Control board for a conference system

All stages of the project
Stage #1


This is the previous version of the case.
The previous version of the case
The previous version of the case
The case with buttons and LED-lights, "a goose neck" (a slang word for a flexible holder of the microphone) – and that's it. We want the case to be steady, so we make a heavy metal basis, and in order to prevent the microphone from sliding over smooth surfaces, we add rubber legs to the case.
Stage #2

Case design development

The design should be modern, sophisticated, but quite laconic at the same time.

First sketches:
Дизайн пульта
No, something is wrong here. A purely "space" design is not appropriate.

A second try with sketches:
This form serves as an example:
These are good sketches. The next step is 3D-modeling and visualization.
Stage #3

Case design development

Разработка конструкции корпуса пульта
The case has special holes for loudspeakers — we need to make separate sketches for them:
Отверстия для динамика на корпусе — их нужно прорисовывать отдельно.
We need to thicken the area near the microphone input: the Client thinks that if the connector has no specific design, it looks as if it can be easily damaged and will break down soon. And the thickening will make the input look more reliable and sound.
Here it is — the "risky" input
Here it is — the "risky" input
We made the thickening:
The Client wants to see different forms and patterns for the loudspeaker hole. Here are the examples:
The choice is made, we are making a model.
Stage #4


Now it is time for CAD-modeling. The microphone buttons should make no or little noise when pushed: the microphone will make any extra sound louder. Moreover, the Client planned to make two versions of the case: with a single and two switch buttons (getting ahead of the story, the final construction was universal and both cases could be produced with the same press-form).
Stage #5


Design documentation
Stage #6


We order a prototype. And here is the assembly:
The prototype was not bad in general, but there was a problem: the LED was falling out. But it was a problem of this particular prototype and it should not be reproduced in mass production.
The second version of the prototype:
The Customer himself found the case manufacturer. RRD took the requirements of the manufacturer into consideration.

And here are some pictures of the board during the "Svyaz-2019" exhibition:
— This time our approach did not change: we make decisions based on future production variants (this time it was injection molding). But at the stage of project approval, during the production assessment at the molding site, things turned out to be more complicated.

The selected factories in Asia studied design documentation and the answer quite expectedly was: Yes, we'll make it, no problem. But the Russian contractors on part of the Client had a condition: they will start the production only after making significant modifications to the construction. And these modifications would automatically spoil the design. From our perspective, there was no real need for these modifications (which were only required by Russian manufacturers).

Who's right and what to do in this situation?

A cliché answer "the Client is always right" will not work. Why? First, according to the technical assignment we don't have to be oriented towards a particular factory and comply with their requirements.

Otherwise, we would have discussed all the details with them at the very beginning. Second, the construction, developed by RRD specialists could be easily manufactured at the factories of our contractors. We consulted three enterprises before presenting the work to the client. What should we do? We think, that the answer is obvious – not to give the order to manufacturers that say "it is not possible to make it this way". Even if you have been working together for many years and they are just by your side.

By the way, the change of a contractor can be economically beneficial. To say nothing of a chance to find a partner who has more opportunities. And don't be afraid of signing contracts with China: according to our data, 99% of Russian contractors for injection molding buy their press forms in China.

Evgeniy Arakas
Head of the Project