Creating Final Electronic AssembliesLast Updated: June 13, 2019
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With the MacroFab Platform, you can define Final Electronic Assemblies all online. A final electronic assembly consists of at least one PCB and one or more other items. Typically, this is referred to as a build-box or system intergration activity, as the final assembly typically includes an enclosure (box).
A final electronic assembly requires two products — one PCB-only Product and one Final Assembly Product. This is due to how the MacroFab internal system process orders as programming and testing as a different process from the build-box assembly.
Step 1: Create or have a preexisting PCB-Only Product
To properly define your final assembly product, you will first need to create a PCB-only product. Follow the instructions in Building PCBs as a Stand-Alone Product to do this. Specify any PCB programming and pre-assembly validation instructions in this PCB-only product.
Step 2: Create a New Product for the Final Assembly
Click on Products in the top navigation bar to access the Product Management page.
Click the Create New Product button. At this screen, you will be prompted to enter some details about your Final Assembly, including a unique name, SKU, weight, and dimensions. Once you have entered these values, you will be able to save the product definition and start entering the components of the product. More information on creating new products can be found in the Creating a New Product knowledge base article.
Step 3: Add Items to the Final Assembly Product
At this point, we need to add the inventory items that will go into the final assembly. In addition to the PCB Product we’ve already defined, we will also need to add any screws, wires, enclosure, etc. that make up the final assembly.
On the Bill of Materials Tab below the Product Information, use the Add Inventory control to add items to the final assembly. For existing Inventory Items or Products, select them from the drop-down list and provide a quantity to use. To create new Inventory Items and add them to the Product, use the create new inventory link to create a new inventory item.
Make sure that you include the correct count for items that are used more than once, such as screws, etc. Include any final packaging for the product in the list of items to be included as well.
Step 4: Provide Assembly and Post-Assembly Validation Instructions
Use the Assembly Instructions tab to provide the assembly instructions. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and essential to the correct assembly of your product. You should always include photos of your device with call-outs where the specific step indicates the activity.
Invariably, a device will need to be tested after final assembly. This ensure that not only that the assembly steps were followed correctly, but also that the device continues to operate as expected after final assembly. This step should not be skipped.
Be Explicit! Don’t assume that assembly technicians know anything about your product. Avoid phrases like “ensure proper functioning,” and instead give a simple set of boolean yes/no questions. An example of a good instruction is “1; Turn power on using black power switch to the lower right. 2; ensure top right LED labeled ‘PWR’ lights up red.” a bad example of the same instruction is “Turn power on and make sure LED lights up.”
The knowledge base article, Build-Box Instructions For Complex Products has more information about these steps.
Stuck on a step or can’t figure out where to go next? Contact our support team. We can get you headed in the right direction for your next product quickly!