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How the ODM Design Process Works

When ODM companies undertake any product engineering project, the project goes through a series of steps. This articles lists down the processes involved in each and every step.

Today’s ever-changing and competitive market expects latest features and functions in the products with short time to market. Product lifecycles have shrunk significantly and market window of opportunity is also limited. Many companies are not able to cope up with this demand for new technology products with in-house R & D team.  This results in longer R & D queue for new products to be launched.

For such companies, outsourced product engineering services from a competent ODM vendor results in faster time-to-market opportunities and significant cost savings

But how does the ODM process actually work? How does an ODM vendor go about designing and manufacturing a product based on client brief?

Given below is a typical ODM design process starting with product concept development and ending with production and support.

Step 1: Concept Design and Development

  • Concept Feasibility: Idea Analysis, Evaluation and Feasibility Study
  • Concept Design: More detailed design and evaluation of Concept based on preliminary requirements defined during feasibility stage
  • Design review: Review design options and specification and finalize design approachBusiness Management Articles, costs and trade-offs
  • Design finalization: Freezing on final design and specifications post all iterations and discussions

Step 2: Product Engineering

  • Schematics Design
  • Mechanical Design – Board interconnections and aesthetics design
  • Thermal Analysis
  • Pre-layout Signal Integrity Analysis
  • Mechanical drawings: 3D model for the product drawings for prototype
  • Board Layout
  • Post-layout Signal Integrity Analysis
  • DFM Analysis – Design manufacturability checks
  • Firmware and Software Development
  • Unit testing of firmware and software on evaluation boards

Step 3 Procurement

  • Identify and negotiate volume pricing with vendors
  • Order material for prototypes
  • Verification of specs for major parts with Evaluation boards

Step 4: Prototype & Fabrication

  • PCB Fabrication
  • Mechanical Fabrication
  • Board assembly
  • hardware and firmware Verification testing
  • System Assembly

Step 5: Prototype Testing

  • Alpha release to customer for functional testing
  • System Validation testing
  • Implement changes based on customer feedback and testing
  • Beta release to customer for field validation
  • Certification testing and assistance to customer for certification

Step 6: Production Release

  • Release drawings for volume production
  • Procurement for volume production
  • Setup for automatic or semi-automatic testing of product
  • Pilot production and release to end users
  • Statistical analysis of field test results
  • Volume production and testing
  • Packaging and delivery as per schedule

Step 7: Logistics and Support

  • Train resources for managing repairs and technical support
  • Provide Customer support for installation and technical issues
  • Upgrade of products based on end user feedback and failure analysis
  • Obsolescence tracking of the parts and upgrades as need

Source: Free Articles from


Shiv Kumar Pandey is an online marketing and content consultant and writes for various companies including Rhombus, an ODM company in India providing outsourced product engineering services.

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