On the surface, consumer electronics can seem like the easiest market to design for. After all, it’s all about the next cool personal electronic gadget looking cool and working with the latest user interface, right? But if you’ve ever designed and released electronic products for consumers before, you know all too well how difficult it can really be. While keeping marketing and graphic design people happy with your design, you also have to figure out how to make sure this new product is going to pass regulatory requirements for safety, EMC, and environmental laws. At the same time, feature creep, last minute changes, and unavailable components can cause fatal delays to the product launch, leaving the market wide open for competitors.
Get To Market Fast Without Compromising Design
You’ll need to be able to ramp up production quantities fast if you’re going to make successful consumer electronics. Every added step to the assembly line and every extra second needed to install, fasten, bolt down, or press a board in place costs money. You need tools that will allow collaboration with mechanical design counterparts to guarantee assembly efficiency. You need tools that allow you to decide up front how to optimally place components and shape the board for installation. And this all must be done while maintaining the product’s design aesthetics.
Design For Assembly
Our Native 3D PCB design technology enables unrivalled DFA. With true ECAD/MCAD collaboration you can:
- Define board shape from the 3D model of the part.
Learn More about Designing from 3D
- Create rigid-flex or flex PCB assemblies for ergonomic and hand-held devices.
Learn More about Rigid-Flex and Flex PCB Design
- Model the form of the circuit around the mechanical assembly.
Learn More about Defining Board Shape and Component Placement
- See and resolve assembly bottlenecks with board shape and component placement before making the first prototype.
Learn More about Component Placement
- Share video of the virtual prototype to streamline communication with assembly teams.
Learn More about 3D Movies from PCB
Meet Regulatory Requirements
Regulations are especially difficult if you want your product to have a global reach. Getting a product EMC certified for FCC Part 15, CE, and C-Tick is no easy task, requiring lots of documentation, audit trails and testing. Add to that safety certifications like UL / ISO 60335-1 and you can quickly have respins running away on you with test after test, prototype after prototype. Oh, and let’s not forget RoHS! These facets are critical in consumer electronics design, and responsibility weighs on electronics designers to make sure regulatory compliance standards are met because consumers assume your product functions as advertised, will last, and is safe for them and the environment.
Manage Documents and Generate Service Data
Managing projects in version control enables an audit trail from each ECO and design update to the engineering team for traceability. Document revisions will help maintain industry best practices, along with design release and lifecycle management. Using templates for schematics, PCB documents, production outputs and reports means you never again have to worry about documentation paper trail ambiguity.
- Templates and managed projects can be pre-configured for design rules for UL / ISO 60335-1, FCC and other EMC regulatory bodies, saving time and reducing errors leading to redesign after tests are performed.
Learn More about Design Rules and Templates
- Never have the wrong title block again when you use Managed Projects and templates.
Learn More about Templates, Managed Projects
- Define revision schemes that make it easy to meet standards.
Learn More about Revision Schemes
- Create Smart PDF documents for service and assembly staff.
Learn More about Smart PDF
- Easily find components that meet conditions and environmental demands.
Learn More about Part Choices and Supplier Search
Unpredictable Component Lead Times
Designing the PCB to work right the first time is a great achievement, but it’s all for nought if you send off the design and BoM to your EMS provider only to discover a critical component is not available. The setback of having to redesign a sub-circuit just because one chip is not available can seriously damage time to market and product success. You need tools that not only find you the best component choices, but can help develop variants and alternative part choices for drop-in replacements.
Secure the Supply Chain
Our Supplier Search, BoM Part Choice Ranking, and variants capabilities will build in solid supply chain redundancy and save production costs at the same time.
- Use Supplier Search to get the latest pricing and availability information from popular part vendors including DigiKey, Mouser, Newark (element14), Allied, Arrow and your own inventory database.
Learn More about Supplier Search
- Using the Octopart extension, you can find even the rarest available components. With a database of more than a million parts and thousands of vendors, finding a solution has never been easier.
Learn More about the Octopart Extension
- Link the component supplier solutions directly to parts in your schematic, or even in your managed Vault-based components. Whenever you place them in a design, the latest supplier pricing and availability will be provided.
Learn More about Supplier Links and Part Choices
- Create highly accurate costing reports using supply chain solutions directly from the design to your bill of materials.
Learn More about ActiveBOM
Your Market Reach and Product Life
You’ve done the hard yards getting your design right, passing test after test for safety and EMC compliance, and the marketing team have done their job getting the product moving, so congratulations. You can’t rest yet. Now you need to think of the next version, what features it needs, what new opportunities it brings, and how to broaden the market penetration with alternatives that have more or less features than the first model. And on the back of the initial product success, you also need to figure out how to keep the main product line going even after some key components may no longer be available.
Extend Product Longevity and Reach
Our software makes it easy to extend product life span to keep up with successful marketing, along with true variant support for optimizing production while expanding your product range.
- Unified components and reuse sheets managed in the Altium Vault enable critical where-used traceability, so you have complete visibility when determining which designs are affected by a supply chain block.
Learn More about Where-used
- The Variant Manager and variants support in schematic and PCB means you can easily design one board for many products and generate variant specific release data including 3D models and video for getting to assembly fast.
Learn More about True Variant Support
- Hierarchical design, Managed Sheets for reuse, and refactoring tools make it easy to take a piece of the design and rapidly update it for new features or product life extension.
Learn More about Managed Sheets