Beyond Electronics Corporation is a professional electronics and software supplier in three key markets: Defense, Aerospace and Industrial Electronics. The company is an employee owned small business incorporated in North Carolina.
Beyond Electronics provides innovative upgrade solutions to legacy systems as well as rugged products for a variety of new deployments. The company’s products are optimized for a wide variety of applications in military, aerospace, communications and industrial markets and are in active use by customers worldwide.
Quality and Innovation are the keys to Beyond Electronics successful designs. The company is dedicated to providing the right level of technology to meet project needs. Innovative ideas are used to produce exceptional results while keeping the products cost-effective.
For a summary of corporate facts, please see the Corporate Fact Sheet.
The product portfolio includes an array of solutions including: ruggedized, embedded data acquisition and control computers, high performance compute platforms, isolated or heavily protected I/O and embedded, real-time software. All ruggedized products are designed for wide temperature operation, typically 40 to +85° C and for high shock and vibration tolerance.
We use up to date tools to enable efficient and accurate design. Current design tools include: Mentor DxDesigner, Solidworks, Cadence, Quartus, PADS and many others. Current designs use BGAs in excess of 1000 pins, PCB designs exceeding 16 layers, blind, buried and micro-VIAs, integrated thermal management and controlled impedance.
Beyond Electronics uses two different tool flows to meet customer requirements. For most designs, Mentor Graphics’ DxDesigner and PADs tool flow are utilized. These tools provide a feature rich environment that includes nearly all critical components to constrain designs and still allow efficient completion. When required, Cadence Allegro is also offered. These tools provide a higher end set of integrated functions, but generally increase design cost to complete. Electrical simulation; both digital and analog are conducted in house. For special cases, outside vendors are utilized for targeted analysis.
All electrical designs are managed through a project plan that complies with Beyond Electronics ISO-9000 design procedure. This procedure includes all customary specification and review points. Design reviews are implemented as “gates” requiring completion of project specific criteria to proceed ahead. Design review data is typically distributed with power point slides and all required design documents. The slide set covers all major points to be discussed during the review. After reviewing the data, customers are encouraged to add items to the review agenda. Action item lists and notes are generated for each review. Reviews are open to customers and customers are encouraged to attend. For customers who cannot travel, reviews can be conducted at the customer site.
For designs requiring FPGAs or CPLDs, Altera as well and Xilinx design services are available. Beyond Electronics also offers internally developed IP to reduce design time and provide special features or interfaces. Very high complexity and high speed designs have been developed by Beyond Electronics and are deployed by government and commercial customers. Some of these designs are utilized in mission critical programs.
Mechanical Design Engineering: Comply - Beyond Electronics possesses and uses multiple seats of Solidworks 3D CAD for all system and board level designs as well as documentation for all manufactured assemblies. For customers requiring Pro-Engineer compatible files, Solidworks can export in the proper format. Additionally for other CAD system types, STEP files or other standard file formats can be produced. To supplement in house CAD capabilities, FEA meshing software as well as thermal flow software is utilized to help insure the thermal performance of conduction cooled products. All mechanical designs are subject to design reviews in compliance with internal quality standards. Typically, these reviews are attended by customers or customers are provided the distilled results of the reviews. For projects requiring additional resources above those currently available, a qualified pool of consultants are utilized to fill the gap. In such cases all work is done in house and in compliance with Beyond Electronics Corporation’s design procedures.
Beyond Electronics, being a small company, does not have a separate drafting department, but all drafting functions such as: printed circuit board layout and routing as well as manufacturing drawing support are performed by CAD engineers. As with other work, this is done in compliance with internal quality standards.
Software design is conducted in accordance with Beyond Electronics design procedure. All software goes through a multi-step process that includes definition and gated design reviews that are usually commensurate with the hardware reviews. Designs are not initiated until requirements are generated and agreed to. For integrated hardware/software programs, this is typically completed by the preliminary design review. From the documented requirements, a design document and acceptance test criteria are developed. All software is subject to design review, again where feasible at the major program reviews. Source code repositories are established early in the project and all code is checked into source control, with comments, on a regular basis. All software can be delivered as periodic “drops” or for larger programs customers can be given direct access to the source repository for direct download as required. Acceptance test criteria is typically reviewed by the customer and agreed to before any final testing is performed. Final testing results are recorded and all data is captured in dated logs. Software is usually delivered to the customer with all source code, acceptance test software, acceptance test review data, release notes and supporting documentation.
Beyond Electronics draws from four pools of talent to address process engineering issues and improvements.
Internal engineers have both accumulated experience with manufacturing issues as well as have been trained in specific areas. Beyond Electronics Engineering is particularly proficient at solving issues related to assembly geometries, thermal profiles and process steps.
Beyond Electronics works with qualified vendors to place components. Those vendors have their own process engineers that are familiar with their brands of equipment with their own nuances and idiosyncrasies. This experience is invaluable in finding and resolving process related issues.
Beyond Electronics periodically uses contract process “sharp shooters” who specialize in various processes. This is very rarely necessary, but has proven effective for particularly pernicious problems.
Many component vendors have process engineers that are available to solve pointed issues related to their components. These individuals are often armed with the information that doesn’t make it to print but may be necessary to get superior results.
Quality representatives are present on all programs, attend all meetings and are part of the design team. They are responsible for not only guaranteeing that the product is designed and produced in accordance with all standards, but are also responsible for providing quality plan inputs as needed. Complete separate quality plans are not generally produced by Beyond Electronics, but can be upon request. Normally, quality related items are documented as part of the design process and are presented at the reviews. This includes, but is not limited to: vendor selections, program risk mitigation, external design standard compliance, special processes review and specification and special manufacturing instructions review.
Beyond Electronics utilizes Relcalc software, from T-Cubed Systems, an internal parts database and design data to produce 217 reliability calculations. For specialized parts, FIT data is also used in the calculations. Also, for parts that have extensive reliability history, functions are added to adjust the failure rate. The data collected during the MTBF calculation is used as feedback into the design process to ensure that no part is overstressed and that all parts are optimally thermally controlled.
Beyond Electronics engineering team has vast systems experience from diverse disciplines including: simulator design and deployment, targeting systems, guidance, radar, navigation, and digital radio communications. Beyond Electronics is currently producing mission critical system level product for government customers. This includes all the required pieces of the system from the metal enclosure to the integrated electronics, software and even the packaging to ship the product. Beyond Electronics provides program support services including aid in system integration, characterization, debug and deployment. Where appropriate, Beyond Electronics has participates in customer team meetings and has proposed solutions to overall system level problems.
Rework and Repair
Beyond Electronics uses a tiered approach to assembly and repair, for general manufacturing related problems, manufacturing personnel are employed for repair. For more complex problems that require multi-step testing, complex analysis or more complete design understanding, a technician is assigned to resolve the issue who reports to a principal engineer on the project. This guarantees that the problem is resolved in a timely manner and provides a feedback path to engineering for possible product improvement.