How does the process of designing a new product with API work?
- Meet with the customer & discuss the new product idea.
- Document the features & requirements of the project.
- Review any written specifications the customer may have prepared.
- Discuss the product cost target and production quantity targets for the customer.
- Discuss how we can make the project justifiable for both parties.
- Based on the new product discussion, API engineering begins to sketch proposed hardware and circuitry for the product.
- This process tends to generate a lot of questions, so discussion with the customer continues.
- API engineering begins writing the requirements into a product spec.
- API determines component cost of the proposed hardware.
- API sales calculates the product pricing and presents the customer with a quotation & product specification.
- Upon customer’s acceptance of the quotation, API engineering finalizes the proposed hardware & circuitry design.
- Circuit simulations are performed and checked against specifications.
- Printed circuit board artwork is created.
- Mechanical drawings and 3D mechanical models are created.
- Drawings are sent to the customer for approval.
- Parts are ordered for a small number of prototypes.
- Drawings are created to show how to assemble the components.
- Circuitry & mechanical hardware are assembled by API production staff.
- Most new products are computer-based and require API to generate software that controls the product.
- Preliminary software can often be written while prototypes are still being built.
- API tests software functionality running on the prototypes.
- Prototypes are delivered to the customer.
- Customer installs prototypes in their system.
- API assists the customer in understanding how to use the product.
- Customer evaluates product functionality.
- Changes required for production are noted.
- Product design is revised by lessons learned from the prototypes.
- Ongoing monitoring of production quality & responding to customer needs.
- Continual review for process improvements & cost reduction.