PROCESSESHow S-CAT machines are designed and built
First, we sketch an idea on paper. Possible features, functions, controls and connections are explored. Who would use it? What size and shape should it be? What key components will it be based around?
Once an idea is established on paper, we pass the drawing to Dave Cherry. He very skilfully builds a working prototype based on the brief. This is tweaked and adjusted until we are all happy with the general performance.
Once the prototype is working well enough to show the concept is viable, we begin costing. This involves sourcing components, getting manufacturing quotes, and putting all the information into a spreadsheet.
We use the information from the prototype and costing to design a panel layout with draft artwork. Hole positions and sizes are mapped for both PCB and enclosure manufacturing.
Dave Cherry creates a layout and generates Gerber files for the PCB manufacture. We order test boards which we populate on arrival, and usually need to make two or three versions before the design is finalised.
ENCLOSURE DESIGN & PRODUCTION
The enclosure design is updated with any last-minute changes or additions, then the files are sent to our local metalworking company for the steel cases to be laser cut and folded. Depending on the product, we might have test enclosures made to check the components fit.
POWDER COAT & SCREEN PRINTING
The bare metal enclosures go to another firm for finishing. They powder-coat and bake to get a tough, hard-wearing surface. Then a mesh screen of the artwork is made, and placed over the case for a pass of durable white ink.
ASSEMBLY, BETA-TESTING & REVISIONS
We bring all the elements together and test a batch on the bench for consistency. If we feel some features need improvement, we adjust components until we are 100% happy with the results.
USER GUIDE & PACKAGING
The user guide is written along side the design process, and finalised when the product is signed off as ready. Packaging is kept to a minimum and we try and avoid plastics as much as possible.
BUILD TO ORDER
The new product is now ready to go on sale! Photos and video footage go up, and it can be added to our Instruments shop to be built to order.