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From prototype to production units

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KPE

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I need some advise on how to proceed from prototype to production.

I've made a prototype on the FEZ Cobra, and is now looking into bringing the costs down for a small scale production (100+ units).

The basic components are:
3 accelerometers, GPS module, TFT touch Display and the EMX board from GHI (ARM9)

The prototype costs is around 500 USD (including enclosure), and I now wonder how I can cut this to maybe 250 USD.
The prototype also needs a smaller design, which makes a need for a custom PCB, custom enclosure, some components and someone that can assemble everything.

Where do you buy components at low prices for a small scale production?
The accelerometers can be bought from the manufactor at 3 USD @ 5000 units. This is not small scale, but a huge cut in the costs, as the prototypes are USD 20 pr. unit.

One thing that strikes me is that you can by an ARM9 based GPS from china as low as 60-80 USD, which has plenty more RAM and speed than the EMX board. Would it be insane to strip such a device and interface my accelerometers, and overwrite the GPS sofware with my NETMF application?
 

poorchava

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I believe you could try to buy components from some big seller instead of the producer. Vendors like Future or Farnell often give nice discounts at quantities below 1k. If you say that you need about 300 accelerometers for your planned 100 units productiom, why would you want to buy 5k units? I think that it's going to be hard to greatly reduce manufacturing costr at that, rather small quantities.
 

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