IoT hardware is a crucial carrier for IoT applications. According to IoT Analytics’ Global IoT Market Size to Grow 19% in 2023—IoT Shows Resilience Despite Economic Downturn. Under the influence of the global economic downturn and the interruption of normal production by the epidemic in 2022, global enterprises in various industries still spent 201 billion dollars on the Internet of Things, a year-on-year increase of 21.5%. Hardware continues to accounts for the largest share of expenditure, at 44%, or surpassed $88 billion, much exceeding IoT services. (IoT Analytics divides IoT spending into four categories: IoT software, IoT services, IoT hardware, and IoT security).
IoT hardware spending is much higher than IoT service support, indicating that the majority of IoT projects are still in the early stages of preliminary deployment. The massive spending on IoT services have not yet appeared because large-scale business innovation has not yet been achieved, after the completion of deployment.
Coincidentally, according to the Bain IoT Customer Survey 2022, four-fifths of enterprises developing proofs of concept struggle with complicated integration, which causes 80% of customers to scale less than 60% of their pilot projects. IT/OT Integration be comes a bigger obstacle than pilot failure.
“Scaling these pilots and getting the industrial IoT to the next level of automation and intelligence requires addressing problems that hardware vendors and manufacturers are well positioned to solve.” as said by its article. Manufacturers of original IoT hardware like Dusun IoT are skilled at addressing and removing these these barriers to IoT adoption. IoT hardware manufacturers produce smart gadgets, but they also possess a wide range of other crucial qualities, such as experience with deployment on the shop floor and industry expertise. They also engage professional field application engineers (FAE) to assist with overcoming implementation difficulties.
Know more about Dusun IoT Research & Development Capabilities
Three Main Advantages of Original IoT Hardware Suppliers
Advantage 1: solid industry expertise, talented team and touchdown experience
Leading hardware firms are expanding their capabilities as a result of their recognition of the significance of systems integration: giving full play to their strengths and developing the necessary skills to address IoT solution integration and deployment issues.
Advantage 2: resourceful access to other IoT vendors and quick-to-market capabilities
Companies, who do not have the sensors, hardware, implementation, and integration support that IoT demands beyond software, must work with businesses that do have such skills internally. Original IoT hardware suppliers have established go-to-market product kits, services, and support capabilities for certain sectors. Along with that, they maintain close relationships with IoT customers and may give access to these IoT solution vendors, such as software, cloud applications, and IoT platform providers.
Explore Dusun IoT’s industry-specific IoT solutions:
Advantages 3: create complementary benefits with cloud service and software providers
As IoT solutions become more and more complex, requiring a combination of hardware, software and services to achieve desired results, collaboration will be more important. IoT hardware suppliers must think about how to collaborate with leading software vendors, how to modify their market entrance strategy, and how to include software into their product lines. In a similar vein, software companies must consider which hardware providers can fill in their gaps the best.
Typical IoT Hardware Components
IoT devices include two parts, hardware and software. The hardware component primarily carries the operation of system programs, gathers data, and execute instructions.
Module for uplink and downlink communication:
In the whole IoT system, uplink communication typically goes to the external networks, and downlink communication is generally for local end devices connection. Taking the IoT gateway device as an example, uplink communication with cloud servers are often accomplished via 4G, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. While downlink communication will employ Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc. to connect various sensors, etc.
The reason for this setting is that many downlink smart devices have insufficient processing and storage capabilities (sensors, for instance, merely gather data) and are constrained by usage situations. It is necessary to employ low bandwidth, low power Zigbee and BLE to extend their lifespan. The shortcoming is they lack the ability to access the Internet. After gathering and processing the data, The gateway will take advantage of high-bandwidth Wi-Fi/LTE 4G/Ethernet to upload the information to the cloud for further visualization.
Like the human brain, the processor controls how the entire system operates. It has many interfaces on the exterior and can run a variety of programs. By calling multiple interfaces, the application running inside the CPU may operate numerous components.
The communication between the internal components have two forms: analog signal communication and digital signal communication. Analog signals are the most original kind of signals that sensors and actuators transmit and receive. Analog signals are then converted into digital signals and communicate and interact with the IoT gateways. Digital signal transfer uses a variety of interface protocols, including TTL, RS-232, RS-485, SATA, IIC, SPI, UART, and others. They are collectively called as serial ports, which are crucial components in hardware selection and design.
Flash is used to store data in hardware devices, although its storage capacity is quite limited, ranging from a few KB to tens of MB, and it is mostly used to cache data or store program instructions.
Power managamen systems
The power system refers to the system of transformation and rectification when the external power is input into the hardware. In other words, this system converts the external power into different voltages and currents for its use according to the needs of different components.
Numerous electronic gadgets work in unattended settings, thus they must be able to run continuously for 24 hours without human intervention. However, the program cannot guarantee that it will always be in a normal working state without any errors, such as crashes, etc., so a solution is needed to ensure that even if the device crashes, it can automatically restart and resume work. This scheme is called “watchdog”.
A product might have hundreds or even thousands of parts. As a result, it is advised to concentrate on the essential components rather than paying attention to the selection of all components. What criteria are used to evaluate core components? One category is product goals or performance-related components, while the other is cost-related components.
How Many Steps Needed for An IoT Hardware Go to the Market?
The First Step: Market Survey
In the very first step, you need to collect market demand, make analysis (user demand, market size, competitive products, viable technology, and cost analysis), and carry out business case (including human resources demand, financial analysis, commercial demand, risks and measures).
In detail, you need to answer these questions:
- 1. What are the target customers’ particular wants and pain points? What goods and services are they most in need of?
- 2. Who are the rivals of ours? What are the benefits and drawbacks of their products, as well as their pricing policies? What is the state of competition in the current market? What distinguishes us from the competition?
- 3. How many potential customers exist? What is the entire demand on the market? What is the project’s likelihood of becoming profitable? Is the investment in resources reasonable?
- 4. What distribution method must the product use to reach consumers? What are the current channel resources and agents? How may a product operating system be established?
- 5. Is the product’s technological solution workable? What are the main technological challenges? What is the product’s cost structure? Has cost accounting been explained? Is the project technically and financially feasible?
- 6. What laws, rules, and market access are pertinent? What are the current trends in the policy and legal landscape? What consequences and dangers will this have for the project? What action should we take?
The Second Step: Launch a Project
This stage involves mainly three process: evaluate, design, and plan. To make it thorough, you just to answer below questions carefully:
- 1. What are the goals and positioning of the project? Does it align with the company’s development and strategic plan?
- 2. Is the market analysis thorough? Is the analysis of market capacity, competitiveness, and consumer demand accurate?
- 3. Is the proposed technology workable? Is the essential technology readily available or accessible?
- 4. Is the overall capability of the team sufficient? Are the key positions fully staffed?
- 5. Are the construction period planning and expense input reasonable? Are the standards met by the return on investment?
- 6. How user-friendly is the project schedule, quality, cost control, and risk management mechanism?
- 1. Are the product’s positioning clear? Does it satisfy the demands of the intended market?
- 2. Does the technological architecture plan stand up to scrutiny? Are the subsystem schemes feasible?
- 3. Is the product molding design suitable for production and promotion?
- 4. Are the sources of material supply and components stable and reliable?
- 5. Are the technical designs for the equipment and production processes cutting-edge and practical?
- 1. Is the timetable and particular job assignments reasonable? Can the project’s progress be managed?
- 2. Does the project’s resource allocation suit its needs? Are the staffing and material procurement in place?
- 3. Is the quality assurance system finished? Is the implementation of the operation mechanism simple?
- 4. Is the organizational structure of the project clear? Are the project’s stakeholders and roles understood?
- 5. Is the project’s cost and revenue accounting correct? Is the cash flow enough?
- 6. Is the risk management strategy thorough? Are the measures clear-cut and practical?
The Third Step: Hardware Product Development
After making it clear the above-mentioned question, I am quite sure you have already understand your product value and feasibility. Now let’s get started to product development. Answer the following questions will cover all aspects of development (product ID, structure, hardware, user interface, software).
- 1. Are the specifications’ requirements and product definitions clear and detailed? Are development objectives specific and quantifiable?
- 2. Is the technological solution that was chosen appropriate? Is the answer sophisticated and practical? Is the answer to the main technical issues clear?
- 3. Is the hardware circuit design dependable? Is it in accordance with the technical fix? Does the dependability satisfy the criteria?
- 4. Is the design plan for the software and chip codes realistic and complete? Is the hardware circuit highly compatible with it? Has the hardware and software interface been adequately designed?
- 5. Is the choice of components and materials appropriate? Is the pricing reasonable and the supplier reliable?
- 6. Is the mold design cutting-edge and trustworthy? Does it satisfy the production needs? Can you manage the cost of production?
- 7. Is the design strategy for the production process mature and simple? Is the hardware in place for debugging? Is the rate of product yield acceptable?
- 8. Does the product’s performance match the criteria of the design? All technical indications have they been met? Is the product dependable and steady?
- 9. How user-friendly and pleasant are the product’s aesthetics and human-computer interaction design? Does it adhere to the demands for the user experience?
- 10. Is the product testing strategy thorough and organized? All performance metrics have they been examined and tested? Exist hidden risks in the quality or design?
- 11. Can the progress of research and development be controlled? Is the spending in line with the budget? Are all of the project participants prepared?
The Fourth Step: Engineering Verification & Test
When your projects come to this stage, it is worth a congratulation. You’ve gotten a physical product in hand. What you need to do is do early-stage verification. We divided it into two parts: hardware/structure and software.
For hardware/structure verification
Including structure prototype, PCB proofing, modification, BOM bill of material
- 1. Does the product’s size and look fit the design specifications?
- 2. Is the product weight within the acceptable range for design? Does it impact how well an application performs?
- 3. Do the primary elements and materials adhere to the requirements? Do the performance indicators meet requirements?
- 4. Is the connectiors, interfaces, and primary components assembly accuracy of the product within the tolerance range? Does it impact how the product works?
- 5. Does the product’s mechanical stability and strength match the needs of use? Is there a possibility of harm?
- 6. Does the power system’s performance and conversion efficiency fulfill the requirements? Does the battery life satisfy the specifications?
- 7. Is the product’s EMI accurate? Does the RF performance satisfy the specifications? What about other machinery?
- 8. How well does the heat management design work? Is the product’s heat generation within the acceptable range? Will it impact the consistency of performance?
- 9. Are the primary electronic components correctly chosen and used? Is the performance reliable? Will it cause product failure?
- 1. Is the software function module’s development completion consistent with the design document? Does it adhere to the requirements of the product definition?
- 2. Does the software’s performance satisfy the goals set out in the design? Are the response time and processing speed acceptable?
- 3. How friendly is the user interface and human-computer interaction? Is it simple to use and comprehend?
- 4. How accurate are the algorithm and data processing flow? Is the design of the test cases thorough?
- 5. How secure and reliable is the network connection module? Is there any risk of data packet loss or vulnerability?
- 6. How reliable is the program? Does it perform effectively in a variety of use cases? Is there a possibility of crashing?
- 7. How software-compatible is it? Does it function normally with various hardware and operating systems?
- 8. How easily might the program be localized? Is the performance constant across linguistic and cultural boundaries?
- 9. Is the service mechanism and upgrading plan finished? Is the transition to the new version easy?
The Fifth Step: Design Verification & Test before the Mass Production
After continuous debugging, modifying, verifying, testing, now it’s time to verify the entire product: the combined verification of structure, hardware and software. This stage is divided into five phase:
The entire prototype product verification
- 1. Are the prototype’s buttons, interfaces, and product look compatible with the design intended for mass production?
- 2. Does the prototype’s mechanical stability and strength meet standards for mass production?
- 3. Do the primary electrical component models and performances match the mass production design?
- 4. Has the prototype’s functional module development been completed and is it in accordance with the design specifications? Does it fit the description of the product?
- 5. Does the prototype’s hardware and software performance satisfy the standards for mass production? Are the response time and processing speed acceptable?
- 6. How reliable is the prototype’s network communication? Is the data transfer seamless?
- 7. Has the prototype’s interface and human-computer interaction been optimized? Is it simple to use and comprehend?
- 8. Does the prototype’s software function consistently in various settings? Is there any obvious crash or crash?
- 9. How has the prototype performed for you? Does it satisfy the needs of the client? What requires improvement?
- 1. Is the packaging box’s structural layout appropriate for the product’s shape? Is the product completely secured?
- 2. Is the material choice for the packing appropriate? Are the standards for moisture resistance, shock resistance, and anti-static met?
- 3. Does the packing box’s volume and weight fit within the budgetary constraints? Is it practical for storage and transfer of logistics?
- 4. How was the process of unpacking? Is the packaging’s overall layout lovely and generous? Does it fit the brand’s aesthetic?
- 5. Is the information about the product on the packaging correct and unambiguous? Does it adhere to legal and certification requirements?
- 6. Is the packing box’s inside structure well-designed? Are the parts, extras, and instructions properly positioned?
Software goes live
- 1. Is the current software version compliant with the approved design? Has every functional module under development been finished?
- 2. How well does the program function in various settings? Is the performance of the hardware interaction smooth?
- 3. How stable is the program when a big number of users access it? Is the response time noticeably slower?
- 4. Are the algorithms and data processing techniques accurate and trustworthy when used in practice?
- 5. In the actual setting, does the network communication performance fulfill the requirements? Is the data transfer secure and streamlined?
- 6. Is the interface layout practical and convenient? Are the operation’s steps simple to understand and apply?
- 7. Is the technical support and software upgrade service method efficient and practical?
- 8. How are user comments accepted and handled? Which areas need improvement?
Opening structural molds and preparing for electronics materials
- 1. Does the structural mold accurately fit the shape of complex products? Will it impact the performance and accuracy of the product?
- 2. Are the cables and electrical components’ descriptions of their kinds, numbers, and qualities accurate? Will it impact how reliable a product is?
- 3. Is the primary component assembly process established and reliable? Will it have an impact on the product’s yield?
- 4. Have you made a backup of the digital program media? Is the hardware and software used properly and in harmony?
- 5. Is the PCB board’s quality consistent? Is the hardware and software interface simple and dependable?
- 6. Does the part supply line up with the planned time for procurement? Does it have an impact on the manufacturing schedule?
- 7. What was the outcome of the production line trial operation and mold debugging? Is it ready to create in bulk? Is there still room for development?
- 1. Does the product’s dependability, performance, and functionality match the design specifications? Do all technical indicators satisfi y the requirements?
- 2. Does the product maintain its stability over a range of operating conditions? Is there any risk of overheating and overloading?
- 3. Does the product’s EMI proximity index consistently match the requirements? Does it have an impact on how other equipment operates?
- 4. Is the product’s human-machine interface simple to use? How is the experience? Are there any suggestions for improvement?
- 5. Is the product’s software and hardware a precise and dependable match? Is everything working as it should? Exist any unstable variables?
- 6. How do the goods and package match up? Does the product fit together properly?
- 7. How accurate and complete are the random materials? Are the guidelines and materials straightforward to read and understand?
The Sixth Step: Production Verification & Test
Well, when your IoT hardware projects get to this step, your products are ready for small-amount production. It’s quite close to the success!
- 1. Has every functional module of the product been developed in compliance with the design specifications entirely? Is everything going as planned?
- 2. Is the product stable, has enough storage space, and processes quickly enough? Are the performance metrics up to par with the demands?
- 3. How is the network communication quality? Is the accuracy and smoothness of the data transmission? Is there a risk to your security?
- 4. Is the program interface user-friendly and optimized? Are the operation’s steps simple to understand and apply?
- 5. Is the algorithm used to process the data accurate and trustworthy? Is it constant across a range of use scenarios?
- 6. How effective is the user experience with the product? Has it achieved the objectives set out in the internal test? Is there still room for development?
- 7. How quick are the responses and how good are the technical support services? Is the software upgrading process acceptable and clear?
Small batch trial production
- 1. Is it challenging to execute the manufacturing tools and procedures? Are there any error-prone or bottleneck links?
- 2. Is the product assembly yield and efficiency meeting the manufacturing goals? Are there any systematic quality problems?
- 3. How skilled are the workers on the production line? Is there an issue with incorrect product assembly?
- 4. Is the material supply steady and adequate? Will it slow down the pace of the assembly line? Is there any procurement risk?
- 5. Can manufacturing expenses be controlled by the budget? Are there any risk factors for overruns?
- 6. Are factory inspection and product testing protocols carefully followed? Are all product performance metrics included in the assessment’s purview?
- 7. Is the procedure for evaluating packing and packaging accurate and standardized? Can the product packaging fulfill the requirements?
The Seventh Step: Mass Production
Your IoT hardware projects are almost successful! Finish this step, your product can go to the market! The mass product stage is not that easy. There are also some aspects you need to pay attention: refining production process, process and standards, controlling production process quality, controlling finished product quality, creating maintenance instructions for products, preparing included replacement components, etc.
Still, answer these questions to guarantee your mass production is going well:
- 1. Does the production ratio meet the product sales schedule? Is the purchase of the materials timely?
- 2. Is the capacity utilization and rate of manufacturing equipment operating sufficient? Is there a chance of overuse?
- 3. Is the product’s yield rate consistently steady within the parameters of the assessment? Are there any systemic problems that affect product quality?
- 4. Does the manufacturing cost remain within the parameters of the budget? How about the study of the overrun items and the causes? Is there space for improvement?
- 5. Is the method for managing product quality and testing standardized and effective? Does the inspection pass rate meet requirements?
- 6. Is the product packaging consistently of a high standard? How about user opinions? Is there any need for improvement?
- 7. Are the work environment, labor intensity, and employee skills appropriate? Do any factors exist that have an impact on output or product quality?
- 8. Is the procurement and material supply chain stable? Will it have an impact on manufacturing capacity or speed? Does the strategic stocking meet your needs?
- 9. What about information on after-sales service feedback? Is it necessary to enhance product design? How is the software upgrading strategy put into practice?
The Final Step: Go to the market!
This step is usually implemented by our customers.
IoT hardware makers really play great role in the execution of IoT projects. IoT hardware is very specialized and distinctive. They are made to function in specialized contexts. It is advised that you work with experienced hardware designers, such as Dusun IoT, to produce IoT hardware that is in line with your essential functionality in order to get the most out of your IoT product and to avoid the hassles associated with designing IoT hardware and firmware.
IoT project implementation depends heavily on the manufacturers of IoT devices. Adopting commodity, standards-based IoT hardware early on in the development process will help you save time and money. After all, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” method for creating IoT hardware for applications. Dusun IoT is a manufacturer of IoT hardware with extensive experience in everything from idea conception, prototype design, production design, firmware development, and quality control. For specialized IoT hardware solutions, get in touch with us!