Development Process

B Duncan LTD uses a well-defined and thorough process when providing research and development services. These are based on industry standard processes for electronics and software development and uniquely created, taking into account the client’s requirements, for each R&D project. Whether the project is to commercialise a product, prototype an idea or resolve issues in an existing design, our services will follow a carefully thought through process.

Each step has a clearly defined purpose, allowing us to make the most efficient use of the customer's time as well as providing constant updates and information to our clients as the project progresses. A brief outline of each of step and what it entails can be found via the menu to the right.

 

Requirements

The requirements are confirmed.

The customer’s input into the development cycle is crucial for selecting the correct solution. It is important to completely understand the customer’s exact requirements through detailed discussions of the engineering problem. At the end of this stage, the client’s approval is required to proceed ahead with the project.

Customer requirements are carefully documented. They can include: manufacturing costs, production volumes, manufacturing lead times, development costs, development time, compliance regulation and standards, communications interface, user interface, non-volatile parameter and diagnostics logging storage, product weight and dimensions, hardware interfaces, ease of setup, ease of use / diagnostics features, fail safe operation, future proofing required, battery required, battery life, serviceable parts, Intellectual Property (IP) copy protection, support requirements, etc… The requirements are extremely important to ensure the correct solution is chosen.

Specifications

Technical Specifications are identified.

Our engineers meticulously review the customer’s requirements and work out a detailed plan of the system’s design. The system's specifications are separated into sections - electronics, software and mechanical, allowing us to isolate areas of difficulty and complexity before the project is begun.

These issues may be in the following areas:

  • EMC
  • RFI
  • Thermal issues
  • Voltage ratings / clearance rules
  • Timing requirements
With a detailed plan of the system created, each task is now analysed to identify the costs and risks involved, providing the customer with a thorough set of technical details. High risk tasks are isolated, allowing us to reduce overall development time by prototyping areas of uncertainty.

Design

The system design is perfected.

The design stage is to solidify the plan working out the inner details of how the solution will work. Each of the technical specifications must be covered by the design to ensure the solution will met it is requirements. This design will include a plan with estimates of all the tasks required until the first release. This plan covers the full creation of the system, through to the testing to be carried out.

Each technical specification is required to be fully tested. A test plan is documented to provide details of the systematic approach to testing the system. Each part of the specification is defined in a way that can be tested by our engineers, to verify and ensure the final product meets its specifications identified.

The design process completely maps out the solution with details of how all interactions take place between each hardware and software component. Our engineers use well defined processes when making design decisions to ensure the valuable details gained while designing are fully documented. Prototyping of the design may be required to help mitigate any high risk areas.

Implementation

Design and planning is implemented.

This stage involves the development of the final product according to the design documentation and planning. This usually involves manufacturing the final product for the client. This may include the following aspects:

  • PCB layout
  • Software deployment
  • Mechanical drawings
  • Bill Of Materials
  • Manufacturing methods / instructions
  • Pilot production runs
  • User manuals and supporting documentation
  • Application notes
Testing is carried out according to the documented test procedures. The results of various tests are recorded to show the success of each of the product’s functions. Some projects with complex electronics and software controls will have automatic test scripts created to automate the testing required with long soak tests to ensure the reliability of the developed product.