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Engineering isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. We can customize nearly everything we sell, from modifying housings and mechanical interfaces to fine-tuning performance parameters. Interested in custom assemblies?
Our engineering services team performs design services at a variety of levels. We can start with a concept and build out to prototype. We can do design for manufacturing analysis on prototype designs. We also perform redesigns for cost down on existing devices and subsystems.
In each of these cases, we apply proven technologies and well-established processes. Over the years, we’ve designed and built thousands of custom engineered solutions. Chances are we have already worked on a problem similar to yours. But if not, our experienced team of engineers will collaborate with you to determine the best approach.
Clean Sheet Design
As the name implies, clean-sheet design allows us to start from scratch with a project. The customer brings their concept and requirements, and we convert those ideas into a working prototype. We guide every project through our five-step product-development process. This encompasses project planning, concepting, detailed design, prototyping, and production. We apply a mechatronic design approach, fostering collaboration with our mechanical and electrical engineering departments from the very beginning. We use Solid Works 3-D CAD for structural design, applying finite element analysis (FEA) to uncover any problems in the design up front. The goal is to develop a device that not only meets performance specifications but that will be efficient and cost-effective to manufacture.
The electrical engineering aspects of each design are just as important as the mechanical functions. We specify motors, drives, control systems, sensors, and any safety layers. Our team of developers writes code to ensure that the completed system will operate as expected. Deliverables include detailed plans, performance analysis, manufacturing procedures, test protocols, and bill of materials (BOM).
Design for Manufacturing
A wide gap exists between prototypes and manufacturable devices. A prototype may demonstrate efficacy but fail to meet standards. It may conform to standards but exceed size and weight requirements. It may satisfy both criteria but can’t be built in the volume desired. That’s where our design-for-manufacturing service comes in. We specialize in practical performance.
Our engineering team will analyze the device and recommend changes that lend themselves to volume manufacturing while maintaining performance specifications. These recommendations might include customizing parts to enable automatic alignment during assembly, adding registration features and fiducials to speed set up for testing, etc.
Bringing a device to market involves more than manufacturing⎯it has to meet cost targets or it will not succeed. Our cost engineering experts scrutinize every element of a product to determine how to build it more economically without compromising performance. Our approach might involve using alternative materials, simplified designs, or revised tolerances. Component choice is also important⎯different vendors may sell virtually identical components at very different prices. That’s where our encyclopedic knowledge of the products we distribute comes into play.
Effective cost control goes beyond just BOM, however. Each manufacturing step adds to the final cost of a product. We analyze the assembly process in detail to simplify and streamline every aspect. Our goal is to minimize production time through good design. Modifying a part so that it automatically aligns during assembly, for example, can increase throughput and prevent reworks.