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Design & Development

Swan EMS have in the past been engaged by a number of customers to design, develop and manufacture from scratch a number of products in different industries. These have been carried out in partnership with an external consultant Peter Knight who has considerable experience with electronic product design and with working with electronics subcontract manufacturers. Peter has worked with Swan EMS since 2008. 

Peter is a Cambridge Educated Consultant with a broad background in Physics and Electronic engineering. His experience includes:

• Military Electronics; naval and land, (the equipment in theatre)
• Railways, on train and infrastructure
• Reverse engineering of electronics for obsolescent spares
• Agriculture
• Scientific Instruments
• Oil and gas; ATEX (IEC60079)
• LED Lighting

 Hummer

He has designed and developed Electronic Circuits, Printed Circuit boards, Software and complete systems with Swan EMS's customers and assisted in ensuring they comply with legislation such as CE marking. Swan EMS have applied their production knowledge to deliver these designs in a repeatable and cost efficient way.

PCB Layout 

Peter has un-usually broad experience and problem solving skills, even quite innovative projects can be considered.

See below projects Peter has worked on over the past 10 years with Swan EMS and other suppliers showing a range of design capabilities.

   

Traction and Brake Controller for a train

It is programmed to convert an optical encoder position into a PWM Waveform. For safety critical and validation reasons a FPGA was used instead of a MPU to convert the signals. This interfaces with the trains traction system.

Multicolour Edge Light for Advertising Signs

This consists of thin edge mounting PCBs populated with RGB LEDs powered from a central controller, to enhance the advert experience. The sign is also back lit by LEDs. Further examples of LED lighting manufactured by Swan are shown in the system build section for the same client.
   

Disabled Access Toilet Power Distribution Box

This is currently at Northumberland Park railway station and powers the systems of a disabled toilet, including the lighting, heating and call for aid emergency alarm. The project required power and electrical design and work on site.

Boat Spotlight Control Panel

This controlled a HID boat spotlight in two axes and is installed in a 100m long super yacht. In the spotlight itself is an additional control board to drive the motors. Other military naval electronics have been developed for the Astute submarine and Type 45 Destroyer programmes, these are not shown for security reasons.

Train Drivers Cab Simulator

A computer controlled driver's cab simulator developed for a client to show of capabilities with cab electronics. This required software development in windows (simulator, not "on train") and hardware interface with touchscreens and external controls.

Tractor Navigation Aid Interface Box

A complicated and compact box which includes power systems, sensors and a GPS card and microprocessor to interface with an external control computer / PDA. This product was rapidly developed and solved some un-usual problems and is installed in tractors in a harsh environment. 

 

Development Steps

The key development steps are shown below, highlighting how Swan EMS can assist customers with ways forward. Customers can use as much or as little development assistance as they like, From just having PCBs laid out to a supplied circuit diagram, to complete prototypes built to drawing and finally starting from scratch with a new customer idea.  

 

Feasibility

It is usually possible to assess whether something is achievable fairly quickly with the customer through discussion and with experience. At this stage tests can be carried out to prove the concept.

 

Specification

A specification can be agreed with the customer, the complexity of this depends on the requirements of the market place. This specification can be reviewed to eliminate contradictions and to include compliance with EU directives

 

Design and Development

The product electronic circuit is designed and if required a “veroboard” test circuit built and then a PCB and Bill of Materials is produced for prototype production. This can be integrated with looms, connectors and enclosures to produce a total product.  Software can be developed and user issues resolved with the customer. Swan EMS have programmed on board microchips in the past with such software and this can protect customer intellectual property.

 

Prototype Production

Swan EMS are willing to undertake low volume (even down to single unit) runs of prototype(s) to validate designs and for submission to clients for review and certification. Swan EMS will also review the build process for these prototypes and carry forward lessons learned to modify the design and improve production build processes, leading to an easier to build product. Prototypes can be built rapidly for early evaluation.

 

Product Compliance

Swan is nearby to a partner company with the capacity to carry out EMC testing to evaluate the electromagnetic compatibility of the product. Swan are also willing to carry out through subcontracting climatic and other tests to validate the product design meets the required standards for commercial and military use.

Through our external consultant we are able to also offer Failure Modes Analysis, assessment against the Low Voltage and machine building WEEE, ROHS directives and produce manuals and guidelines for products.

 

Production

Once a prototype design is approved, drawings can be signed off and then the product can be made in the required volumes with production testing.

Swan EMS can quote fixed price or by day rate for such development work. If you want to explore the possibility of developing a new product just, send an email roughly outlining what you are trying to do and we can go from there.