Locus Engineering Inc. provides the following product development services:
System Level Design
Project specifications are created prior to any design to better understand the requirements, including from the technical, functional, and user viewpoints. The specification is reviewed with the customer before proceeding with the design work.
Projects often require a systems design approach to investigate the technical feasibility options available while still meeting the performance requirements. This helps decide error budgets, critical components, expected performance figures, hardware and software “hooks” for future features, and estimated unit costs.
Large systems incorporating high level components or sub-systems require attention to power supply and distribution, careful routing of signals and cables, and attention to ergonomics while keeping the overall packaging compact. Locus Engineering’s multi-disciplined experience with the electronic, interconnect, and mechanical aspects provide good value with quick turnaround.
Locus Engineering has extensive experience in microcontroller based designs as well as with sensors, analog, digital, telephony, and power circuits.
Schematics are provided for electronic circuits, flow charts, and block diagrams. A large library of standard and custom parts allows drawings to be quickly created with easy flow and readability.
Locus Engineering has extensive experience with coding and programming Silicon Labs 8051 architecture microcontrollers. These fast mixed signal devices are low cost while providing high performance for digital and analog based applications. We have developed 64 bit math routines to run on 8 bit microcontrollers, fast table-driven data converters, any format LCD character display drivers, text to speech synthesizer drivers, serial memory drivers, and serial sensor interfaces. We have also developed a proprietary Simple Operating System (SOS) used in many products which allows real time operation of display, keyswitch, speech, communication, as well as system processes to run concurrently.
Our cable design expertise includes signal and power wire placement, selecting connectors to meet environmental and electrical requirements, connector backshell & boot selection, cable sheathing, and assembly procedures.
Packaging designs available include board level, front panel, off-the-shelf enclosure modifications or custom enclosures made from sheet metal or milled from bar stock. Considerations include ergonomic user controls and connector layout, ease of manufacture, and ease of final assembly. Screen printed legends and vinyl labels are also available.
PCB layout work complements the packaging design, and includes both surface mount and through hole components. Boards are laid out with careful attention to power and signal tracks. Following a design, boards are quickly returned within 3 days (Canada) or 8 days (China) depending on volumes or required turnaround time.
Our mechanical design capabilities include front panels, enclosures, custom parts, and specialized jigs and tooling. Documentation includes drawings in common formats such as dwg or dxf as well as tooling requirements and fabrication processes. This is complemented by our in-house machine shop allowing prototypes to be quickly fabricated in wood, plastic, or metal.
PCB and Parts Sourcing
We have experience in sourcing PCBs and parts both locally and overseas. Parts lists include multiple sources where possible. Any microcontroller programming is done at Locus Engineering to preserve client IP.
PCBs can be assembled at Locus Engineering for prototypes and limited production runs. Surface mount and through hole components are soldered with temperature controlled stations, and inspected with a stereo microscope. Assembly procedures are created for any production run. Higher volumes can be assembled overseas with quick turnaround and competitive pricing.
Our on-site machine shop helps to quickly create, modify, or experiment with new part designs. Materials handled include most plastics, steels, brass and aluminum. Parts can be milled, turned, sawn, drilled, counterbored, tapped, or bent to repeatable tolerances.
Cables are assembled according to written procedures. Wires are individually strain relieved, and wire bundles are twisted prior to the cable sheathing for reliable and stress free operation. Cables are tested for continuity and shorts.
Final assembly includes mounting assembled PCBs into enclosures, adding other parts, placing labels, and followed by inspection. Special attention is made in the design phase so the final assembly is done quickly, reliably, and with a good final appearance.
Testing to Specification
Products are individually tested to specification before being released to the customer. Special jigs and test sets to reduce testing times are available for higher volumes.
User guides are provided for our products; these typically include specifications, rules for safe operation, description, carton contents, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, warranty, and support information.
Engineering Drawing Set
Locus Engineering provides a complete documentation package for custom products. This would include the product specification, schematics, parts lists, PCB design and Gerber files, mechanical drawings, and assembly drawings.
Detailed Parts List with Breakeven Analysis
Detailed parts lists are provided with multiple sourcing options where necessary. Included are component costs, assembly costs and non-recurring engineering costs to provide the break-even volumes to justify a product’s market viability.