial production units. Second, we can design and build the functional test sets needed in the manufacturing process. Finally, once the product is in production we can provide any design maintenance services that may be needed. Our job is to get finished and get the factory shipping products so you can see the return on your investment.
The level of effort required to transition your product into a contract manufacturer is dependent on the complexity of the product and its production volume. While the intensity of the effort will vary greatly from product to product, most contract manufacturers will follow the same general process. They will re-layout the PCB to optimize it for their production process, they will scrutinize any long lead or single source parts to identify alternatives, substitutes and/or less expensive variants, they will initiate the supply chain, and they will begin the process of tooling up a manufacturing line, which includes identifying the testing needed. Our job is to assist them in this process and to qualify units as they begin coming off the production line.
As part of this support effort, we often develop manufacturing test sets for functional verification (and potentially configuration) of production units. The contract manufacturer will usually perform a series of inspections and tests such as in-circuit testing, automated visual inspection, etc. as part of their normal production process. The final step is functional verification of the unit which often requires a product specific test set. Depending on the volume, application, and market needs, this can be a very basic, quick, simple test, or a more complex, thorough test of all the product’s operational modes. We will work with you and the contract manufacturer to determine the functional test requirements, and will train the contract manufacturer on to diagnose and repair products that fail functional test.
Once product is coming off the production line, issues still can arise. These can range from defects that may require a design change to finding alternatives to parts that become obsolete. We are committed to supporting you through the entire product life-cycle.