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Smart HMI Design To Production Timeline

Epec Engineered Technologies
Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on July 13, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Before designing your custom human-machine interface project, it's important to have an idea of all the steps involved before and during production. Each step has variable length so while there isn't an exact timeframe for production, having a more informed viewpoint is critical to everyone's ability for following HMI design best practices.

Smart HMI Application Review: 1-Week

The initial step in the development process for a smart human machine interface (HMI) is obtaining all available project documentation/data from our customer for our engineering team to review.

This data can include sketches, images, assembly drawings, schematics, or a physical sample of an existing unit. Depending on the amount of data supplied by our customer, the initial review can take two to three days.

Smart Human-Machine Interface with Embedded Firmware

Smart Human-Machine Interface with Embedded Firmware


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Once an internal review is completed, a conference call is set up with the customer engineering group to discuss the key mechanical, electrical, and software requirements for their project. The length of the smart HMI application review stage is dependent on the amount of initial data supplied by our customer and the availability of all parties involved to discuss the requirements.

Scope of Work Development: 1-week

After the smart HMI application review and discussion is completed, a formal scope of work document is created that outlines the key requirements of the project. The scope of work summarizes the electrical, mechanical, and software design details, customer testing and qualification requirements, estimated project schedule, deliverables, budgetary piece pricing, and detailed NRE tooling costs.

The scope of work is finalized and delivered to all parties for review within one week after the smart HMI application review is completed.

Scope of Work Refinement: 1-week

Once the scope of work is presented to our customer and reviewed, a follow-up meeting is held to review any questions or concerns. If there are changes to the scope requested by our customer, we will review and update the details and pricing within the scope of work document and re-submit.

This scope of work refinement stage typically takes one week but is largely dependent on the number of revisions requested and the availability of all parties involved to review and approve.

Smart HMI Development: 8-12 weeks

Once the scope of work is approved by our customer and a purchase order is received, the smart HMI development process begins. The mechanical, electrical, and software design are developed concurrently, with the software development consuming most of the time. Design files are submitted to our customer for approval as necessary during this development stage.

Mechanical Design: 4-6 weeks

  • Material & component specification
  • Artwork generation
  • Production drawings
  • Bill of Materials generation
  • Tooling design
  • Assembly fixture design
  • Test fixture design

Electrical Design: 4-6 weeks

  • Schematic diagrams
  • Board layout
  • Gerber generation
  • Component specification
  • Test fixture design

Software Design: 8-12 weeks

  • Firmware & interface development

Engineering Prototypes: 6-weeks

Once the development stage is completed, it takes approximately six weeks to deliver five engineering prototypes for approval. The engineering prototypes are assembled and tested in our Largo, FL facility. The engineering prototypes are fully functional units and represent the final production units. If changes are required, we will review and update the pricing and delivery schedule accordingly. If changes are not required, we generate the final Bill of Materials and confirm production pricing.

Production: 6-8 weeks

Once the engineering prototypes are approved and a production purchase order is received, we begin procuring all of the required materials and start production. Lead time can vary depending on the quantity and different individual HMI manufacturers.

Hopefully we have given you a better understanding of smart HMI design time expectations but be advised that these times do vary based on the complexity of the application.

Topics: User Interfaces, Product Design

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