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curious about electronics manufacturing process

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Nov 7, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Let's say, for example, that I'd like to design a wireless karaoke
    device. (Just for the sake of example. A Google search results in
    quite a few of these things.)

    What would the process be like, from concept to finished product?
    (Where would I start, who would I hire as contractors, etc.?)

    Here's what I've got so far:


    Attorney (patents, etc.)

    Electrical engineers + programmers

    I'm drawing a blank right around here:

    Product molding and packaging (what is the trade name for these guys?)

    Mass production (probably offshore) : how does one establish contact
    with such folks? How would one know whether they are trustworthy, etc?

    I'm sure lots of you guys have designed and built finished products;
    just curious how the full route goes.


  2. Unless your plan involves going broke as the finale you'd better
    include a lot of prototypes and market testing in there right near the

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  3. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Where did the concept come from ? Market research ? Blue sky thinking ? A useful
    outline spec is needed.

    Few things are patentable. Forget the useless overhead cost jerks OK ?

    Their first job is to look at the concept and see it it'll work. If it doesn't
    they may come up with a solution that does the same.

    A couple of prototype iterations are normal btw. Who does the pcb layout in your
    scheme of things btw. You'll need a draughtsman or two.

    Don't forget protoype evaluation ideally with existing customers to iron out any
    unforseen bugs.

    Mechanical design. Don't forget the 'pretty' factor. Graphic designers etc.

    Even the 'carboard box' has to be designed ( hopefully to actually provide some
    useful level of protection to the product - to be checked by drop testing ).

    Contacts, luck, experience.

    The sub-contractor will need info to test your product. Ideally complete test
    jigs and test prodedures should be supplied.

    Who's going to write the user manual btw ?

    Don't forget standards compliance ( safety and EMC ).

  4. Myauk

    Myauk Guest

    I understand that you are talking about product development.

    There are two or three books that I have found in the regional library
    nearby my place concerning with this.

    Starting a new venture, developing, selling product and making money is
    not so easy as it seems to be.

    You might need a lot of experience with that:- you might need to join
    an typical SME and spend at least three years to understand well, I

    I might be wrong cuz I am too young in the professional field but I am
    just sharing what I know cuz I would like to start my own business some
    day, which is my mian focus of studying things these days.

  5. Selling, Selling and yet MORE Selling:

    You will need an ocean of money - to get that you will need to write a business
    plan and sell it to the bank or venture fund.

    If you have a somewhat working prototype it is easier to sell - even if it is
    hardcoded in Java on a mobile phone and does nothing at all except VISUALISE the
    idea: A colleague sold a distributed sensor research project with a "radar
    display" with green (our guys) and red (intruders) running on a mobile phone!

    If you are inside a business, it is the same show: one has to find a sponsor in
    competition with everyone else & dog so your project has to look like the next
    Google with no risk.
    Parasites and Useless, respectively.
    In general it is better not to hire anyone but to outsource instead - you then
    pay per-unit instead of paying fixed expenses to bank loans and employees. That
    way it is not so much your problem if the product does not sell or there are
    dead months. Keep the core knowledge in-house and the rest on a pay-per-hour.
    The design consultant will know the right people if he/she is any good!
  6. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    i id had a wanderfull concept/idea then i try to patent it. ocean of money is not enough. the research alone would have cost me my house the wife and the car. then patent what the idea ,concept or the device whoo cares i am broke. Anyhow wireless karaoke are here all ready with inbedded 2000 songs in the microphones and the cost is $250 bucks your device better do more then that for less cost. I find out that an individual cannot do this kind of thing by himself not even BILL GATES could have done DOS without IBM money.
  7. Guest

    More like annoyance. The wife wants one of those karaoke microphones -
    but at $200-$300 each, I thought, 1) what a waste of $$$; 2) geez, a
    cheaper solution has to exist!

    Well, ok, maybe just a patent search...? I'd hate to get a call in the
    middle of the night from XYZ Corp.'s attorney, saying I'd just
    infringed on one (or several) of XYZ Corp's patent(s)...

    Oh yes, good idea!

    - Michael
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Frithiof Andreas and Michael,
    But be honest about the risks. I have done a lot of this "selling" via
    proposal writing. Sometimes companies or VCs turned them down based on
    risks outlined in there but I'd rather have that happen than being
    dishonest by playing down the risks. After all, when you take their
    money you are as much responsible for using it properly as you are when
    running a shareholder owned company. IOW, it's not your money. It gives
    me the goose pimples when I read the usual "Superdupergizmo Inc. won $5M
    in A round". IMHO this has nothing to do with winning money, it's a seed
    and the folks who fork it over expect a substantial return. And they should.
    Initially, yes, but make sure the consultants are dedicated and
    trustworthy. And paid on time, else their dedication factor will dwindle

    Industrial designers.

  9. Guest

    How is this research usually done? (Somehow I don't think they stand
    in the mall, asking people to fill out surveys...)

    Cold-calling people to answer a few questions by phone survey?

    Does 'design consultant' = 'industrial designer'?


  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Michael,
    This can become one of the more expensive parts of the project and it's
    coming out of your own pocket. I can only speak for the medical
    electronics world and there this phase is really expensive: Teams from
    consulting companies actually might do such surveys, hospital by
    hospital. Lots of travel $$. Other times you can buy reports from them
    if you are going into a market that is already served by others. Those
    reports can cost more than a luxury car.

    Then you often need statements from "luminaries" that are widely
    regarded as experts.

    [ ... ]>>
    I have never heard someone being called design consultant. An industrial
    design house is the place where they can develop an appealing enclosure
    and also provide fabrication drawings in AutoCAD, SolidWorks etc. They
    should also be able to create prototypes.
  11. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Sure! A $6.00 RS mic and a $9.00 set of amplified computer speakers, and
    a player of some kind that plays instrumentals (CD, cassette, phonograph,
    etc), and a libretto.

    Practically free!

  12. Guest

    Well, I was kinda hoping for something that would go through our 100W
    stereo amp.

    I'd been playing with the RCA inputs for the stereo: L speaker has the
    audio, the R speaker has the mic. Then playing with the balance level.
    Works, but of course has exposed wiring, since the stereo is now on
    its side, so I could access the wires... THEN the wife wanted to switch
    from DVD karaoke to the Comcast-On-Demand karaoke channel... switch the
    wiring again (L speaker now has audio from the cable box instead of
    from the DVD...)

    Guess I need a mixer. ;-)

    Oh, those wireless karaoke mics go for between $300 and $400... I was
    off by about $100...

  13. Guest

    Joerg wrote:


    Oh neato. I found these guys (after finding nothing in the Valley
    Yellow Pages):

    Come to think of it... wasn't it an Industrial Design firm that the
    inventors in the show American Inventor worked with, to create

  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    What's in a name ?

  15. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    What do they actually *do* ?

  16. Guest

    Here, take a look:

    The wired ones have some sort of microcomputer on-board that spits out
    lyrics (and pretty background images) to the TV, plus stereo audio
    output. And, at the end, you get a score: anything from 0 ("Try
    Singing Next Time") to 95 (the highest score, at a party we attended).

    I'm still wondering how they manage to fit 2,000+ songs onto the
    microphone/microcomputer. The music has to be some sort of MIDI...
    otherwise, 2000 songs x 3 min/song x 1 MB/min (mp3 compressed) = 6 GB
    of flash memory. Maybe *that's* why they're so expensive...?

  17. Guest

  18. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Michael,
    No idea, I don't watch much TV. We usually select an industrial design
    firm that is close to the client and that specializes in the task at
    hand. Injection molding, metal, plastic bezels, whatever the product needs.

    The most unusual designer I have worked with on an electronics product
    was a true artist. His mainstream biz was actually clothes design. It
    was a rather delicate balancing act to bring EMI concerns into the
    discussion :)
  19. Probably - me poor english!

    I was actually thinking about the rare combo of artistic and hardnosed people
    that can give the product a beautiful shape yet still know how it can be
    manufactured, by whom, and what a budget means.
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