In this article, I cover many hardware manufacturing issues, questions and concerns that most people have (or will come across) when it comes to making tech hardware.
Over the last few years, Hatch’s hardware blog has aimed to provide its readers and subscribers with the most relevant and up to date information with regards to hardware manufacturing with a focus on custom Android smartphones and tablets. This article looks back at a number of the topics we have previously covered, giving a brief overview of what was covered, why it’s important/useful and will provide you with the relevant links for you to read more on each topic.
Why should I use Android?
As you can see from the article “How Android is Revolutionizing Our World” the uses of Android are almost endless. This is the age of customized electronic products and the Android platform is helping to facilitate this. You can customize the firmware of off the shelf Android tablets and smartphones or develop and manufacture completely custom Android hardware, tablets, or smartphones to satisfy current market needs or prepare for future market demand.
Where do I start?
If you’re a startup looking for some useful hints and tips in…..well, starting up, I recommend you have a look at the two-part article we published – links below:
- Advice for Startups (Part 1)
- Hardware Manufacturing: 3 Important issues to consider for your Startup. (Part 2)
Part 1 covers aspects such as identifying your product, defining its functions and some tips on how to carry out inexpensive market research to help you with some of your decisions. It also recommends that you do not focus too much on the price point but rather getting things done right, even if it costs more.
Part 2 answers the questions: Should I work with a western or Chinese engineer? Is China still the right place to get my product manufactured? Should I handle the supply chain on my own?
Does Crowdfunding still work?
Crowdfunding can be a legitimate and successful way of getting funding for launching your product. Due to its popularity, which is evident from the Indiegogo and Kickstarter sites, it can be an expensive process to get your product to stick out from the crowd.
This article on “Simple Ways that will Help Crowdfunding to Succeed” gives you examples of successful tech crowdfunding campaigns while also providing you with hints and tips to help your crowdfunding campaign succeed.
Who should I work with?
The article “Hardware Projects, You Are Not Alone”, lists a number of companies that can help you with your project depending on what you are looking for. It includes accelerators, companies that do prototyping, developing and of course manufacturing.
Once you have found the right partner you may also need to prove to them that your project is the right project for them to take on. If you need help to know what these partners look for, take a look at this article “5 Essential Points to Get Your Manufacturing Inquiry to Stand Out”. It provides hints on how to make your inquiry stand out from the rest.
The Prototype – Get it Right!
The urge (and possibly pressure) to get to mass production as soon as possible can blind you when it comes to the prototype. This is an important step in the process that should not be rushed. The article “Lessons from Custom Device Manufacturing” provides some valuable lessons that have been learned from previous custom tablet and smartphone projects.
We have another article “The 8 Steps of Rapid CNC Prototyping Process for Smartphones and Tablets” which gives a very detailed (loads of pics and GIFs) run down in what is involved in the CNC prototyping process. It also gives a brief summary of the importance of a good prototype.
How do I ensure good Quality Control?
People who are familiar with component suppliers and assembly factories know that you can’t always rely on their in-house quality control. A while back I sat down with Illia Grebenkov, an expert in the field of quality control and quality assurance. “Electronics Quality Control: Insights and Revelations of an Expert.” was the extremely insightful and authentic result of that sit-down.
Illia explains how he sets the quality standard for certain products, what are some of the key issues to look out for and how to limit the rate of defects from an early stage.
What certificates do I need?
Depending what your product is, where you are selling it and where/how it will be used you may be required to get certain certifications for it. “The 4 Essential Certificates for Electronics” is an article that explains 4 of the more commonly requested certificates that your device may require. They are CE, FCC Certification, ROHS Certification, WEEE.
We also published a 4 part series of articles that covered GMS certification. You can find these below:
- · GMS Certification and GMS License
- · How to Qualify for GMS
- · The Cost of GMS
- · Who can help you to get the GMS License
Anything else that may be interesting?
Of course, there is!
At the beginning of this article in the “Why should I use Android?” paragraph, I shared the link “How Android is Revolutionizing Our World” which featured the many uses of Android. NFC itself has a number of uses for Android smartphones and tablets. “How NFC Technology Works?” is a useful article that will be of huge benefit to you if you are considering including the feature in your custom Android smartphone or tablet. It explains a little about NFC and runs through some of the creative ways that it can be used.
OTA is another very interesting feature that I would recommend you looking into if you are developing and manufacturing your own product. “Explaining OTA Updates for Android” explains why you should consider using OTA in your Android device from the advantages in development to when it’s with the end user.
So there you have it, the most important hardware article that you will read…. today maybe.
Above are just some of the topics that we have addressed with the aim to help you, our community, with your hardware projects. Our aim is to provide you with accurate, relevant and useful information. If there is any topic that you would like us to cover, please get in touch and let us know. You can email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.