Preparation for certification of your product

One of the causes behind developing your prototype is usually an idea to change people’s lives. But not everyone has a specific knowledge about hardware and how it works. People rather think that “it just works” and they don’t care about the process behind functionalities. That’s why, a process of the production before the certification is so important. It literally ensures customers that they can use it and don’t have to know anything but what’s in the manual.

How to start?

If you already have your prototype and know a bit about certification, the next step should be a process of creating a nearly ideal prototype. A version without any weirdly customized pads and resistors which you added when you decided to change few things in your project. Making a sandwich from resistors isn’t the wise way to build your product, too.

Why should you care about it?

One day, you would sign a contract with a company who would produce your device. You would have to give them your specific project and other parts of the documentation. After that, you would not be able to easily change the way your product is built. It will require time. We know that if something requires time, it usually requires money.

So the final price of your product would be higher. It means that your customers would have to pay more — they could be less likely to buy it.

That’s why it is a good idea to find a company, which would help you to pre-verify the quality of your project.

Other mistakes which can cause you a lot of problems are:

  • lack of mask between the pads of integrated circuits which causes short circuits,
  • not enough space between pads of the components causes deposition of tin on components,
  • grommets in pads which are not separated with mask causes that your components “get up” on your PCB or soldering is not working properly,

How do we suggest implementing your product into the market?

There are two ways and we hope that this guide will help you to choose wisely a company which will produce your product.

Traditional way:

Prototype

It is the first stage which gives you a possibility to produce your PCB. The main goal of this stage is to check if there are any problems with it and its documentation. The company which produces it for you, also has a possibility to project the way in which the whole process of the production will be done.

First trial series

Its main goal is to check all changes which you added and verify them via tests. Sometimes the correction can cause another error, so this stage is quite important for the future of your product.

Second trial series

If the first series failed, it is wise to take advantage of the second trial series. It is the last stop before mass production, so you should make any changes wisely and be 100% sure that finally things would work how you want them to.

Mass production

It is the last stage and we suggest to you to choose a company which would give you a report about any errors which occurred during the production process. This will give you a possibility to correct them and make your product better.

Production Part Approval Process — PPAP:

It is usually used in automotive industry. It is a quite complicated system which has its benefits, such as a repeatability of the process. On the other hand, it is an extremely long way, which can be too hard for small teams without a tremendous budget.

However, this method ensures you that your product complies with its specification. What is more, it will always be produced from the same components with the same process parameters. Obviously, it is time-consuming. It requires a lot of documentation and is expensive, but gives you the certainty that you will be able to repeat the whole process. It is also required as a standard in the automotive industry.

The most important document of this process is the PSW document. It includes every detail about the production starting from documentation of the qualified laboratory to the control plan of the production.

In next part we would talk more about choosing your suppliers, so:

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Preparation for certification of your product was originally published in The Official BlastLab Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.