Introduction to Germany iF Design Award

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The iF Design Award is one of the most prestigious design awards in the world and has been held in Germany since 1953. The iF Design Award logo signifies good design and is a mark of quality for both consumers and designers.

The iF Design Award jury evaluates all entries using five updated criteria (Creativity, Form, Function, Differentiation, Impact) developed in conjunction with an international team of design experts. Based on these criteria, judges will score each entry and provide detailed and informative feedback to each entrant.

5 Screening Criteria of iF Design Award

Idea

Mission: Did the design achieve its goals?

Relevance: Is the design relevant?

Fit for purpose: Is the idea appropriate?

Form

Emotional appeal: Does the design appeal to the target group?

Execution: how is it made?

Aesthetics: Why does it look the way it does?

Function

Usability: Is it easy to use?

Efficiency: Does it work well?

User benefits: Does it serve users?

Differentiation

Innovation: Is it new?

Brand differentiation: Is it right for the brand?

Impact

Outcome: Has the goal been achieved?

Social benefits: Does it benefit society?

Sustainability: Is it sustainable?

The Process And How Much It Cost To Apply For iF Design Award

1. Registration fee

250 euros – 450 euros subject to the timeline.

If your work has been evaluated in the iF Design Award online pre-selection, you will receive a detailed iF Design Award jury feedback form.

2. Judging Fee (You Are Shortlisted!)

200 euros.

The iF Design Award final jury evaluates your work, you can choose to give a digital or physical presentation to the jury and you will receive an updated iF Design Award final jury feedback form.

3. Winner Fees

1,800 euros – 2,700 euros.

You have unlimited access to the iF Design Awards 2023 logo. Your work will be featured online and in the iF Design Award app. You earn global iF Design Award ranking points and you will be invited to the iF Design Award Night 2023.

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Introduction to “The Oscars” of Design Industry – Red Dot Design Award

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The Red Dot Design Award is known as the “The Oscars” of the Design Industry”, and world-renowned brands such as Apple, Sony, Huawei, and Midea have all won the award. 

The Red Dot Design Award History

With a history of more than 60 years, the Red Dot Design Award was established earlier than other international design awards. The award can be traced back to the Verein Industrieform established on July 30, 1954. The association was initiated by Professor Carl Hundhausen, head of Krupp’s public relations and advertising department, to promote the export and modernization of German consumer goods. In 1955, the association hosted the first annual design competition and exhibition.

In 1990, the association evolved into the company “Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen” (DZNRW), which also had a company logo: a black and orange dot with letters. In 1991, Peter Zec, former President of the International Council of Industrial Design Societies (Icsid) and President of the Association of German Industrial Designers (VDID), took over the DZNRW company and redeveloped the Red Dot Design Award logo, which was first introduced as an award logo in 1992.

Later, with the increasing internationalization of the Red Dot Design Award, its name was changed from the German “Roter Punkt” to the English “Red Dot”. evolved into today’s style.

LKKDESIGN LKKERSCM RED DOT DESIGN AWARD WINNER INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PRODUCT DESIGN

Compared with other international awards held by authoritative official organizations (such as the Academy Awards, which is hosted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), the Red Dot Design Award is more popular and for profit.

According to the official website of the Red Dot Design Award, the jury of the 2022 Red Dot Design Award is composed of 48 professors, consultants, industrial designers, and journalists from different fields. In order to avoid bribery or favoritism, the judges cannot select products that they participated in the production process.

According to the available information, in 2020, the Red Dot Design Award officially received about 17,670 works from 70 countries and regions around the world to participate in the selection. Searching for the Red Dot Design Award on Google, the world’s largest search engine, yields 3.4 billion results. It should be said that it is a well-known award in the world.

The Red Dot Design Award Category

The Red Dot Design Award actually has a complex award system. Collectively referred to as the “Red Dot Design Award”, it is divided into three main tracks: Product Design, Brands & Communication Design, and Design Concept. There are also different sub-tracks under the main tracks.

Main Tracks Sub-tracks
Product Design

Red Dot

Red Dot: Best of the Best

Brands & Communication Design

Red Dot

Red Dot: Best of the Best

Red Dot: Grand Prix

Red Dot: Brand of the Year

Red Dot: Junior Prize

Design Concept

Red Dot

Red Dot: Best of the Best

Red Dot: Honourable Mention

Red Dot: Luminary

Among them, the most accessible award is the Red Dot, which is available in all three main tracks. According to the data on the official website of Red Dot Design Award, in 2020, the number of Red Dots that won the Red Dot Design Award accounted for 16% of the total number of entries (only 1% that won the Best of the Best Red Dot Award); as far as the product design track is concerned, the number of Red Dot awards accounted for 25% of the total number of entries in the track (and the number of Red Dot Best of the Best awards only accounted for 1.2%).

To win the Grand Prix and Luminary, the difficulty is even higher. In 2020, the Grand Prix award ratio is 7/7000, which is only 0.1%, and the number of Luminary awards is 1/4170, which is 0.02%.

How To Apply For Red Dot Design Award

The selection process for the Red Dot Design Award is as follows: select a race track, submit information on the registration website, pay fees, review by experts, and awards. Entries in the product design track also need to mail the products to the designated address.

Taking the product design track as an example, the registration fee for a single product ranges from 300-650 euros. The later the registration time, the more expensive the registration fee. If the submitted product display space exceeds 3 square meters, or other description materials such as images, videos, documents, etc. need to be uploaded, an additional fee of 150-500 euros will be charged. In 2022, entrants can also use the same work to sign up for the two categories of “smart products” and “innovative products”, but need to pay two registration fees.

If the winner is awarded in the product design category, the entrant also needs to pay the “prize acceptance fee”. A Red Dot Design Award (Red Dot) requires a redemption fee of 3,950 euros and a Red Dot: Best of the Best award requires 5,995 euros. The award-winning works participating in the offline exhibition organized by Red Dot Design Award require 0 – 2050 euros and getting extra pages in the “Red Dot Design Yearbook” require 570 – 1750 euros.

In sum, the product design track costs around 4,500 euros to 10,000 euros; the brands & communication track costs around  1,800 euros to  7200 euros; and the design concept track costs around 800 euros to 1000 euros.

The Red Dot Design Award does not limit the number of registrations, that is to say, a company can submit multiple products. 

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Proe/Creo Electronic Product Mechanical Design – Heat Dissipation Design

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Heat Dissipation Design

Heat dissipation design is to take various mechanical design measures to control the working temperature of electronic products according to the thermal characteristics and heat transfer principles of electronic components so that it is within the allowable range to provide good performance for chip level, component level, component level, and system level and work normally and reliably according to the predetermined scheme under the specified thermal environment. The design also needs to ensure that accessible parts will not be scalded due to excessive temperature; insulating materials used for electric shock protection will not be degraded due to overheating; flammable materials and components will not spontaneously ignite; Reduced electrical distance does not cause some materials and components to emit toxic or flammable gases.

The basic theory of heat transfer is the basis for heat dissipation design, and different heat transfer methods have different mechanisms. Therefore, only by mastering the basic theory, design method and experimental method of the heat transfer process can we effectively solve various practical problems in the heat dissipation design of electronic products.

Heat Dissipation Design of Electronic Products

The heat dissipation design of the casing is very important. The working heat of the equipment can be dissipated out of the machine through the conduction and radiation of the casing. Through reasonable openings, convection ventilation and heat dissipation can be formed to accelerate the dissipation of the working heat of the equipment.

Since the electric shock resistance and fireproof performance of the casing should be considered in the design of the casing, there is not much room for the selection of materials and thickness. Therefore, the heat dissipation design of the casing mainly considers the following points:

(1) Reasonably choose the color of the casing

The use of black paint coating can increase the heat dissipation effect. Black paint on the inner surface can reduce the temperature rise in the machine and promote the heat dissipation of the heating elements in the machine. Black paint on the outer surface can reduce the temperature rise of the inner surface of the machine and accelerate the heat conduction and heat radiation of the casing.

(2) Reasonably open ventilation holes to form a natural convection heat dissipation

The air inlet and outlet of the ventilation holes should be located at the two places with the largest temperature difference of the whole machine, the air inlet should be as low as possible, the air outlet should be as high as possible, and the position of the hole should be close to the heating element.

Treatment of heating elements

Try to place it in a place that is easy to ventilate and dissipate heat;

Increase the heat dissipation area of ​​the heating element, for example, add heat sinks to high-power transistors; use appropriate derating design to reduce power consumption.

Reasonable selection of thermal protection device

In order to prevent excessive temperature rise caused by fault conditions, an over-temperature protection device can be appropriately installed to cut off the power supply in time.

Thermal protection devices are divided into two types, one is the non-recoverable type, such as thermal fuse link; the other type is the recoverable type, that is, after disconnection, it can automatically resume work when the temperature rises down, such components have PTC components, bimetal thermal protector, etc.

Select an appropriate heat dissipation method

Commonly used cooling methods

(1) Air-cooled cooling fan + heat sink

(2) Water-cooled radiator + water pipe + water pump

(3) Semiconductor refrigeration method uses semiconductor refrigerators

(4) Heat pipe heat dissipation method Fill the heat pipe with a special liquid heat transfer medium so that the heat is evenly distributed to all parts of the radiator

On the thermal fins, the thermal conductivity of the heat sink is greatly improved.

(5) Liquid nitrogen heat dissipation method

(6) Software cooling method can allow the CPU to rest when there is no work or when the work is relatively leisurely, thereby reducing the temperature, resulting in less CPU power consumption and lower temperature.

(7) Heat sink for heat dissipation

(8) Fan cooling

The installation of the radiator

The radiator transfers heat energy to the environment by convection and radiation. The thermal resistance RθS-a of the radiator is related to the material, structure, surface color, cooling method, and installation position of the radiator.

Surface of the radiator:

Paint black or passivated. The purpose is to increase the emissivity coefficient, which can reduce the thermal resistance by 10%-15%.

Installation of radiator:

Should be placed vertically. Because the thermal airflow is light in density, it naturally flows upwards to form a “chimney effect” and facilitate heat dissipation. Thermal resistance can be reduced by 15%-20%.

3.4 Cooling method of radiator

Natural cooling – relies on natural convection and radiation of the air. Simple structure, no noise, but low heat dissipation efficiency.

Air cooling – forced ventilation and enhanced convection heat dissipation. It is 2-4 times of the self-cooling heat dissipation efficiency, and the noise is large.

Water cooling – The heat dissipation efficiency is extremely high, 150 times that of natural heat dissipation. The cooling medium includes water and transformer oil, and the investment is high.

3.5 The material of the radiator

Mainly made of aluminum plate or aluminum material (low price), in addition to copper, magnesium and steel, and other materials.

Mechanical Design Analysis of Injection Molding Shells for Home Appliances

At present, injection molding shells and metal shells are two common shell materials in home electrical appliances. Among them, injection molding shell is widely used due to its advantages of simple process, lightweight, and low cost. The production process requirements of the injection molding shell of home appliances are relatively strict, and it is necessary to pay attention to the parameter setting of temperature and pressure. This blog starts with the design of the injection molding shell of home appliances, discusses the design of the injection molding shell of the soybean milk maker as an example, and analyzes how to solve the injection molding problem of home appliances.

The injection molding material is a material with a simple production process, good plasticity, and low costs, such as polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile (AN), butadiene, and styrene. Copolymers (ABS) and the like are currently widely used molding technologies.

Design of injection molding shell for home appliances

Wall Thickness Design

In the design process of the wall thickness of home appliances, the main influencing factors are the material quality and external dimensions, and the principle of uniform protection should be adhered to in the design process.

If the thickness is not uniform, it will cause defects in appearance, such as deformation, dents, and even cracks due to internal stress. If the wall is too thin, the flow resistance of the molten plastic will increase, which will affect the flow of the material in the mold cavity, making it difficult to fill the material or the plastic parts are not fully filled and the strength is not high. If the thickness is too large, it is easy to cause problems such as bubbles, appearance deformation, shrinkage, and depression inside the molded product. The larger the thickness of the product, the heavier the weight, which will lead to an increase in cost. In addition, the increase in the thickness of the wall will prolong the molding time. , thereby reducing production efficiency.

In special cases, in order to meet the production needs, the local wall thickness will also be required to increase. In this case, it is necessary to gradually transition from thin to thick in the production process to avoid uneven thickness or large differences.

Round Corner Design and Draft Angle Design

In the injection molding shell of home appliances, the stress is concentrated at the sharp corners, so brittle failure is prone to occur. For this reason, the sharp corners of the product need to be worn, so as to effectively reduce the stress concentration phenomenon, and improve the strength of the plastic products. It is able to resist external impact, so in the process of mechanical design, designers need to reasonably increase the outer arc corner, if the designed round corner is too large, it will also cause a shrinkage effect, especially at the root of the raised column and the inner corner. The arc is more likely to be accompanied by a shrinkage effect. Generally, the size of the arc should be set in the range of 0.3 mm to 0.8 mm.

The purpose of draft angle design is to allow the plastic parts to be released from the mold smoothly during the mold production process. In general, the draft angle of the plastic parts needs to be considered according to multiple factors such as the thickness of the wall, size, surface roughness of the mold cavity, and shrinkage rate. The continuous shrinkage of the plastic and the design defect of the draft angle will make it difficult to remove the plastic parts. Forcible removal will also cause damage such as scratching and pulling. Therefore, the designer should set the draft angle reasonably according to different plastic brands and structures.

Stiffener Design

The function of the stiffeners is to ensure the structural strength of the plastic part without increasing the thickness of the plastic part, and it can also reduce the probability of warpage and deformation during production, reduce the amount of plastic, and reduce the weight of the product. For the design of stiffeners, the key is to control the position of stiffeners, neither too high nor too small. The principle of uniform distribution must be adhered to avoid the problem of depression during the cold shrinkage of the bottom of thick stiffeners. It is necessary to ensure that the direction of the stiffeners is consistent with The filling direction of the material is the same, which is beneficial to the mold opening and closing of the injection molding machine

In addition, the setting of the stiffeners should also take into account the arc transition mode, requiring no parts on the surface of the stiffeners, so as to avoid the problem of high-stress concentration, so the stiffeners are generally 50%-70% of the thickness of the plastic part. On the whole, installing a rounded corner under the stiffeners can improve the fluidity of the melt and solve the problem of stress concentration. Generally, the value of the R angle reaches 1/8 of the wall thickness.

The Design of Injection Shell for Soymilk Maker

The design of the shell of the soymilk machine is taken as an example to analyze the design of the injection molding of home appliances.

Design Method

In the process of material selection, the shell of the general soymilk maker is mainly made of PP and ABS. Among them, ABS has the advantages of good fluidity, low shrinkage, strong heat resistance, and strong impact resistance. The finished product made of this material has good surface gloss and certain wear resistance; PP material has good, However, the shrinkage rate of this material is very large, the precision of the product is easy to deviate, and it is easy to deform, and the surface of this product is prone to problems such as poor gloss and shrinkage, but the price of this material is lower than that of ABS. The surface of the soymilk maker has high requirements for gloss, and also has good temperature resistance properties. Considering comprehensively, ABS is used as the shell material.

In the design of studs and stiffener, in order to meet the assembly needs, several studs need to be installed on the shell of the soymilk machine head, the bottom is treated with a crater to avoid shrinkage marks, and each stud needs to be upgraded hardness, moreover, it is necessary to effectively control the thickness of the stiffeners, and it is also necessary to increase the R angle reasonably. Its function is to improve the fluidity of the sol. In the design of the flow channel of the intersection, the shell of the soymilk machine head must be smooth enough, so the intersection should not be too large. After demolding, the casting gate should not have obvious residual traces. Therefore, it is necessary to use the glue point to make the gate fall off by itself. In order to improve the subsequent cleaning efficiency of the parts, the designer should formulate a balance between the direct current to the channel and the point gate. The runner treatment scheme adopts a circular production process to reduce the volume of the runner, save the injection time and improve production efficiency.

Molding

In the design of this soymilk machine, the shell of the plastic part of the machine headshell is fixed with an inverted groove with a locked position, and the lateral parting core-pulling and inclined top structure are installed in the mold design, and its dimensional accuracy and the following two factors are related: one is the change in plastic shrinkage. The second is the mold processing error. In the surface quality control, after the injection molding of the soymilk machine shell, it is required that there are no defects on the inner and outer surfaces, the edge position is required to be smooth, and there should be no spot welding marks. The internal surface roughness standard is Ra0.4μm, and the external surface roughness standard is Ra0. 2μm, for the case where the surface gloss of the plastic part does not meet the standard, the analysis reason is that the molten material is cooled too early or the baking time is insufficient, the mold temperature is not enough, and the polishing is not up to the standard.

In the molding method, the shell of the soybean milk machine is made of ABS material. In the process of controlling the internal stress, the injection molding process of the mouth is appropriately shortened, thereby improving the filling efficiency and increasing the injection temperature. It is also necessary to optimize the design of the mold exhaust structure. On the whole, the scientific setting of the junction can reduce the occurrence of weld marks in the secondary parts of the plastic parts. During the injection molding process, the injection pressure should not be too high, and at the same time, good material temperature and mold temperature should be guaranteed.

How to solve the problem of injection molding of home appliances

Shrink

If there is a shrinkage problem in the injection molding shell, it is mainly related to the inner structure of the injection molding and the excessive thickness of the stiffeners. This problem will cause abnormal solidification of the plastic shell during injection molding and cooling, resulting in depressions on the surface of the product. Therefore, it is necessary to optimize the injection molding process, formulate scientific shrinkage prevention measures, and control the thickness of the reinforcement to a reasonable range. The shrinkage rate of the ABS material is low, and the thickness of the reinforcement needs to be controlled at 1/2 to reduce the over-limit value. the probability of design problems. The shrinkage rate of PP material is high, and the thickness of the reinforcement is generally 1/3 of the thickness of the main reinforcement. Combined with the actual situation, according to the combination of the internal structure and the appearance structure, it is necessary to avoid the shrinkage of the shell.

Lack Of Glue

The main reason for this problem is that the mold design structure is too thick, the exhaust is not smooth or the local wall thickness is thin. For the above factors, it is necessary to scientifically set the injection pressure. For example, gradually increase the injection pressure until the front is observed, thereby preventing the shell from lacking glue. If the glue cannot be guaranteed after increasing the pressure, it is necessary to readjust the injection molding model, change the position of the gate, and carry out feasibility testing until molding.

Weld Line

On the surface of the injection molded parts of the home appliance shell, the weld line is the short circuit of the trace. The main factor is that the aggregate exceeding the normal process requirements is added during the injection molding, and the trace part appears hidden or cracked under the action of external force. The main solution is to increase the mold temperature and injection pressure. If it is still not solved, the gate size needs to be increased.

Conclusion

To sum up, with the rapid development of science and technology today, the types of home appliances are more diversified, smaller in size and more comprehensive in functions. Today, consumers pay more attention to product performance, but also put forward more suggestions on the appearance and mechanical design of home appliances. In the process of designing the injection molding shell structure of home appliances, the key lies in the treatment of details, so as to ensure the aesthetics of home appliances and effectively save the design cost.

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Commonly Used Electronics Component Mounted on Printed Circuit Board

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Here are commonly used electronics components mounted on a printed circuit board: 

Stacked boards. The complete product stacking board includes PCB, handset, LCD screen, keyboard, microphone, speaker, camera, motor, battery connector, battery, TF card holder, TF card, SIM card holder, SIM card, antenna, USB connector, Various electronic components, product chips, etc.

Receiver, is a component that processes sound. Its main function is to answer the other party’s voice during a call. The connection between the receiver and the main board is usually shrapnel, spring, or lead welding. There is a layer of foam on the top of the receiver, which is mainly used for sealing. Sound cavity, but also anti-vibration buffer and protection.

LED display.  A flat panel display consists of small LED module panels. LED, light emitting diode (light emitting diode abbreviation). LED displays are generally used to display text, images, videos, video signals, and other information.

Buttons. There are many ways to connect the buttons and the main board. In addition to the B-B connector, the commonly used FPC connection. The buttons cannot be suspended in the air, and there must be a bracket or other flat objects to support them.

Microphone (MIC), also known as microphone, receiver, commonly known as microphone head, which is a component that receives sound. The MIC and the main board are commonly soldered with lead wires. The MIC can be placed on the front or vertically, but do not place it on both sides of the main board, so as not to block the sound hole with your hands. The MIC should be kept away from magnetic electronic components, such as motors, speakers, etc., so as not to affect the effect.

Main PCB. The main PCB is a stacked board around which all electronic components are stacked. 

RF antenna. The RF antenna is an important component for receiving product signals and is connected to the main board through a feed point. The types of RF antennas are often divided into PIFA (picofarad antennas) and MONOPOLE (monopole antennas). It is best to keep the RF antenna away from electronic components with metal such as speakers, motors, and shielding covers. There should be no large-area hardware decoration near the RF antenna, and the shell should not be electroplated with conduction. The antenna shrapnel is in contact with the main board, and the greater the elasticity of the antenna shrapnel, the better (in the theory of electronics, a current flows through a conductor, and a magnetic field will be formed around the conductor; an alternating current passes through the conductor, and an alternating electromagnetic field will be formed around the conductor, called electromagnetic waves. When the frequency of the electromagnetic wave is lower than 100kHz, the electromagnetic wave will be absorbed by the surface and cannot form an effective transmission, but when the frequency of the electromagnetic wave is higher than 100kHz, the electromagnetic wave can propagate in the air and be reflected by the ionosphere at the outer edge of the atmosphere, forming a long-distance transmission capability. High-frequency electromagnetic waves that have the ability to transmit over long distances are called radio frequencies.)

Bluetooth antenna. The Bluetooth antenna is a component used for short-distance wireless transmission (UHF radio waves in the ISM band of 2.4-2.485GHz). The Bluetooth antenna has low requirements and no specific location requirements. It can be placed close to the RF antenna.

Test head. The test head is used when testing the RF antenna and is set near the RF antenna.

The camera is a video input device. Its function in the product is to take pictures and videos. The camera is directly connected to the main board with the B-B connector, or FPC plus B-B connector, FPC direct welding, etc.

Speaker is a component that processes sound, and its main function is sound output. The speaker and the main board are usually connected by wire welding or shrapnel. The shape of the horn is round, oval (also known as runway shape), square, and so on. Generally speaking, the larger the size of the speaker, the louder the sound. There is a layer of foam on the top surface of the speaker, and there must be a supporting part at the bottom of the speaker, and it is best to seal the rear sound cavity.

Speaker bracket. The structure for fixing the speaker is called a speaker bracket, the structure for fixing the antenna is called an antenna bracket, and the speaker bracket and the antenna bracket can share one.

Electric motor. The main function of the motor is to generate vibration. The motor and the main board are usually connected with lead wires or shrapnel. The shape of the motor is rectangular and flat.

Battery connector. The main function of the battery connector is to connect the main board and the battery and solder it on the main board through the patch. Common types of battery connectors are vertical, horizontal, blade, etc.

Battery. The battery is the power source for the main board and provides power to the main board through the battery connector. The size of the battery capacity depends on the capacity of the cell, the larger the cell, the greater the battery capacity. The positive and negative poles of the battery feed point should be consistent with the main board and should be clearly marked on the battery. The battery should reserve a button position on the side with the feed point. In the mechanical design, the button should be used to fix the battery to prevent the battery from powering down. Calculate the maximum battery capacity formula according to the battery shape: (length-3.00) × (width-1.40) × (thickness-0.20) × 0.11 (coefficient). The value obtained by subtracting the above formula is the external dimension of the cell. Major cell manufacturers have standard cell sizes. It is best to use standard size cells when designing.

USB connector. The main function of the USB connector is data input/output, which is the channel between the product and external devices, and there is no requirement for the position on the main board.

TF card and connector. The main function of the TF card connector (TF card holder) is to fix the TF card and read the TF card information. The types of TF card connectors are often flip-up, pop-up, and plug-in.

SIM card and connector is a miniature smart card that conforms to the ISO standard and is an important part of the product communication system. The main function of the SIM card connector (SIM card holder) is to fix the SIM card and read the SIM card information.

Product main board battery. The function of the mainboard battery of the product is the same as that of the CMOS battery on the computer mainboard. When the main board is powered off, it will supply micro-power to the mainboard so as to store the basic information of the product.

DC connector. The DC connector is the charging interface of the product, which is connected to the main board through the shrapnel. The DC connector is not a necessary part, as the USB connector can also charge.

Headphone connector. The headphone connector is an interface for plugging in headphones and is soldered on the main board through a patch. The headphone connector is not necessary, as the USB connector can also plug in headphones.

Touch screen FPC connector. The touch screen FPC connector is used to connect the touch screen, and it is soldered on the main board by SMD.

Shield. The main function of the shield is to shield various electronic components in the main board to prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI).

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How To Avoid Large Scale Product Quality Issues?

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Many companies simply assume that once they have a working prototype / MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and a sufficiently comprehensive Product Requirements Document (PRD), they can go straight to mass production.

However, without proper verification procedures, your product could be recalled in the future, which could cost your company as much as $10 million to over $100 million.

There are three different validation tests that a product needs to perform before it goes into mass production:

1. Engineering Validation Test (EVT),
2. Design Validation Test (DVT),
3. Production Validation Test (PVT).

EVT (Engineering Validation Test) 

Number of EVT (Engineering Validation Test): 10-50
Duration of EVT (Engineering Validation Test): 4-6 weeks
Purposes of EVT (Engineering Validation Test): Validate all features and functions are operational.

Many products have just been designed as engineering prototypes, and it is necessary to correct possible design problems one by one, focusing on considering the design integrity and whether any specifications are missing, including functional and safety tests.

EVT (Engineering Validation Test) checks that your product meets all functional, performance, and reliability requirements listed in the PRD (eg 4 hours of battery life, 15Hz – 25kHz frequency response).

The main purpose of EVT (Engineering Validation Test) is to obtain a product sample that meets all expected results and specifications.

DVT (Design Validation Test)

Number of DVT (Design Validation Test): 50-100 units
DVT (Design Validation Test) Duration: 4 weeks
Purposes of DVT (Design Validation Test): Correct the problematic design

In DVT, all designs are complete and the focus is on identifying design issues and making sure all designs are within specification. Verified by R&D and DQA (Design Quality Assurance), the product is basically finalized at this time.

This stage is closely related to the regulatory certification (e.g. RoHS, FCC, UL) for the sale of your product. As such, these tests focus on building the product consistently and reliably. These prototype units will undergo rigorous stress tests (eg, falls from 1.2m heights, burning, submersion in water, extensive battery testing, etc.) to check their durability, stability, and product longevity. User groups can also be used to test whether a product meets customer expectations.

PVT (Production Validation Test)

Number of PVT (Production Validation Test): 1000 Pieces
PVT (Production Validation Test) Duration: 2 weeks – 2 months
Purposes of PVT (Production Validation Test): Reach mass production efficiency 

At this stage, all product designs have been completed, and the final step is to verify before mass production to ensure that the factory has the means to make the originally designed products according to the standard procedures.

Before entering mass production, it is important to conduct a trial run of the production line to assess quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). PVT (Production Validation Test) is designed to optimize your mass production process, ensuring that the product is produced at the correct quantity, cost, and quality, thus testing the entire mass production speed.

Products produced during these test periods, if they meet all requirements, can be planned for sale to customers and will be considered part of your first production run. If a fault is found, this will be your last chance to adjust the tooling before mass production.

It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the product, therefore, investing in the EVT (Engineering Validation Test), DVT (Design Validation Test), and PVT (Production Validation Test) processes can largely help avoid large-scale product quality issues.

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About LKKER SCM

Relevant Blogs: 

Six stages of IoT (Internet of Things) product development

The Workflow of EVT, DVT and PVT

Introduction To NPI (New Product Introduction)

Six stages of IoT (Internet of Things) product development

LKKERSCMLKK Design Beijing Office Building Product Development Supply Chain Management

Concept

At this stage, it’s all about a great idea.

POC: Proof of Concept

If it is a new product, it is very important to verify the idea first. For the initial idea verification and testing, there are many resources available to assist. Product developers and Makers with basic technical capabilities can use off-the-shelf “development boards” or various methods to quickly simulate the prototype of the product.

The above-mentioned so-called development board is to combine the CPU that is currently popular in the embedded industry with related peripherals, such as infrared temperature measurement, pH value, air quality monitoring, and other sensors, and make the whole into a circuit board, so that people who want to invest in embedded system can start validating ideas faster, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, MediaTek Linkit one, MTDuino…etc.

For initial idea verification and testing, you can also use more counseling resources to obtain free development boards, which can not only quickly verify, but also obtain various mass production oriented documents required at the SMT or PCB stage. It is quite suitable, and then the EMS factory or the foundry will assist in the manufacture and verification of the function. However, if you do not have the technical ability, you do not have to verify the idea at the beginning. If the idea is good enough, you can also hand over the prototype to the interested manufacturer.

EVT: Engineering Validation Test

The difficulty of IoT products is that software and hardware must be considered at the same time. In the engineering validation stage, the software part will start electronic engineering. The main reason is that the engineer will first put the ideas he wants to verify or the undecidable design in the assembly. The circuit board is tested. Once the feasibility of the circuit and program is verified, a circuit board will be redesigned, and the board will be washed, printed, and tested continuously. In terms of hardware, industrial design and mechanical design should be started, each component will be disassembled for design and confirmation, and a bill of materials (BOM) of electronic and mechanical components will be generated for cost calculation.

DVT: Design Validation Test

At this stage, the overall appearance is very close to the finished product! The internal parts and circuit boards are close to the size of the finished product, and the mechanism is also starting to make models and can be assembled for testing. Due to the high cost of opening the mold for the appearance part, the proofing model is used at this stage to test whether the design of the shell meets the requirements, and the internal software part must be tested many times, including software quality assurance (SQA), as well as environmental testing such as pressure and temperature, bug testing, and electronic products must also pass safety regulations.

The most important thing at this stage is to find out the overall design and manufacturing problems, to ensure that all designs meet the specifications related to software and hardware, and to confirm the possibility of subsequent mass production with the production side.

PVT: Production Validation Test

At this stage, in addition to finding a mass production manufacturer to confirm all the details, all parts and materials should be manufactured according to the confirmed process, so that not only can the production line be checked, but the production capacity can be confirmed, and the man-hours and actual working hours can also be estimated. Testing the production situation can also confirm that the factory has made the originally designed product according to the standard process, and obtain the manufacturing cost of the final product confirmation.

MP: Mass Production

At this stage, in addition to maintaining the quality of mass production and improving the yield as much as possible, packaging, shipping, and sales have also begun.

On the whole, it is a long road from concept development to mass production, and it is even more difficult for electronic products, especially for new start-up teams, which usually have only a few people, and have to face both hardware and software R&D, market development, and marketing. Testing, mass production, and even marketing, it is difficult to take into account all the details, which is why people often joke that “Hardware is Hard”.

Therefore, it is very important to make full use of various services, including supply chain vendors, incubators, accelerators, etc who can assist in the development.

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LKKERSCM NPI Project Management

The Workflow of EVT, DVT and PVT

LKKERSCMLKK Design Beijing Office Building Product Development Supply Chain Management

NPI (New Product Introduction) EVT Workflow

1. Participate in the Kick off Meeting to understand the background of the project, the main features of the product, and the functions implemented.

2. Participate in the establishment of the project, fully understand the name of the project, the customers of the project, the effect to be achieved by the project, and know the development plan of the project.

3. Participate in the Review Meeting of Mechanical Design and Electronics Design, and put forward reasonable suggestions to make the product more manufacturable.

4. Participate in the Review Meeting of the mechanical prototype, participate in the review of the PCBA prototype, and participate in the selection of components to ensure the mass production of the design.

5. Participate in PCBA prototype, fully understand the layout of PCBA components, and preliminarily determine the process flow of PCBA production.

6. Organize the assembly of the production prototype, list the bug list, and propose effective improvement measures.

7. Count the functions realized and unimplemented by the prototype, participate in the prototype test, and understand the test items required by the product.

8. Participate in the project summary meeting of every validation stage, list product problem points and problem analysis, and put forward reasonable suggestions.

NPI (New Product Introduction) DVT Workflow

1. Participate in the Kick off Meeting to understand the stage of the project and whether customer requirements have changed.

2. Count the materials required in the production of the product, and make a list of materials and a checklist of materials.

3. Make the fixtures required by the product in production, make a fixture list, and a fixture Checklist.

4. Make product WI (working instruction), including PCBA testing, assembly, packaging, etc., the test WI (working instruction) needs to list the test items and test Checklist.

5. According to customer requirements, design product packaging materials, make packaging BOM and packaging Checklist

6. Organize a trial production preparation meeting to learn more about the product trial production information, confirm the solution results and treatment measures of the last problem points, and provide the relevant departments with the materials and technical support needed for the trial production.

7. Distribute product BOM, Gerber File, hardware layout file, production process file, etc to the OEM factories.

8. Confirm the test status of the product with the test engineer, make a list of test instruments and test fixtures for the product, communicate with the OEM factories to confirm that the test instruments are complete before production, and make a product test checklist.

9. Confirm the material delivery date in the production plan, and provide the OEM factory with the list of materials and the list of supplied materials.

10. Make a production notice for the product, which includes detailed product information, including the version of the product and the delivery date of the product, as well as the contact information of the person in charge, countersign and issue the production notice to the OEM factories.

11. Organize the OEM factory to hold a production preparation meeting, list the production precautions, the person in charge of each section and the production plan, etc.

12. Participate in each link of factory production, record the problem points of each link, and carry out on-site problem-solving, troubleshooting, and preliminary statistics of working hours.

13. At the end of production, conduct a trial production summary, collect factory data and count bad records, and make production reports.

14. Track the maintenance status of defective products, count maintenance results, list defective points that may occur in mass production, and make defective product maintenance reports.

15. Participate in the Review Meeting trial production summary meeting, list the production problems and the responsible departments of the problem points, as well as solutions and measures.

16. According to the problem points of the product, raise questions to the responsible department and track and record the process of solving the problem by the responsible department.

17. According to the results of production, modify and perfect the fixture.

18. Modify and optimize WI (working instruction) according to the results of production

19. Summarize the complete product production report.

20. Ongoing problem tracking.

NPI (New Product Introduction) PVT Workflow

1. Participate in Kick-off Meeting to comprehensively check whether there are unresolved problems and newly added processes in product production.

2. Hold a production preparation meeting to confirm the work preparation of each department, and at the same time propose a list of materials and checklists required for production to each department

3. Notify the quality department to issue quality inspection standards to the factory, including incoming material inspection standards, PCBA inspection standards, finished product inspection standards, etc.

4. Issue the official WI (working instruction) of each section to the factory, including SMT patch, THT plug-in, assembly, testing, packaging, etc.

5. Issue software to the factory

6. Issue production materials to the factory, including BOM, Gerber Files, hardware layout files, process documents, packaging information, etc.

7. Communicate material status and production plan with PMC to prepare for production.

8. Make mass production notices, which contain product details and key contacts.

9. Hold a production preparation meeting with the OEM factory to arrange the production plan of each section and the corresponding person in charge.

10. Track incoming materials inspection to prevent quality problems in incoming materials from affecting production.

11. Carry out production according to the production process flow specified by Flow Chart, and deal with the problems in production in time.

12. Pay attention to the quality of the production process in the production process, prevent the occurrence of substandard production methods, and assist the QC engineer to supervise and prepare the on-site quality inspection report.

13. Collect various production data, including process data, quality data, and product data.

14. Calculate the production capacity of the product according to the working hours of each production step according to the output data.

15. Analyze the reasons for the failures in production, assign them to the responsible department, and follow up on the solutions and results.

16. Pay attention to product inspection results to avoid missing points.

17. Hold a product review meeting to summarize all problems in production and submit them to relevant departments.

18. Pay attention to the feedback of products shipped to customers, and make corresponding countermeasures according to the feedback.

19. Track design problems until a thorough solution and results are obtained.

20. Analyze the yield rate of the product, especially the pass-through rate of the product, and evaluate whether it meets the mass production requirements. (Pass-through rate≥95%+)

21. Make a complete production report to conclude whether the product design has reached the level of mass production, or what needs to be done to pass the level of mass production.

22. Continuous problem tracking and improvement in the following production until mass production.

Learn More: 

LKKER SCM NPI Project Management Service 

LKKER SCM Turnkey Design Service 

About LKKER SCM

Relevant Blogs: 

How To Avoid Large Scale Product Quality Issues?

Six stages of IoT (Internet of Things) product development

Introduction To NPI (New Product Introduction)

Introduction To NPI (New Product Introduction)

LKKERSCMLKK Design Beijing Office Building Product Development Supply Chain Management

The concept of NPI (New Product Introduction)

Differences and connections between NPI (New Product Introduction) projects and R&D projects

NPI (New Product Introduction) must be aimed at outputting products that can be delivered in batches (regardless of batch size), but R&D projects may only output design results. From a certain perspective, NPI (New Product Introduction) serves R&D projects (helps improve design, helps design validated, and helps coordinate the design and manufacturing)

The main obstacles of NPI (New Product Introduction) are frequent design changes and difficulty in obtaining initial product materials, especially since many materials are also part of the new design, but the responsibility for organizing the material often falls to the manufacturer.

NPI (New Product Introduction) requires the manufacturer to respond quickly, to have a high degree of internal and external collaboration, to have the technical ability to move forward, and to organize the business ability of external resources backward. Some companies require NPI (New Product Introduction) to have an engineering background. On the one hand, when developing and designing products with a new process, they should point out mass production difficulties in a timely manner to avoid designing products that cannot be mass-produced, and on the other hand guide manufacturing plants to improve their process capabilities.

NPI (New Product Introduction) project manager is an important position for manufacturers or supply chain companies. NPI (New Product Introduction) engineers are responsible for the success or failure of the entire process from trial production to mass production of new products. The effectiveness of work directly affects the economic benefits of the NPI (New Product Introduction) project. 

Three validation stages of NPI (New Product Introduction)

EVT: Engineering Validation Test

The design validation in the early stage of product development is generally an engineering prototype, which is used for debugging and verification by R&D engineers. Many things have just been designed, and there are still many problems so the R&D engineers keep testing feasible design solutions. All possible design problems must be corrected one by one. The R&D engineers focus on completing the design and product specification performance. Generally, R&D engineers conduct comprehensive validation of each function of the engineering prototype.

DVT: Design Validation Test

After solving the problems in the EVT (Engineering Validation Test) stage, test all signal levels and timings, and complete the safety regulations. The focus is on identifying design and manufacturing issues to ensure that all designs are within specification and ready for mass production. —Functional parameters meet requirements and design for manufacturability.

PVT: Production Validation Test

It mainly verifies the stability and consistency of various functions of new products, as well as manufacturing capability verification. The purpose of trial production is to do a lot of pre-production manufacturing process verification, so a certain amount of products must be produced, and all production procedures must comply with the standard procedures of the manufacturing plant. Generally, the new products developed are produced for the suppliers who conduct the PVT (Production Validation Test) stage trial production for them. If the situation is smooth, the new product will be trial-produced once in each verification stage. The derived new product can skip EVT (Engineering Validation Test) or DVT (Design Validation Test) according to the actual situation. There will be more than two trial productions in each verification stage.

The role of NPI in the three stages of validation

In the trial production stage, the NPI (New Product Introduction) team must work hard to find and eliminate problems, so as not to bring design problems and process problems to mass production, and SMT processing should timely feedback on the problems in the manufacturing process to the R&D team so that continuous improvement and perfect DFM design.

LKKER SCM emphasizes more detailed design when the product is first designed and solves problems that may occur in the manufacturing and testing process in advance to the design stage. 

NPI (New Product Introduction) must integrate all the supply chain resources, and coordinate the trial production, production scheduling, and follow-up of the trial production process. Most of the trial production schedules are very urgent. Generally speaking, if the whole product is produced, it will be completed in one week or less.

Learn More: 

LKKER SCM NPI Project Management Service

LKKER SCM DFM (Design For Manufacturing) Service

LKKER SCM Turnkey Design Service

What mechanical design service a design company can provide?

LKKERSCMLKK Design Beijing Office Building Product Development Supply Chain Management

With the development of the product design industry, the demand for mechanical design is also increasing, so in this blog, we will disclose to you what mechanical design service a design company can provide.

1. Learn about product positioning 

The design company is involved in many fields such as consumer electronics, handheld terminals, home appliances, and medical equipment, and can provide in-place services to various types of customers. First of all, we will collect information on the design concept provided by the customer. After carefully understanding the customer’s design intention, style, and requirements, we will have a comprehensive understanding of the entire mechanical design.

2. Conduct Market Research

The company will conduct market research, the main purpose of which is to let customers understand the needs and ideas of users, so as to improve the design concept and use this as the basic information for mechanical design.

3. Start Mechanical Design

During the mechanical design, through multiple analysis processes such as disassembly analysis and process analysis, the mechanical design is initially completed. On this basis, several mechanical modifications will be carried out to achieve customer satisfaction standards. It is worth knowing that mechanical design has made breakthroughs in many technical aspects, such as waterproof, drop-proof, and dust-proof, as well as automation, which can meet the various personalized needs of customers.

In addition to the mechanical design process, what skills do mechanical designers need to master?

1. Constantly disassembling

When the product mechanical designer gets a product appearance, how to carry out mechanical design? That is the constant disassembly installation. The industrial product mechanical designer should be very familiar with the performance, characteristics, and assembly of the product itself, disassemble the product in your hands, and install it again. But to restore it to exactly the same as it was before you took it apart. If you can’t guarantee this, you can take a photo of each step before disassembling the product. Knowing the product attributes, the mechanical designer should start the mechanical design.

2. Clear about every part

Every product part has its color and craftsmanship. The mechanical designer needs to understand the properties of parts. For example, know what is a plastic part, what is a PET mask, and what is an acrylic mask. To understand these names, be familiar with related materials, molds, and surface treatment processes;

3. Solid knowledge of mechanical design

Proficiency in product assembly design skills; that is, assembly-oriented design; commonly used assembly design guidelines include reducing the number of parts, simplifying product structure, standardizing parts, modularizing products, designing stable bases, designing guiding features, and positioning parts first and then specific, error-proof design, ergonomic design, etc. Master the knowledge of tolerance analysis, and be able to use tolerance analysis to optimize product design quality and solve specific problems encountered in product development;

The mechanical designer at LKKER SCM will

1. Participate in the the feasibility study of product, and participate in the product turnkey design.

2. Formulate mechanical design plans and project plans, research and develop new mechanical design and new technologies, and improve product performance and quality;

Mechanical designers need to work for a long time to expand their knowledge and accumulate experience to be able to make good products. In the process of learning and dismantling, they must learn to think and learn Learn the excellent mechanical design of others, and understand why others design it this way? If you understand it, you can design it yourself. If you don’t understand the product design, there are a lot of design problems.

A good mechanical design product requires not only the shape of a good design concept but also the support of design skillset and technology. LKKER SCM Mechanical Design Service can provide customers with professional services from all aspects and help customers transform concepts into products. 

Learn more:

LKKER SCM Turnkey Design Service

LKKER SCM NPI Project Management Service

LKKER SCM Transfer To Volume Manufacturing Service