In this blog series, we will focus on RF remote control transmitter development project for customers, mainly manufacturers and integrators in USA and Europe, we will cover major development steps from initial enclosure design, PCB circuit board design, FCC certificate testing in labs to mass production, basically whole process to bring RF remote control transmitter concept or idea to product in market.
The whole design to manufacture to marketing process contains many steps, the inital concept design and after production marketing are mainly done by customer himself, we will only cover the steps after customer handled the project to us, and for us as remote control transmitter, in any customized RF remote control transmitter design project, the first step would be enclosure design, to define what the final product looks like, we have partnered with several top tier plastic and metallic mould makers to provide design and manufacturing that meet most enclosure design requirement from our customer, and also to provide quality product in short lead time, as well as cost effective, the major steps for developing customized RF remote control transmitter is as follows.
First, customer’s product design and marketing apartment should work together to send us 2D drawing for simple enclosure, or complete 3D model is required for complex enclosure, it is also recommended that customer could make sample verification locally using 3D printer or else, before handling document to us, then we will work with mould maker after document received and design verified, and usually we will make small modification to customer’s initial mould, based on PCB circuit board design requirement and several other concerns involved in enclosure mass production.
To be more specific, in most circumstances, customer only need to provide the outer shape design, and we will work with mould maker to design the inner structure, including PCB circuit board holder, battery position holder, button pad holder and other inner structure used to increase overall product strength.
We will take one of our RF remote control transmitter research and development project last year for example, to show how the whole process works in a simple way.
First, customer contact us to set up a remote control transmitter development project, and briefly describes what the product he need, what does it look like and what is the requirement etc, then we can check if it is something we can do, and quote price and lead time.
Then customer send us designed 3D model of enclosure in Solidworks or Pro/E or other universal format such as IGS, then we will check the given model and see if there is major modification required to fit in remote control transmitter PCB circuit and if there is other concerns, we also will work out a initial circuit design in this stage for our own use, the following photo shows we check the model using Pro/E software utility.
After we checked design with our enclosure mould maker on manufacturability, we will make initial PCB board according to size of remote control, then handle 3D model together with PCB board to mould maker, then he will start the mould making job, and usually it would take 21 – 28 working days for mould maker to deliver a verification sample, the reason why PCB board goes before design is because mould maker need PCB board to determine inner structure and holder position, especially to make sure button position and height is correct in final product.
In most circumstances, our PCB board design can fit into customer’s enclosure design, no matter how big or small it is, since we have several design methods in stock based on our years experience on remote control transmitter, the following photo shows remote control transmitter PCB circuit board we designed according to above customer’s enclosure.
Due to narrow shape design, the width of enclosure is short, so we have to use 12V 27A alkaline battery or smaller lithium battery, the alkaline battery choice is for using with RF transistor working scheme, which features low cost in product, while lithium coin battery choice is mainly for RF wireless chip working scheme like those from SiLabs or Infineon, we can use either working method, depending on customer’s requirement of performance and pricing concern, usually we would recommend RF wireless chip design for new project, since it’s digitalized control ability makes FCC certification much easier, also provides superior performance during long time use.
It seems like a simple circuit from above photo, but actually we have to think everything through during design, for example, we have to make sure the board is a bit thick in order not to over bend by battery and battery holder during use, also we have to design several block inside to enhance overall structure strength, this is just one of many points we need to consider before handling product over to customer.
Finally when whole remote control transmitter development project is completed, which means enclosure is skinned and PCB board is ready, we will present customer with photo verification first, and then ship usually two sets of working sample for evaluation by courier service, this is usually 30 – 45 days after customer first confirmed the project, we strongly recommend customer leave more lead time if project is more complex.
The above are final product photos we present to said customer, and we made several color skin of case, above are black and white color, applied to shiny surface, also we can do glossy surface or surface with texture according to customer’s specific requirement.
Also we can print logo or any other text on surface using either silk screen printing or transfer pad printing, the printed image can be monochrome or using several colors, giving customer many choices available to bring product to marketing with their own brand.
In conclusion, overall mould making process would require around 30 – 45 days lead time, customer also need to spare the FCC certification lab testing time, which also takes around 30 – 45 days, then mass production would require around 21 days, which means customer should start the project 60 – 100 days in advance before put product in market, customer is always recommended to contact us in advance to get more precise lead time quote, especially if it is a urgent project.