Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Value Engineering Tablet Computer - Design and Development of Tablet Computer for Masses

What is value engineering of IPad?

Value engineering of IPad means that current specifications of the IPad are not disturbed, the look and feel of the device is not disturbed, the customer should not feel any difference between the new instrument and the old instrument,but its cost has to come down.

What manufacturers like Datawind have tried to do with low cost tablet computer projects ($35 per tablet) is to come out with barebone models that have different specifications but tried to provide the essential function of the tablet computer, access to internet. It may be a difficult job, but they have done it. The effort they had put into the activity could facilitate value engineering of IPad.

What Datawind has done to manufacture tablet computers at $35?

The tablet has over 800 components sourced from various places around the world[1].

While many manufacturers  buy modules or sub-assemblies, which usually have high markups, Datawind bought components and assembled them into modules.  They get a bunch of finished components and put the device together in an assembly factory.

Removing the margins on the modules and going down to the component level helped Datawind to get components at lower prices. It was able to use low cost processes for assembling them into modules. By buying the LCD screen (most expensive component) in semi-finished condition,  Datawind was able to push its cost down to under 10$. It completed the remaining processes in its assembly facility[1].

Tuli, CEO of Datawind  explained thatDataWind was able to cut down the price to US$8/unit because the firm purchased uncompleted units and did the rest of the gluing and soldering needed to finish the job[4].

Akash Tablet PC utilizes 35% components from South Korea, 25% from China, and 16% from both India and the US. Remaining components are being arranged from all over the world depending upon where the cheapest source is.

Akash Tablet PC has a 7 inch display that has a resolution of 800×400 PIXELS. It weighs around 350g. It runs on Android 2.2 Froyo and is packed with 366 MHz processor with internal memory of 2 GB. The memory can be increased using micro SD cards. The battery (2100mAh) runs for about 3 hours[2].

DataWind also opted for the free Android operating system and tweaked it to work on its devices' cheaper but weaker processors (ARM 11 – 366 MHz microprocessors in the case of Aakash)[4].

The Indian government buys the tablet from the company for US$49.98 and resells it for the subsidized cost of US$35/unit[4].

Low Cost Tablets from BEL $72 [3]

By December 2011, BEL delivered 600,000 7-inch tablets to Ministry of Rural Development  (MoRD), and an additional 40,000 units in January 2012. It cost $72,

Interview with Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, Datawind - Developer of $35 cost tablet computer - 2011


References and Bibliography

1. http://oobly.com/2011/10/26/at-35-a-unit-how-did-india-pull-off-the-worlds-cheapest-android-tablet_503/
2. http://www.mygadgetplanet.com/2624/india-does-it-again-with-akash
3. http://forbesindia.com/article/real-issue/what-went-wrong-with-the-aakash-tablet/33218/0#ixzz28nAkppee
4. http://www.pcworld.in/news/datawind-boss-reveals-secrets-behind-aakash-tablet-61052012

Early User Review of Akash Tablet

Related Information

Electronic manufacturing services - Simmtronics



Component price comparison

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