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|     Written By: Scott Wielenberg     |     Date Posted: 07-22-2015     |

Summary

We start the process by developing a mutual understanding of your application vision, specific requirements and sensor needs. This step defines the details and outcomes you require to be successful. This includes reviewing your sensor, application, and production requirements. Additionally, we explore your use of a contract manufacturer to ensure there is a smooth transition into high volume production. This step is typically completed by a phone call. At the end of this step, we complete an initial evaluation to determine if we can meet your sensor and application needs.

Key Takeaways

  • MaxBotix Inc., uses our sales process to make our customers successful
  • Verify an ultrasonic sensor is the right solution
  • MaxBotix Inc., confirms that we understand your needs and can meet your expectations
  • Completion of Phase 1 means that pursuing ultrasonic sensor technology is the right step
  • This is the second article in a series of articles. The first article can be viewed here.

The learning process during Phase 1 is critical to the success of your project. Collecting all relevant information allows everyone to make a well informed decision. We start the process by developing a mutual understanding of your application vision, specific requirements, and sensor needs. This phase defines the details and outcomes you require to be successful. In this phase, we review your sensor, application, and production requirements. Additionally, we explore your use of a contract manufacturer (CM) to ensure there is a smooth transition into high‑volume production. This phase is typically completed during a phone call. By the end of phase one, we complete an initial evaluation to determine if we can meet your sensor and application needs.

Determining that an Ultrasonic Sensor is the Right Solution

The integration process starts by defining how the ultrasonic sensor solution will make your design a success. The easiest way to define this is with the following three questions: Design Cycle

  1. What is the application vision and how does a sensor help accomplish this?

    This is the most critical question because you must select a sensor that matches your application. The following are a few examples that will help you critically think about the end results of a successful integration.

    • The sensor must report the distance to your target with 1mm resolution.
    • The sensor must trigger your system at a certain distance after the object is detected.
    • The sensor must detect people out to this distance and trigger your system.

  2. DESIGN TIP Initial concept and design is the right time to determine if you need an indoor protected or an outdoor non-protected environment sensor. A protected environment essentially means that the sensor will not get wet. A non-protected environment means that the sensor can be wet, dusty and exposed to weather. You can view our article on this topic on our website.
  3. What are the mandatory specific requirements or features that an ultrasonic sensor must possess for the integration to be successful?

    This may include specifications such as 1mm resolution, 5 volt power supply, 7 meter object detection, etc.

  4. What are the optional requirements that will make the implementation better, but are not showstoppers to moving forward?

    Review the list created in step 2 from the mandatory specific requirements or features and verify each one is required and not optional. If there are any specifications in this list that are not showstoppers, move them to the optional list.

Researching Previous Sensor Use

It is critical that the end performance is clearly defined to make the design successful. It is important to take time to research the history of the particular use of ultrasonic sensors for your application. Researching your application is where you will learn the most about how to integrate the sensor to achieve the best result without having to reinvent the wheel. We understand that you may have done the research, so feel free to skim this section.

First you must determine if ultrasonic sensor technology has been used for your type of application successfully in the past. It is far better to stop the process on an idea that has been proven unsuccessful than to spend your time and resources to get to the same result. If you find yourself not sure where to start, our friendly sales team will be glad to assist you to leverage our history to help you through this process.

DESIGN TIP Will you use more than one sensor in the same environment? Check out this link that talks about ultrasonic multi-sensor operation. Unlike previously believed, it is possible to run multiple ultrasonic sensors in the same environment and get great results. It is only a matter of selecting the right sensor for the job, and MaxBotix Inc., has several options listed in this article that will help you succeed on your project design.
DESIGN TIP Contact Sales Support at MaxBotix Inc., if you do not know where to begin or if your research shows that your application may not be a good fit for ultrasonic sensor technology. Our innovative solutions are driving ultrasonic sensor technology far beyond what is believed to be possible.

Project Schedule & Manufacturing Requirements

Now that you have determined that ultrasonic sensors are feasible solutions for your application, it is time to review other critical application requirements.

We start by looking at your desired production requirements and timeline to help set your project guidelines. We collaborate on how we can best deliver the results that you need to be successful. We find it is critical to understand your timeline to ensure smooth production operations and delivery of products.

We look at your needs and evaluating our capacities. Shipping tens of thousands of sensors a week is quite common. Additionally, our scalable manufacturing processes allow for rapid expansion to meet growing production demands.

We also explore your use of a CM to ensure there is a smooth transition into high volume production. Experience shows that it is important to get your CM involved early to make sure they are ready to place your orders without delay. This ensures your entire production team is on the same page.

The completion of Phase 1 signifies a milestone in your project ‑ the agreement that an ultrasonic sensor solution is the right choice to accommodate the intended application and manufacturing requirements. Next, we move on to Phase 2 Discovery & Education where we share information about our mutual businesses and goals and we present our process for doing business.

Look for our next article: Discovery & Education. Establish business relationships and processes.

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