During the ideation stage, we define the identified problem statement into needs. The research to fulfill these needs is done using the Human Centered Design (HCD) approach.
HCD allows to place the end user at the center of the innovation and design process to ensure that the final solution not only adds value but is easily usable.
The hardware schematic defines the logic that will be used by the connected electronic components. The logic layout uses the firmware (developed concurrently) . to deliver the desired output that fulfills the need described during Ideation.
Logic Simulation – This simulation tests the logic and firmware to deliver the expected results during the desired conditions.
Our engineers then generate the list of components required to build the hardware device. As Gearbox Europlacer stocks local inventory of curated and validated components, we can ensure short product development cycles that result in reliable products.
The PCB Layout use electronic computer aided (ECAD) software to arrange and the electrical components on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
As this layout process, layout can have a significant impact on functionality and performance of the design, we apply several critical validation simulation to mitigate these risks and reduce design costs.
-- Thermal Analysis – Testing the PCB layout to ensure it will not function adversely in generating high thermal out put.
-- Signal Integrity (SI) – Ensuring the PCB layout does not cause undesired signal interferences so that the correct data can be passed from component to component.
-- Power Integrity (PI) - Ensuring the PCB layout delivers the right voltages and current throughout all the various components on the design.
Once the PCB Design is complete (or defined), the mechanical design can occur. This where we design the right casing so the PCB can be integrated in the final product. This case can then be 3D printed quickly to ensure the correct form and function are correct.
For large volumes, injection molded parts will be sourced to reduce the per unit cost
Once the PCB design has been tested and is complete, the prototype POC needs to be designed and fabricated PCB needs to be fabricated.
We use our bare prototyping line to quickly fabricate new designs for testing. This ensures lower development costs and faster development times.
The Proof of Concept (PoC) sometimes know as the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is the first working iteration of product. The goal of the PoC is to capture the most critical features that meet the needs of the client.
At this point, aesthetics and form factor are not prioritized. We usually build 1 to 5 PoC/MVP devices. These devices are subjected validation tests in a controlled environment. The collected data is used to improve the next iteration.
The Alpha Prototype is designed using the data from the PoC test. At this point the required functionalities of the product have been determined and designed from. Thus, the goal of the Alpha Prototype is to test these functionalities. At this appoint form factor and aesthetics are not necessarily required. These prototypes are subjected to a longer controlled test (EVT : ENGINEERING VALIDATION TEST ) to validate the functionality
The Beta Prototype is designed using the data from the Alpha test.. Once the functionalities have been determined to work well, this design optimizes the product to meet form factor, aesthetics and the expected cost of production. Processes such as Design for Manufacturer (DFM), Design for Assembly (DFA) are used at this point.
These Beta prototypes are subjected to a longer and larger sample sized test (DVT : DESIGN VALIDATION TEST ) to validate the final product. This much larger test will occur in the conditions that the product will be deployed in. It is also at this point that prototypes can be provided for standard certification.
Once the Beta Prototype device has been validated in the field, all the data from this test is used to create the final product. This is the final design optimization to meet the expected market price. Prior to production , a small production focused pilot (PVT : PRODUCTION VALIDATION TEST) may be used to test the manufacturing process.
We use the latest software, tools and methodologies to design best-fit solutions that meet customer specifications in performance and reliability.
These advanced tools, coupled with experienced engineers who have deployed hardware solutions in the region, puts Gearbox Europlacer at the forefront of designing and manufacturing best-fit solutions that solve African problems.
To design great products, we use the “Design - Build – Test - Learn” iterative cycle to ensure that mistakes and errors are eliminated early , while value adding features are strengthened.
We also use a milestone gate-based product development approach to ensure that our clients see the value of the product development cycle. We only move forward at each development stage after receiving approval from the client.