#1 Rework/Repair/Refurb

REWORK – To rework something is the carry out work on a product which may or may not be functioning properly, but which has an identified problem and the work corrects that problem. There may be one or multiple units, all with exactly the same defect and which require exactly the same work to correct the problem.

REPAIR – when you repair something, you are fixing something that is faulty. It did work at some stage but something has happened to it to cause it to become faulty. This could be caused by an outside influence, or it may be that an internal part has stopped functioning correctly due to whatever reason. Repair is the work carried out to correct that problem(s).

REFURBISHMENT – The refurbishment of a product is to carry a planned replacement of parts on a product at a particular point in time on the bathtub curve of the product, usually at around 75% into the curve to increase the life of the product by up to double. “At a general level the bathtub curve provides a graphical representation of the expected life-cycle of the product.

The Process:

  • The process is typically product specific, but at a general level the process involves 6 stages:
    1. Understanding and documenting the fault.
    2. Documenting the corrective actions to correct and fix the fault(s).
    3. Inspection of the failing unit for any non-fault related defects.
    4. Implementation of the ‘Fix’ – whether its for rework, repair or refurbishment.
    5. Inspection and/or test to confirm the ‘Fix’ has been successful.
    6. Documenting and signing off the unit is now functional.

How Is It Done:

  • How it is done is also product specific, but for electronic equipment at a general it may include the following:
    1. Identify the faulty component on the printed circuit board.
    2. De-soldering and removal of the component from the printed circuit board.
    3. Cleaning of the area and pads the faulty component was removed from.
    4. Taking the new functioning component and placing it down on the location where the faulty component was removed from.
    5. Inspect and/or X-Ray and/test to confirm the component replacement has been successful.

#2 Prototyping

Prototyping is an interim step to producing a finished product which allows the possible product to be tested before the finished product is produced.

Prototyping can take many forms, such as mechanical designs, electronics designs, firmware designs, software designs, etc.

Prototyping is the first or preliminary version of a device or product from which other forms are developed.

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semanticsdesignelectronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users.

Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.

In some design workflow models, creating a prototype (a process sometimes called materialization) is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea

Prototypes explore different aspects of an intended design/product:

  • A proof-of-principle prototype serves to verify some key functional aspects of the intended design, but usually does not have all the functionality of the final product.
  • A working prototype represents all or nearly all the functionality of the final product.
  • A visual prototype represents the size and appearance, but not the functionality, of the intended design. A form study prototype is a preliminary type of visual prototype in which the geometric features of a design are emphasized, with less concern for colour, texture, or other aspects of the final appearance.
  • A user experience prototype represents enough of the appearance and function of the product that it can be used for user research.
  • A functional prototype captures both function and appearance of the intended design, though it may be created with different techniques and even different scale from final design.
  • A paper prototype is a printed or hand-drawn representation of the user interface of a software product. Such prototypes are commonly used for early testing of a software design, and can be part of a software walkthrough to confirm design decisions before more costly levels of design effort are expended.