We often talk about the part of the design that's considered last. Nobody wants to have their subsystem as the final thought. That often requires shoehorning the subsection into an area that's not appropriate.
The parts that come up most often in the last-to-be-considered category include the battery or power subsystem, the cooling method, and the circuit protection. Nothing should be last (but something has to be), so I suggest you take extra caution if circuit protection falls to the bottom.
One excuse is that it's easy to design, so you should leave it to the end. Another is that it's a very small component, so extra care isn't really required. Whatever your excuse is, it's time to end the excuses.
We have created a Technology Roundup that answers a lot of the questions you may have about circuit protection.
Andy, you are correct the things that are less important are usually left for the last sometimes those things that we consider important but easy as well we leave it for the last as wel. But circuit protection should not be treated lastly because security of anything or any circuit is very important and it should be considered as one of the major step .
Of course the less important steps and additions are left for last, but really, circuit protection is very important to be left for the last stage. Just like the cooling system and the powering system, the circuit system and its protection is equally very crucial. It is arguable that it all depends on the engineers preference, some may wait and do the circuit protection last while some may do it during the beginning or middle of the whole engineering process.
tekochip - I've done that too! Especially when I am trying to get as small a footptrint as possible and then whoops - how are we going to mount it sideways in that small space? Times like that I was glad we had an inhouse PCB shop.
We leave what we refer to as "bells and whistles" for the last - those things that are nice to have if time and budget allows. Circuit protection, cooling, and powering the system are biggies that ensure a system will be both robust and reliable and these get our attention from the early stages of design.
It's understable that some circuit designers leave their circuit protection to the end, since they barely know what the circuit will even look like in the beginning. The problem is that when they let it go too long, there's no room for it.
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