Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

Electronics News Future Awards 2012

Each year in Australia Electronics News give out 7 awards for Electronics Design.  We are very excited to announce that we received 2 of these 7 awards at the Electronics News Future Awards 2012. We are still waiting on official pictures from the awards ceremony held at the Australian Technology Park during the Electronex Exhibition.

The categories we won were:

  • Environment
  • Communications and Networking

 

Electronics Design

Electronics News Future Awards 2012

Environment

For the Environment category the award was for the control, sensing and tracking electronics systems on a combined solar PV and hot water system. The core technology from the client was the concentrated solar PV system which converts sunlight to electricity at a much higher efficiency that normal solar panels. Because it tracks the sun during the day it also delivers more power over the course of the day than a fixed installation can. And because it is concentrated sunlight there is a lot of heat. This heat is used to generate hot water via a heat exchanger system. Its a double win for the environment.

The core Electronics Design and Embedded Software we developed covered the following requirements:

  • Electrical Power Generation monitoring
  • Wireless Telemetry to an In Home Display
  • Heat differential measurements across the heat exchanger to 0.1C
  • Sun position sensing to within 0.1 degrees
  • Gravitic inclination sensing to within 0.1 degrees
  • Solar almanac to allow best effort tracking on overcast days
  • Solar tracking via a Brushless DC motor controller (BLDC)
  • Pump control for the heat exchanger
  • Logging of power and heat energy generation 
Environment Concentrated Tracking PV Solar + Hot Water

Concentrated Tracking PV + Hot Water

Communications and Networking

This was for converting wired timing gates for athletics to a wireless format using low power RF communications to allow the gates to communicate back to a central hub. This project had a lot of technical challenges. The core Electronics Design challenges were:

  • Use of IR through beam detection in full sunlight and without cross talk
  • Timing accuracy to 10msecs
  • Up to 4 sets of gates in operation in range of each other at the same time
  • Long battery life, or low power
  • Maintaining future expansion possibilities

 This follows on from our wins in 2009 for the Analogue Design and Design Software and in 2011 for Industrial Electronics.

The awards ceremony was followed by a round table discussion on Australian Manufacturing which I will cover separately.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2012 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Curiosity Landing

We were an excited bunch of Engineers as we watched the live feed from NASA of the landing of Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Given the telemetry delay of 15 minutes, the real landing had already happened. Here we were looking back in time as we were watching history being made. The tension and excitement were evident in the room and we felt it too.

Curiosity Landing

Curiosity Landing taken from the Mars Orbiter

As a team of Engineers who focus on the delivery of a brand new Electronics Design with the supporting Embedded Software, we know a little of what it is like to fire things up for the first time but celebrate that it didn’t go up in smoke. Not that this happens literally very often, but it is a good feeling to get confirmation that the careful design work has been successfully implemented. We develop up to 100 new Electronics Products each year so we have had some practice at this.

In space this is harder still for 3 reasons:

  • You can’t easily rework it if it goes wrong. It is too hard to get to it. It has to be right.
  • Radiation is much worse and the environment is more demanding. You can’t just use any technology for Aerospace Electronics Development.
  • A lot more investment is at stake.

The celebration when the first telemetry feeds came through as ‘Nominal’ was overwhelming. So this is what it looks like to deliver on $2B of R&D Investment!

Curiosity On Mars after successfully landing

Curiosity On Mars – front leg in view

And thoroughly deserved too. Though the use of ‘Nominal’ for such a great outcome is a little understated. But then this is Engineering and science. We know a little of what that is like though we don’t get to spend that level of investment in creating the future. Certainly the win last year for the Industrial Electronics Future Awards 2011 was a moment we savour.

You can watch the whole landing here:

 

 And some links you will enjoy if you are an enthusiast as I am

Curiosity parachuting to Mars

Curiosities first images

Mars Mt Sharp images

NASA Multimedia gallery

And some other space related posts are at Space.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2012  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Casey Business and Professional Services

This is the category we won in 2010 when we also took out Casey Business of the Year. This is for our Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development services where we create the electronics product designs needed by Australian Electronics Manufacturers to be able to compete both locally and internationally.

Casey Business Awards Finalists 2012

Casey Business Awards Finalists 2012

Casey Manufacturer of the Year

We are finalists again in the category of Manufacturer of the Year.  This is for our Electronics Manufacturing service which we provide to clients following on from our Electronics Design service. We have to understand manufacturing in order to do Design for Manufacture and Assembly, also known as DFMA, so we can take on this role for those clients who want it.

Smarter Electronics Products using smarter Low Cost Electronics Manufacture processes, can compete internationally if the formula is right. This requires the combination of:

  • Product Positioning and Marketing
  • Sales Channel
  • Product Design
  • Cost Effective Electronics Manufacture

We are pleased to be serving Australian Electronics Manufacturing Industry who are trying to do just that.

Congratulations to the other Casey Business Awards 2012 finalists.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2012  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Aircraft Assembly

Ever wondered what it looks like to make an entire airplane or how much goes into Aerospace Manufacturing?
How about a major passenger liner?

Then you are really going to enjoy this video showing a time lapse of Boeing putting Florida One together…

My thanks again go to  Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist for bringing this amazing example of world class Aerospace Manufacturing to my attention. Marc has been our business mentor for the past 3 years and it has made an extraordinary difference to how we run our business.

Although we are an Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development company we also work closely with Mechanical Engineers and Industrial Designers so I appreciate what goes into both the Product Development process as well as the manufacture of something as amazing as a aircraft like this. At one level it is just science and physics, but at another, it is pure magic.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2012  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

OK, I couldn’t resist the title. But you will see why below.

This post was inspired by Romanian teenager Raul Oaida who engaged the help of Melbourne entrepreneur Steve Sammatino to put together a space project. Their motivation was to remind us all that we can now do many things because we want to, if we are determined enough.

What they did is to build a Lego model of the Space Shuttle and attach it to a helium-filled balloon then include a GPS and video camera. It was successfully launched into space where it attained a height of 35,000 metres. And they videoed the whole thing.  I have spent my life in Electronics Design and so examples like this of what you can do with modern electronics is something I get a particular kick out of. Enjoy.

The launch took place in central Germany because they could get the flight clearance there. It makes you wonder just what we could achieve if we get a vision for an objective like Raul did and then just “Make It Happen“! That’s going to be my thought for the rest of today.

You can read the full story in 2001: A Brick Odyssey. And they recovered the equipment afterward!

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2012  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Manufacturer of the Year: Finalist

In 2010 we were also finalists for Casey Manufacturer of the Year and we achieved that again in 2011 at the Casey Business Awards.

Electronics Manufacturer

Casey Manufacturer Of The Year Finalist 2011

Our congratulations go to Rex Vandenberg and the team at Injectronics for their win as Casey Manufacturer of the Year 2011. Very much deserved and a classic example of an Innovative Australian Electronics Manufacturer.

For those who know us well, we are not primarily an Electronics Manufacturer but provide the Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development for new or improved products for Australian Electronics Manufacturers. Another way of saying this is that we are R&D, Research and Development, for hire. And we sometimes also handle production logistics where that suits our clients since we have all the contacts and know all the processes. So I was very pleased to be recognised for how good our Electronics Manufacturing capability really is. Manufacturing is the largest economic sector in Casey and we were recognised as being in the top 3 manufacturers at the Casey Business Awards in 2011. This is also a good reason why the clients we serve end up with outstanding Electronics Designs that are well suited to Low Cost Electronics Manufacture; we understand Electronics Manufacturing.

Now if only they had a category for Electronics Design

Casey Business of the Year 2011

MadCap Cafe

MadCap Cafe

Congratulations to MadCap Cafe for their win as Casey Business of the Year for 2011. As winners of Casey Business of the Year 2010 we know what a boost this can be to a business and I particularly liked their focus on making coffee to provide employment and opportunities to those suffering from mental illness.

Electronics Design

From the team at Successful Endeavours, recently recognised nationally for our Electronics Design capability with a win for Electronics News Future Award: Industrial Electronics, we would like to thank our suppliers, clients and supporters for being part of the journey of supporting Australian Electronics Manufacturers in 2011. And the year isn’t over yet!

Arend Carter, Junette Keefe and Ray Keefe

Electronics Design Team at Successful Endeavours

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2011  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Casey Business Awards

Casey Business Awards

Casey Business Awards 2011

Successful Endeavours are the current holders of Casey Business of the Year and we have been selected as Finalists in the Casey Business Awards 2011. We continue to find the City of Casey to be a very business friendly environment and these awards are just one example of many things they do to encourage and support local businesses.
The finalists were announced by City of Casey Mayor Shar Balmes.
Shar Balmes City of Casey Mayor

Shar Balmes Mayor of Casey

The guest speaker was Futurist Paul Higgins, a consultant with Emergent Futures. He spoke about the changing role of the Internet and Social Media in how people make buying decisions and perceive value, and challenged us to think about how our businesses would address this challenge, both in defending against competitors and developing new business opportunities because of it. I was very impressed and have signed up for a trial of the scanning service offered by Emergent Futures where they bring together information on a particular area of interest and produce a consise and easily followed view of what this means. We are an ideas company and I can’t see how we won’t come up with at least 10 times the asking price of $49.94 a year in new ideas from this material.
Paul Higgins aka Futurist Paul

Paul Higgins aka Futurist Paul

Manufacturer Of The Year

We were also finalists in this category last year and some of you might be wondering how a business that focusses on Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development for Australian Electronics Manufacturers can also be a candidate for Manufacturer Of The Year?
The answer is straight forward. Having completed the design of a new electronics product, some of our clients get us to also manage the production logstics for them and either deliver programmed, tested and calibrated PCB sets to them; partially assembled product or fully assembled product. I though an example would help here.
We will call this one Client X. For Client X we do the following:
  • source all the components including electronics components, case, labels, batteries and machined and LASER cut items
  • get the PCBs loaded (we can handle small quantities in house but once you get over 30 PCB sets it becomes cheaper to use a dedicated SMT line)
  • program, test and calibrate the loaded PCBs
  • fit labels to the front chassis and then fit all the connectors, indicators and switches
  • fit the battery to the case
  • assembly the unit including the seals (this is an IP65 rated product)
  • apply serial numbers
  • final assembly and test then pack in shipping cartons with labels and matching serial numbers
  • ship to client who then sells them direct to their customers
In the case of Client X it wasn’t worth setting up an internal production line to handle a Niche Electronics product made in quantities of less than 500 per annum. Whereas we can handle this very cost effectively. We have a few strategies we use to radically reduce the cost of product test and calibration but I’ll save that for another post.
We will find out on 27 October 2011 at the Casey Business Awards Gala Dinner how we go in 2011. But for me, we are already winners.
Thanks again to both our suppliers and clients for providing us with great components and for giving us the amazing challenges and opportunites to create new electronics products. For one example of this, check out the 2011 Electronics News Future Award for Industrial Electronics we received for developing a Capacitor Bank Controller for ABB.
ABB CQ900R Smart Controller

ABB CQ900R Smart Controller

 
We are also pleased to have support from AMTIL and ManufactureLink who have supported us with their news post Another Success Looming for Successful Endeavours.
 
Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Industrial Electronics

We are back from the Electronics News Future Awards where we were presented with our trophy for the category of Industrial Electronics. Our thanks go to ABB High Voltage Division in Lilydale for allowing our Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development of the CQ900R Smart Controller to be nominated for the Electronics News Future Awards for 2011.

Industrial Electronics Future Award 2011

We are thrilled to have been recognised for our Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development in Industrial Electronics and it shows.
Electronics News Future Awards Industrial Electronics

Future Awards Industrial Electronics Trophy

The Electronics News Future Awards are the premier Electronics Design awards in Australia, a point that was made at the awards ceremony by one of the sponsors, Kontron. Kevin Gomez, Editor of Electronics News, speaking about the winners in each category said “These 6 projects represent some of the most outstanding work being done in Australia today”.
Future Awards Industrial Electronics Trophy

Future Awards Industrial Electronics Trophy

As well as handing out trophies, there were 3 keynote speakers and a roundtable discussion on the future of Australian Electronics Manufacturing. Electronics News are covering the outcome of the discussion in detail in their October magazine. We look forward to their coverage of this very important topic.
Electronics News have recently released profiles of each of the winning entries at Future Awards 2011: The Winners and Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; declared that the companies profiled by Electronics News showed that Australia can Win The Innovation Race.
We also appreciate the support from VECCI and ManufactureLink with their coverage of this success as well as the Star News Group.  The articles are at:

And here is what the ABB CQ900R Capacitor Bank Controller for Power Factor Correction looks like:

ABB CQ900R Smart Controller

How Green is my iPhone?

Have you ever wondered just how green an iPhone really is?

Well today’s blog post was sent to me by Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist. It’s an Infographic taken from DailyInfographic.com. At Successful Endeavours, we’re always interested in recycling and sustainable technologies and solutions. You will have seen some of that is past posts on how to be greener with the Electronics Design including Electronics Design for Green Manufacture? , Green Electronics Strategies – Reduce Power While Awake and Green Electronics Strategies – Sleep Saves Energy .

For this post we will use the infographic to specifically look at how GREEN the iPhone 4 is versus the iPhone 3G from the perspective of the production, use and disposal of the phone.  Some key figures I noted or calculated are:

  • Production Emissions are 57% of all emissions in the iPhone 4 product lifecycle
  • 58.9% of the weight of the iPhone 4 is in materials that are easily recycled
  • Packaging Reductions save 14% in transport fuel

The Packaging Reductions are an excellent example of simple things we can all do to save on emissions. And Apple offer a full recycling service that is aimed at being environmentally friendly which is also a great thing to put in place.

Electronics Manufacturing Energy

The area that stands out for me is the energy that is consumed in production of the iPhone 4. This is not an iPhone 4 specific problem but a general problem for Electronics Manufacture. If we want to talk about Green Electronics, then this has to include not just the product we use and the Electronics Waste and Recycling / WEEE, but we also have to get to the point where the Production Emissions, the energy to produce a product, is way less than the energy to use the product. This is a huge issue for Battery Operated Products, such as the emerging Electric Vehicle market, where the Production Emissions for just the battery can be close to half of all the Production Emissions.

Enjoy the infographic from the dailyinfographic Keeping it Green.

How Green is the iPhone 4

How Green is the iPhone 4

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Casey Business Awards

In 2010 the City Of Casey had their inaugural Casey Business Awards. They awarded us Casey Business of the Year and also gave us the award for Business and Professional Services which we shared with A Better Dental Care. As part of the awards ceremony they had 10 second videos prepared for each finalist and a 15 second video prepared for each category winner.  So we have 3 videos to show covering our awards as finalist for Casey Manufacturer Of The Year, as finalist and winners of the Casey Business and Professional Services Award and our award as Casey Business Of The Year for 2010.

Although we went to some length to describe what we do, which is Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development for Australian Electronics Manufacturers who still make their products in Australia, some of the voiceover comments didn’t quite come out right. It makes it all the more obvious how clear and consistent you have to be in explaining what you do.

So if you need an Electronics Product then we can do way more than is articulated in these videos but you do get a chance to see us in action.

This first video covers our finalist selection for Casey Manufacturer Of The Year 2010.

This second video includes both the finalist and winner videos for the Casey Business and Professional Services Award 2010.

This third video was prepared to cover our win as Casey Business Of The Year for 2010.

We have found the City Of Casey to be a very supportive environment for local businesses and are pleased to be working with them now as a member of the Casey Economic Development Partnership.

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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