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Question about going from prototype to production circuit.

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jonas3

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Greetings,

I have been working on a simple device that I would like to turn into a product for mass production. My experience with electronics so far has been in the realm of simple prototyping using bread boards or printed circuits. I have a prototype circuit that uses several 555 timers for an oscillator. The finished circuit area for the product needs to be less than 2 inches square. What are my options for shrinking, for lack of a better word, my circuit down. I have thought about using a single surface mounted microcontroller but I would like to keep the cost of the circuit down as much as possible. Can someone with experience in taking prototype circuits to production please provide me with what the process entails and what my option are. Thanks.


Jonas
 

chris.mourad

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Hi

What do you mean by "taking your proto to production". You plan a mass production of your circuit (number of parts)?
What packages for your components are you using? Are they optimal?
Could you document your request? Pictures?
 

Raza

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Hi,
you said
I have a prototype circuit that uses several 555 timers for an oscillator
But did not define how many 555s?. Can you tell us the numbers? At the same time you are saying the area is 2"x2" or lesser and want to reduce the cost to minimum. Until you do not explain these questions, how come some one can help?
 

jonas3

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Chris,
Thank you for your reply. I am a software engineer by trade who dabbles with electronics on the side. Please forgive my improper electronic verbose. The problem I am trying to solve is that I have a small motor that I need to rotate in a pseudo random fashion. In my first prototype circuit I used a basic stamp microcontroller to produce the desired effect. My latest prototype uses 3 555 timers, one for the overall timing of the activation sequence and 2 as simple pulse generators. The two pulse generators are producing two different square waves with the output of these pulse generators going into an AND gate and output of the gate goes to activate the motor circuit. I am sorry I am at work and do not have the full schematic. I have created several similar circuits with combinations of 555 and 556 chips in an effort to reduce the size and cost.
This is the first time I am trying to go to the next level and create a product that can be mass produced. The enclosure that I am using is very small with less than 2 square inches to fit the circuit. What are my options for reducing the size of my circuit area and the cost? I thought about using a very small surface mounted microcontroller but I want to know if there are other options for doing the same thing with cheaper and smaller electronics in an effort to keep production costs down. I have no experience with what is involved in creating a circuit for mass production. I am also looking for any information on this process and how I can get started with. Thanks.
 

Tahmid

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What about using tiny surface mount 555 chips and tiny surface mount resistors and diodes, etc? Without changing to using microcontroller, that should be a good choice. However, I think using a microcontroller would make it much smaller. You can use small 8 pin microcontrollers like PIC12 or ATtiny or 6 pin micro like PIC10, if you have knowledge with working with these and are not limited by IO pins.

Hope this helps.
Tahmid.
 

chris.mourad

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Hello jonas3

Indeed you could use tiny SMD PIC controller to implement the function (which looks easy if I understood correctly) you are generating with your 555s. Going to mass production with this shouldn't be too difficult. You can use on top of that tiny passives components (SMD package) to minimize area.

Cheers
Christian
 

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