At EOI, we've been building advanced instruments for a long time. One reason for our success is our large inventory of working designs, and another is the way we go about doing it. This post walks through a typical sort of development plan for a challenging customer requirement. Here are the usual steps, in the form of a hypothetical email proposal outline for a fibre-coupled noninvasive glucose sensor similar to the one we did in 2013.
(You can also read about a recent project that went a lot like this, except with a single prototype stage.)
In How We Work, we gave an overview of how we build instruments, from the initial feasibility calculation (or photon budget) to delivery of the first production units.
Here at EOI we have three main kinds of project. One is our internal technology development projects. Some of these fail, mostly because they tend to be insanely hard, but the ones that pay off give us important new capabilities.
There are widespread shortages of electronics parts at the moment, especially passives. Quoted factory lead times are 40 weeks or thereabouts, and since the industry is capacity-limited, it isn't clear that the situation is going to get better any time soon, so everybody's starting to panic. Given all this churn I've been spending an unconscionable amount of time lately finding suitable replacements for out-of-stock parts.
From the cutting room floor at Building Electro-Optical Systems, Third Edition: