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Partnering July, 2017

NEO Tech Collaborates with Aviation OEM for In-Flight Automation

By Steve Heinzen, VP of Marketing, NEO Tech Engineering Services

turer — envisioned a product that would boost the efficiency of commer- cial flight crews. The product would have wireless connectivity while op- erating automatically in the aircraft. In order to deliver a cost-effec-


tive, robust solution and accelerate the development process to accom- modate the end customer’s tight schedule, the aviation OEM part- nered with NEO Tech. NEO Tech provides full product lifecycle tech- nology solutions, from design through to manufacturing services.





n aviation industry OEM and its end customer — a major commercial airline manufac-

The NEO Tech engineering so-

lution team has extensive experience integrating wireless technology into diverse end applications. The collab- oration combined NEO Tech’s wire- less and IoT technology expertise with the OEM’s mission-critical avia- tion product experience to enable completion of the engineering of the proposed product. The initial design inputs and

project plan were created jointly by the OEM and NEO Tech. This was accomplished through a series of col- laborative sessions with the cus- tomer starting with a “whiteboard brainstorming session” where the

team outlined the framework of the project. The team created the system architecture, phase gate planning to meet the allowable timeframe and output documentation for both teams to move forward. The joint engineer- ing teams mapped out the require- ments, scheduled the activities and milestones, and assigned actions among the team members. The collaboration at the initial

stages reduced what likely would have been a longer serial iterative process to define the requirements, and set them up for success against the project’s deadline.

Collaborative Product Development

The electrical design had sever-

al built-in elements that required the two teams to work together on the system architecture to ensure that the interfaces functioned as intend- ed. While NEO Tech focused on the electrical design of the high-level data processing, networking and wireless RF interfaces of the new product, the OEM maintained re- sponsibility for the overall architec- ture, the design of the power module, the mechanical design, the final box integration, and test. During the design process,


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there were several design reviews in which NEO Tech provided design feedback, and recommendations were discussed and approved by the customer. NEO Tech engineers rec- ommended the preliminary BOM and performed materials selection using the company’s supply chain ex- pertise to increase flexibility, opti- mize cost and reduce future compo- nent product life cycle risks. NEO Tech completed the board

layout and design, which was a rela- tively complex PCB with 18 layers and a high-density interconnect (HDI) layout. The board included fine pitch, RF and BGA components, RF shields and aviation isolation protection. A leading-edge Freescale processor controlled the board with high-speed interfaces including PCIe, SATA, USB, RGMii, Wi-Fi, and cellular RF band connections. The company used its available suite of advanced design tools including Ansys software, such as HFSS for RF and Designer SI for digital intercon- nect design. NEO Tech completed 3D me-

chanical solid modeling of the board to ensure precision alignment of the PCBA in the box assembly as the available space was restricted. This enabled a successful fit at the box level on the first prototype iteration, reducing likelihood of re-spins. The

company also utilized manufacturing and supply chain know-how by ap- plying its DFM and DFX design rules to the new board. These are fol- lowed on every design project that NEO Tech completes. The engineering team followed

FAA and other federal regulations during the design process. These regu- lations include DO-254, Design Assur-

The collaboration combined NEO Tech’s wireless and IoT

technology expertise with the OEM’s mission-critical aviation product experience...

ance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware, the DAL-X standards, and compliance with environmental re- quirements outlined in DO-160 Envi- ronmental Conditions and Test Proce- dures for Airborne Equipment. The company was responsible

for prototypes. They procured materi- als, PCBs and performed quick-turn prototype manufacturing on a dedi- cated line to prepare samples that could be used for functional evalua- tion. Working with the OEM, the en- gineering team created and imple- mented circuit functional validation tests to enable the end customer’s fur- ther higher-level system validation and software development.

Meeting Aggressive Deadlines The OEM customer had a two-

month deadline to present a working prototype to its customer. By keeping the lines of communication open and working together consistently, the joint development team was able to meet the deadline, delivering func- tional samples that allowed the OEM to demonstrate the functional sys- tem at a customer meeting. The com- panies delivered functional proto- types barely eight weeks after the project kickoff. The collaborative design pro -

cess between NEO Tech and the OEM resulted in achieving a func- tional design in a much shorter time- frame than many thought possible. The successful outcome demon- strates an improved method to deliv- er updated design technology and shorter product development lifecy- cles for an industry used to extended

NPI timeframes. Contact: NEO Tech, 9340

Owensmouth Avenue, Chatsworth, CA % 818-494-8617 E-mail: Web: r

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