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Why put the cart before the horse?

29 November 2019

There’s usually a logical sequence followed by most OEMs when an electronics project is being developed. It goes something like this.

First there’s the product specification, then the design, then sourcing of components for the assembly, then prototyping and debugging and finally sourcing an enclosure to house the whole lot. Although this seems reasonable, by actually using this sequence, lots of things can start to go wrong, just when time is of the essence and everyone is getting jittery with pre-production nerves.

What if the assembly is too big for an available enclosure? Diecast enclosures are invariably more expensive with greater depth. It’s the dies; making a deep diecast is not easy and tools are therefore an exceptionally high cost item. Naturally this cost is amortised in the sell price of the casting. A tall assembly limits choice of enclosure, which causes lost time while a suitable housing is sourced and there is the inevitable cost increase. A larger box than required means paying extra for unnecessary space, a smaller box will need a circuit or component redesign. More time, more money. Some manufacturers choose to make their own tooling. The risk increases if the product doesn’t sell well and of course the development time and expense must be considered.

Read the full article in the December issue of DPA.



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