How make hardware documentation?

By yinhuna ·
Tags: Off Topic
The weather is fine, but as a newbie in techrepublic I feel some nervous for my posting, I'm scared of there will be some mistakes in my post.
I'm building some slides for my friends about how we should document the hardware we are developing.

I'd like to list the documents we should make when building some hardware. I was inspired at UML( software documentation, which brings lots of document types for almost every situation.

From my experience and research, lots of projects only have the schematics, the layout and the bill of materials. I think that we should also add information about the motive (requirements) that lead us in choosing one microcontroller and not the other. There are also some information regarding the layout that we just don't write, as special component position that should not be changed.

That being told:

How we should document our hardware?
Which are the important document you wanted to have if you need to make some improvements/alteration on someone else hardware you have never seen?
How organize these information in a clear way?
Thanks all guys.

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document writing

by RushPCB In reply to How make hardware documen ...

Even though the task of writing can be managed under the right instructions, proper documentation is often something that is neglected among developers and engineers. This is due to the fact that engineers are not natural technical writers. Writing documentation is tedious and requires a lot of attention to detail. Often these developers and engineers are the experts on the technical language and concepts, but being able to translate that knowledge into something that is coherent to someone who doesn’t understand the complexity of the technology can be difficult. The main issue with documentation is that it can go out of date very quickly. Having to constantly update software or hardware documentation can slow down engineers and developers in doing their actual jobs of creating new content. Even though there are negative connotations associated with engineers and their documentation ability, there are potential fixes to these issues. A potential solution can be training engineers how to communicate the simplicity found in complex ideas through technical writing training. In addition to this, having technical writers work with engineers to produce documents and update them can help ease the task of writing documents.

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Hardware Life Cycle

by TheChas In reply to How make hardware documen ...

Having worked for a number of electronics manufactures over the years, there are a number of things that should be part of your design documentation.

In addition to ALL drawings including the PCB Gerber files, you want to include the manufactures data sheet for all components.
You also need to document and have formal copies of any firmware and device drivers that are part of the project.

In answer to the last part of your question, what you are looking for is a hardware life cycle document. The HLCD would include sections for design requirements, design topology and philosophy, performance specifications, design, development and production testing, and agency approvals. You also want to reference supporting documents such as industry and approval agency standards. If you need to perform environmental or durability tests, they should also be described in the HLCD.

Further, if this might be the start of a company, you might give some thought as to how you want to plan your part numbering system. Every custom part and assembly should have a defined part number. You also need to consider the trade-offs of using industry numbers for generic parts versus your own part numbers.

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