When a customer asks for a new product, we engage in discussions about the requirements and specifications for the product. Once that is agreed, our System architects produces a concept description, which includes a product design, technical features, product images. The concept description is accompanied with a quote that includes lead time, NRE (non-recurring engineering) cost and unit price for the requested volumes.
After the concept has been ordered, a development specification is created. The specification ensures that MilDef Crete and the Customer have a common understanding of the product; deliverables, features, specifications, and how verification of requirements are to be made.
The agreed specification is also the main input to our engineers when they work on the detailed design.
The development specification is the formal backbone of the project and will be referred to and reviewed frequently throughut the R&D process during the project.
After the development specification is approved by the customer, the detailed design work begins. It includes mechanics, electronics and software. All drawings, layouts, and specifications needed to produce a prototype are prepared in-house with the support of the latest available systems, such as 3D CAD and PCB layout.
MilDef Crete always attempts to verify design decisions early, in order to identify potential problems and challenges.
We refer to this practice as “upstream design”, ensuring that our first prototype is a solid product.
After the design has been approved in a rigorous review process, MilDef Crete orders the sub-contracted items from our suppliers. We work with both local and international suppliers. Key suppliers include CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining suppliers, who provide our chassis from single pieces of aluminum, SMA (Surface Mounted Assembly) capable suppliers, conducting the assembly of our PCBs and different vendors supplying us with ranges of inter-connectivity solutions that can be specially developed to the requirements.
When the suppliers delivers parts according to our specification, we process these parts in our R&D lab and start building the first prototypes. The prototypes are always built in cooperation between our engineers and production personnel. This practice ensures that optimisations for volume production are considered early, and verifies that the design follows our DFM (Design for Manufacturing) process.
When the prototype has been assembled, verification starts with functional, environmental and EMC tests and inspections. MilDef Crete has its own test standard called the MilDef Crete Verification Handbook, which details the tests that we will carry out on all our prototypes. We also do extended verification based on customer requirements.
We continuously invest in test equipment to reach high levels of in-house testing; this is faster and more cost-effective for the customer, and builds our internal expertise. For any tests that cannot be done in-house, we have good relationships with several test houses.
All tests and inspections that are conducted when verifying our prototypes are referenced from the requirements in the development specifications.
After verification, a report will be issued proving that we have fulfilled the development specification and our customer expectations.
After the prototype has been completely verified, MilDef Crete either delivers the products to the customer or continues to develop the product for volume production. This is carried out by producing serial samples that are built in our volume production line to ensure that we can build the product in higher volumes and achieve consistently good results. When the product has been verified for higher volumes (pre-series approval), the project is considered finished and closed. When the project is closed, MilDef Crete is ready for full production of the product.
We are experienced in running this whole process on very tight deadlines.