DPS Telecom is a high-mix, medium-volume company with a large product line, and it produces new products on a regular basis. These characteristics are reflected in its agile engineering process.
Customization is nothing new for DPS engineers. When a new project comes in, they follow a time-tested and efficient development process. First, the team determines which platform and resources will be needed for the new product. They actively search for opportunities to accelerate the process by utilizing field-proven circuits and code. This reuse both reduces development time and dramatically increases reliability.
After these early decisions are made, the Engineering team works together to capture a schematic and design the circuits, PC board layout, and chassis. All of the underlying systems have various design rule checks on top of the standard DPS design checkpoints. "These tools allow us to model the way a circuit board mounts into metal before either exists. This not only lets us try out several concepts, but ensures that everything is going to fit perfectly the first time," said Carberry. At the same time, the new product's firmware is created. This includes not only the core application firmware, but also diagnostic firmware to be used down the road in production testing. Additionally, high-level software utilities are written to communicate with the core firmware. These utilities create several user-friendly options for configuring and monitoring the unit.
Finally, product documentation is written during product development. Every new unit is delivered to the client with a high-quality user guide.
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