DevStar - Our Engineering Design Process for High Performance Displays
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US Micro Products focuses on delivering Engineered Display Solutions for customers who often have products that live in harsh environments or require high performance.
Our customers want displays that make their end products easy to use and look good when they are new and for years to come.
A new product often requires a lot of design and engineering resources which can cost valuable time and money. Display integration can be a large portion of those allocated resources, but that doesn't have to be the case. Working with our customer's engineering and industrial design teams from the earliest stage of design through production release yields products that exceed customer expectations. However, it also means orchestrating a complex interplay between engineering teams from multiple disciplines and in various time zones to deliver that unique display system that will delight the end customer.
At US Micro Products, we designed a proprietary system called DevStar. We use DevStar to coordinate our efforts through 4 major steps in the process:
- Understanding Customer Needs
The DevStar system has a few key attributes:
- The system is cloud-based, making changes available instantly to both the US and Taiwan teams.
- The team can assign action items that will be followed up with reminder emails with due dates and late items, keeping the project on time.
- Customer meetings are built into the system, so teams on both sides of the Pacific are involved.
- The project's record is a resource used throughout the program's production life, whether to help choose alternatives if a component goes end of life or to understand the why behind the decisions taken when we work on a next-generation product with the customer.
Here is a chart of the process:
It is worth understanding the customer meetings built into the DevStar process:
Discovery Meeting – Usually held in the evening so that our Taiwan Team can attend the meeting virtually. We also have the Sales and Applications Engineering Teams on the call. From the customer side, we like to involve Engineering, Industrial Design, Sourcing, and Program Management. We hold the meeting once we know that an actual funded project is underway and our Sales and Applications Teams have documented some of the parameters of the desired Display subsystem. Here we can answer questions about the different technologies that could be applied. We ask questions about which specs are most critical, what problems they've had in previous designs, and even what keeps the Engineering manager awake at night. The session is akin to a whiteboard session. No idea is bad, and no question is dumb; it's a chance to brainstorm.
Tooling Review – Once the initial design is complete, it is time to commit any custom tooling needed to build prototype systems. We use this meeting to ensure that both teams understand exactly what we are building. Whether it is the exact physical dimensions or trade-offs between brightness and power consumption targets, this meeting ensures that what we are about to produce meets our expectations.
Production Release Review – Once Engineering Validation Testing, Design Validation Testing, and Production Validation Testing are complete; we hold this meeting. It's an opportunity to review all the lessons learned during testing, ensuring fixes are in place, drawings are finalized and signed, production testing is understood and approved, and shipping containers are acceptable.
DevStar is a comprehensive process and toolset that helps US Micro Products deliver what the customer wants when they want it and at a price that makes sense. We developed this system based on 26 years of experience in man-machine interfaces and leveraging the expertise of a team that has been building and supporting Engineered Display Solution for many of those years. So give us a call, and let's talk about how we can help you build a better product.
If you have a project that is considering taking advantage of any display technology, US Micro Products can provide a solution designed for your application. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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6207 Bee Caves Rd., Ste 330
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