Our Product Engineering Process

Mature businesses are keenly aware of the resources and investment required to commercialize a product. Startups and emerging businesses may not be as familiar with the process. The following is a high-level description of the steps required to design and engineer a product. From pre-concept to manufacturing.

Product engineering process

Concept Development

The development team focuses on defining concepts that may provide feature sets that address the market’s needs.  The specification serves to focus later development and helps the development team realize when development scopes drift. The output of this phase is typically hand sketches, 3D CAD models, specification documents, and use cases.

Preliminary Design

Using the concept and spec work as a starting point, preliminary design and engineering can begin. In early development, a focus should be on the highest risk development items. For example, if the success of the product hinges upon achieving a certain feature in a small form factor, initial development engineering should focus on solutions that determine whether this is feasible.

Design Iteration

Rapid prototyping cycles are applied that help identify opportunities and issues with the current design. Focus areas include the mechanism, PCBA’s, enclosures, software, etc. Ten to one hundred iterations can be run during this step, based on complexity.

Design Optimization

The feature set and overall product configuration are optimized for production. Includes refining the fit and finish, designing for durability, as well as, identifying novel design approaches that reduce production cost.

Finalize, Production Start

Time to invest in production tooling. The design of the product is frozen, but final firmware/hardware iterations may still be happening. The manufacturer will make (or purchase) the production tooling required to make the first production units. Initial production units will be reviewed by the development team for quality assurance.