The Omega I Earth Fault Indicator is a successful design that has been in production for a number of years. However, production processes have moved on and the original design was due for a comprehensive update. Primary objectives for the new design were:
1. Convert the through hole component design to a modern surface mount design. This significantly reduced costs, and production times by minimising labour
2. Change the design to fit in with a new range of Earth Fault Indicators that utilise a common PCB shape and common enclosure. This standardised the enclosures used and simplified the production process.
3. Modify the design to reduce the production test times. This was achieved by moving to a new type of connector that dramatically reduced test times by around 70%.
4. Use more cost effective components wherever possible to reduce the unit cost.
5. Simplify the design to reduce construction times and improve the ease of assembly. This was achieved by removing externally mounted switches and replacing them with internally mounted and yet still externally operated switches of a membrane type design.
6. Port the existing software from an older, expensive microcontroller that may become difficult to obtain in the future to a newer, readily available microcontroller that should be supported well into the future.
The end product is much easier to make and consequentally the price to the customer has been dramatically reduced.
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