Has any one on this site has their design mass produced?

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 17, 2019
Once a tried and tested circuit board project is completed is there anyone here who has taken their design forward to mass production or at least production in the hundreds of units?


Joined Mar 31, 2012
I haven't personally taken a design to mass production, but I've designed chips that became mass produced.


Joined Sep 22, 2013
I have no design experience, but I have brought a few projects into self mass production. It can be a real expensive disaster if you don't set it up right. This is USA production under capitalism.

Before doing anything, the prototype has to be electronically and environmentally tested. After all tests and changes are made.....very accurate specs must be documented and agreed upon. All aspects of production use the specs for reference.

Next, you need a list of reliable venders. Including specialty venders....for circuit boards, wiring harness and cabinets/panels/fixture hardware. From there.....you call in person and ask for bids, including stock availability and lead time for all components, circuits boards, and all misc. hardware in 1000 lot units. I had a list of 1000 and I wished I would have copied it more than once. It is amazing what competition can do.

You get at a minimum of 3 vender bids, samples, and all vender capabilities....... for every itty bitty part.

Test and cull samples, request more bids if necessary. By this time.....you should have a read on which venders will accommodate you. Always use the phone. It's much more informative than email.

Reliability and quality are more important than lead time. ALWAYS have backup venders. Shit will happen somewhere. 3 verified vender's info and capabilities are added under each component spec for production reference. Even a machine screw. Doc everything. The "new guy" can order components if necessary.

You spend the time now, doing all this before production. Test and qualify all vender samples. Pre-production work for the test and assembly team. The effort is in the preparation.

Being redundant and nimble with the supply chain will keep marketing under pressure and off of you.

Now your assembly team can produce without interruption. And your QC and the final testing team can continue un-interrupted. Packaging continues. You fill the warehouse......marketing has to empty it.

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 17, 2019
Many thanks for that. That is really interesting and really helpful. Definitely food for thought. I'm going to spend a week or two studying the language of circuit diagrams and see if I can gain enough knowledge to do a simple diagram. Wish me luck!


Joined Jun 6, 2011
Before doing anything...
The project needs to be documented. Preferably with revision controlled documents.

A master BOM (Bill of Materials) controls the build, and contains one line item for each part/subassembly in the build.

Each subassembly has its own BOM.

Each part/(sub)assembly has reference documentation. This includes: an internal part number, a manufacturer, a manufacturer's part number, a manunfacturer's data sheet and/or custom or supplied mechanical fabrication drawings, the number of parts per (sub)assembly, and the cost for each individual part. A photo of a conforming part is often times advantageous, as well.

Printed parts (i.e. labels, cartons, keypads, etc.) require revision controlled artwork. Likewise, PCBs (a type of subassembly) require revision controlled schematics, PCB prints, and Gerber files.

The assembly -- and its sub-assemblies -- each have build instructions. This includes: exploded drawings, step-by-step build detail, test and qualification procedures.

This is the short list. Documentation management software helps to manage all the details. For fun, I wrote my own.


Joined Sep 30, 2009
Yes, I went to an online forum and got a bunch of people I don't know personally, and have no way of knowing their credibility to help.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
I think you underestimate the cost to take a product from concept to production and marketing.
You cannot use a typical figure for basic labour of about £8 per hour. Factor in about £100 to £200/hour multiplied by 100 hours. This brings the total cost to £10000 - £20000. Go figure.