Electronics are everywhere! Or, at least, it can feel that way. Every day there is another announcement about electronics on our heads, in our beds, in the sky, and all over the future factory (not to mention driving our cars). For those of us knee-deep in technology, all this expansion beyond the normal home and office has been very exciting!
However, all this progress tends to mask the challenges of designing a successful electronic system — an increasingly dynamic engineering exercise in which both electrical and mechanical components need to come together successfully in a timely manner to meet (and hopefully exceed) customer goals.
Electrical and mechanical engineers, their management team, and the internal marketing organization need to be very aware of the fundamentals of designing a complete, competitive, and reliable electronic system. Our popular two-part webinar, Common Mistakes by Electronic Design Teams, examines all stages of product development and how to achieve a successful product launch using a robust approach to design for reliability (DfR).
In Part 1, I will review the early stages of the new product development process, including:
- Weighing Make vs. Buy Decisions
- Choosing the Right Size
- Mitigating Thermal Issues
- Making Reliable Part Selection
- Resolving Power Sequencing
- Answering “Who Controls What?” throughout
You can watch Part 1 in its entirety here:
Today we're going to talk about common mistakes electronic design teams make. The motivation in some respects is a positive one. If you really think about technology, electronic hardware has kind of won. It is really one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world. If we compare it to furniture, and cars, and housing, and roads, and food, and clothing and all those things, electronics is up there, at two trillion dollars a year. Not only is it one of the largest markets in the world, it's still one of the fastest growing. It’s a huge opportunity for all of us on the lines who are involved in electronic hardware. Congratulations, you picked the right industry! We want to keep growing. We want to be part of a growing infrastructure or growing organization.
Where are the biggest growth opportunities as we look out in the next five to ten years? There are two key ones. There’s autonomous transportation. Not just autonomous vehicle, but autonomous planes, autonomous drones, autonomous railway. Anywhere where there's more computer engagement in terms of controlling the transportation structure. Also, there’s not just Internet of Things, but most specifically what we'd call industrial IoT where it's really more B2B, business to business, helping the business infrastructure and a subset called M2M, or machine to machine communication. These two areas are really going to be the growth drivers for electronic hardware and technology over the next five to ten years.
What's special about those two areas are the winners in these areas. People who will win the contracts, who will design the right things, that'll keep pace with expectations, are not going to win solely on price. We're talking about transportation and the industrial Internet of Things where there are safety issues and lots of money at stake, so quality and reliability are paramount. If you're releasing a product either directly to the market or to a customer who is part of that market, you've got to hit those quality and reliability targets. You've got to surpass those quality and reliability targets. That's going to be difficult because the environments where your product is going to sit in in those two markets are extremely challenging.
Identifying and mitigating common mistakes as early as possible in the electronic hardware design process helps you gain a competitive edge, but keeping it means overcoming common mechanical and reliability issues we’ll explore in Part 2 of this valuable webinar.
For more on where next generation technologies are taking electronic hardware and software design, download Wireless Reliability in the Internet of Things (IoT) World. Click the button below to download your free copy.