There are many ways to destroy a mobile device, such as a tablet or a smartphone. How can typical and atypical usage problems be anticipated during product development? How can the quality of the design be increased to make the devices more resistant to interference?
Product development always involves the goal of improving operating methods and processes. Ten years ago, it was typical that simulations and testing were performed only at the end of product development project. At that point, the design of the product was ready, and testing was done to a nearly finished product. The challenge was that detecting critical errors resulted in an expensive and time-consuming iteration round. The paradigm of simulation guided design has changed a lot since those times.
Advantages of early mechanics simulation
Nowadays, products can be tested with the help of virtual simulations already in the concepting phase of product development. The advantage of early simulation work is that at least one of the expensive prototype construction steps can be eliminated. Early simulation work also ensures that the device really works in accordance with the specifications.
For example, testing medical electronic equipment at a classification institution is time consuming and expensive. Because of this, it is typical that the devices are tested in-house first, and their functionality is verified comprehensively before the actual regulatory testing at a classification institute. With the help of mechanics simulations, it can be ensured in advance that the device passes all the necessary tests.
Typical product tests to be simulated
Typical product tests performed with virtual simulations are drop and impact tests. The product may have a requirement of drop resistance from 1.5 meters or an impact test requirement given with a pendulum hammer or a ball drop. All these tests can be done in a virtual environment by modeling the product's structure and materials in a simulation.
Installation simulations provide information about mechanisms' and buttons' functionality. It is also possible to examine, for example, the functionality of a sealing solution. If problems are detected in the product during virtual testing or installation simulation, the simulation can be used to find a solution to the problem. Physical product tests would take significantly more time and money than simulations.
Mechanics simulations help designers
When starting to build simulations, any available information is a good starting point. Even if all the product’s details haven’t been worked out yet, a working model can be quickly built, and its functionality tested. Necessary information for building a model includes, for example, information about the display and circuit board components, as well as any materials used in the parts. Compared to physical test pieces, it is efficient to test material options with simulation.
The information gained from a simulation helps the designer understand how the product design works and withstands the required tests. If simulations reveal any problems e.g. with durability or thermal design, the simulation specialist helps find a working solution.
The simulation team's services are always adjusted to meet the needs of the project. Virtual simulations can be done already at a very early stage of product development. For example, in the concepting phase, we can search for optimal component locations on the circuit board or test different mounting solutions for structures, batteries or displays.
Download the mechanics simulation guide
The guide explains in more detail how you can benefit from simulation-guided design and how mechanical simulations can be used to support your product design project.