Article: The product development lifecycle.

The development of a new product is a rather complex process. A well-considered start with a clear goal and a structured approach are necessary to make such a project enjoyable and clear for all concerned. During an acquaintance meeting, DPTechnics will provide the customer with a clear overview of the conditions under which it fulfills its research and development assignments for new devices and installations. Below is a brief overview of all the steps that need to be taken to get an idea into a product that is ready for the market.

Project analysis and planning

The customer describes the device to be developed in detail. The client clarifies whether it is a completely new product or a renewal of an already existing product or a product to be added to an existing system. During a first meeting, DPTechnics will also get an overview of factors such as:

  • The functionalities that the device must be capable of fulfilling.
  • Will the device function autonomously or will it be part of a group of devices within an installation?
  • Will there be any interaction with other equipment, if so, to what extent and with what type of equipment?
  • Is there a need for a risk analysis regarding the operation of the device?
  • Are there any legal obligations or restrictions regarding the operation of the device?
  • Is this device to be developed in its final version or should it be ready for future expansion in functionality and compatibility?
  • What is the desired minimum life span; this determines the choice of electronic components that should then remain available for a sufficient period of time.
  • The environmental factors in which the new device will have to function.
  • Which housing is to be provided for the new device?
  • What quantities are to be expected per production batch?
  • Will the new device be sold B2B or B2C, should there be different GUIs for professionals and end users?

Furthermore the customer informs DPTechnics of the expected TTM and the production cost.

Preliminary study and proof of concept

Based on the project analysis, DPTechnics performs a feasibility study. In addition to a clear project description, this study provides a detailed overview of all hardware and software to be developed with estimation of cost and probable development time. Furthermore the client receives a clear, subdivided schedule, for the execution of the project, including information on the possibilities for subsidizing the entire project or its components. It is also explained which certifications are necessary and which ones are desirable.

Depending on the complexity of the project, such a study may take a few weeks to several months. The cost and probable duration of the study is submitted to the client for approval.

The study is not binding. After taking notice, the customer may decide not to execute the project. In case of a positive decision, DPTechnics will offer the conditions under which they perform the project, and the preliminary study for signature. Only after signing these documents, the execution of the project will become binding.

Execution of the project

The project is conducted by DPTechnics in several steps as indicated in the study.

  • Drawing the electrical diagram for the PCB to be developed
  • Developing the PCB design
  • Compilation of the BOM
  • Development of the different layers of software architecture
  • Developing GUI for end users or professionals
  • The building of a prototype
  • Implementing various optimizations to prepare for production
  • Development of a suitable housing
  • Production of a test series
  • Perform the necessary tests and tests for the required certifications

To ensure that everything meets the expectations of the client, a number of iterations will be planned during the execution of the project. These regular meetings also inform the client about the evolution of the project. He gets an update on the steps already taken and finished components as well as about any occuring delays. These iterations also provide the opportunity to note necessary or desired changes on time and implement these adjustments cost-effective.

The test phase

Together with the client, a number of test sites are selected. The sites are preferably characteristic of the different circumstances in which the new device will have to function and are best located in the vicinity of the client.Once the test phase is completed with satisfaction, all possible errors have been resolved and requested adjustments have been made, the product is ready for marketing. It is clear that the duration of this test phase can not be estimated. It is therefore advisable not to reveal the new product too early to avoid disappointment at the end customer.