Product development

– Why it's not always a walk in the park?

- By Marcus Ek, Head of Engineering & Development, Norautron AB

Going from the ideal on-screen construction to having a working product on hand is not always a walk in the park. Many, even driven developers, have experienced this.
As a manufacturer of electronic products the experience is often shared for that one, on paper perfect product, that does not reach its full potential.

Addressing some of the problems and solutions, the experience within a manufacturer is often what can overturn a project, or make a project to go from disaster to success.
Giving you the view on what to consider in order to achieve success in your project. There are many who can do this, this is perhaps not the only, or best ways but it may be able to give some guidance to someone.
The hope is that the electronics industry will continue to be a strong and important piece of the puzzle in society's quest for development.

Development strategies

Try to imagine the big picture, from the fact that components are to be procured, to how the user of the product should get it in hand, and how it should be handled practically. Including also the steps between, in matters of distribution and logistics, registration and eventual software and communication activities.
From such an analysis, new perspectives often emerge about what the real challenges are to achieve success.
Early in the development work, bringing in thoughts about how production should take place, how requirements for labeling and traceability should be met, and how the product should be packaged and distributed, provides a leverage in the work with a large exchange on the effort against how the outcome will be.


Here there are often both regulatory requirements such as CE marking or industry-specific requirements as for medical products. There are also demands from users, both direct and indirect, who make demands based on how the product is to be used and its function in a larger perspective. These can be more difficult to get a handle on and require analysis by, for example interview users and test in splendorinken.
Acomprehensive grasp of the requirements is one of the basic conditions for successfully achieving the goal.
Production technical requirements can advantageously be determined with the IPCs' various classifications; Class 1-3 for reliability and A-C for manufacturability (IPC-222X series), where requirements are aimed at both developers and manufacturers and are a good basis for setting levels on how the work should be run.
Of course, the market's requirements for design regarding color and shape also have an impact, something that developers not too rarely become aware of.


Set a realistic schedule by contacting people with experience in the field. They can often give a hint of the scope and of the task to be solved and estimate a hypothesis about time consumption.
It is rarely good to set up an over-optimistic schedule in the belief that it will speed up the project, rather it can instead become a disruptive moment that leads to rescheduling and extra work.


All efficient development and manufacturing is based on structured documentation. Think through before starting what will be needed. It's often more than you initially think.
A document overview, preferably graphic, should be established as early as possible in order for the work to be planned and carried out in an efficient way. It is easy to get lost in unstructured documented products.
A basis should be established for item numbering, nomenklatura and how revisions are to be named and handled. There are always changes, and it is essential to have the ability to track them.


With his over 30 years of experience in the electronics industry, from starting as an assembly operator and tester of assembled circuit boards for PABXs, via component technology, purchasing, business development and key customer management, to today being responsible for the production engineering and process development team at Norautron AB.

"It's been an amazing journey from the introduction of surface mount components and the availability of the blue LEDs, to us mass-producing with chip-scale packages that are barely visible to the naked eye on circuit boards with amazing features in terms of performance and size."


or the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards and cabling, IPC's platform of standards are available. It is an invaluable source of knowledge and experience that deals with all imaginable in the field of electrical connections, how they are produced and protected.
However, it is extensive and in some parts complex and can be difficult to apply for those who do not have it as their main area.
To simplify for developers and manufacturers, it has been made many interpretations and simplifications of the standards so that the application is easier. Even IPC themselves have published such as "IPC Checklist – for Producing Rigid Printed Board Assemblies". It can be downloaded for free on their website. Highly recommended!

The production-friendly product

Is the production-friendly product available? There are very good examples where together they have come up with a design that is both functional and that flows easily through the entire production chain.
What characterizes these products is often that the dialogue is started early between product owners, developers, designers and manufacturers to deal in agreement with all possible shortcomings and improvement opportunities together.


Leveraging your network of actors in many disciplines is one of the most effective ways to quickly get the information that is important.
In the electronics industry, there are thousands of specialists in their field and having a conversation with someone who is well versed can be redemptive when you get into trouble around a specific issue. It can also lead to a different side being highlighted that has not been thought of, and which provides a different approach and a better solution.


In summary, it can be said that a holistic view, planning and structure are the classic keywords that, together with competence and innovation, give us the best products.
We at Norautron look forward to being responsible for our part.

npi-prototyping-icon NPI & Prototyping