Thinking of buying an electronic component ‘off the shelf?' Think carefully

Thinking of buying an electronic component ‘off the shelf?' Think carefully

For many companies saving money on manufacturing can seem like a good way to manage costs. In the long run, however, choosing the cheapest manufacturer or components can turn out to be the most expensive option, which may only come to light when your product develops a fault.

For example we recently worked with a company who had an issue with faults in a product which had been being manufactured overseas which required a complete redesign. We were asked for our help to troubleshoot the problem and examined several products to identify the cause and solution. In this particular case the electronic components had been bought ‘off the shelf’ to save money and we identified the issue was the code used in the components which was written so badly it was effectively unusable.

So what are the two key things you need to consider when choosing a design and manufacturing partner to ensure your electronic components are robust and of high quality?

  • Quality of coding
  • How is version control managed?

When choosing a design and manufacturing partner, how a component is coded is essential to the effectiveness of the product. If the components are coded well this should also mean that it can be upgraded if needed and any bugs fixed, rather than having to replace the product.

At BitBox we have a library of code we have written ourselves and tested extensively so we know it is robust. This also means your prototype can be developed sooner and costs kept to a minimum. At BitBox we also transfer to you the Intellectual Property of your code to you once the software development for a project is completed enabling you remain in control of your code.

Being able to manage version control of software is essential to ensure that the latest version is readily identifiable and a change log is kept. That way if any faults develop, the coding can be scrutinised and, if needed, easily updated.

At BitBox, version control is integral to our work from the prototype phase as well as during the life-cycle of your embedded electronics product. Our control system and manufacturing database means we can identify the code used on every board and source code can be recovered if needed.

This also means we are able to upgrade software ‘in the field’ if the enabling communication technology is in place.

For more information see our Software Design page or call us on 01256 799080 for more information.