Free initial contact
We offer up to one hour free with all new prospective business. A flexible working arrangement can be to a fixed budget, by the hour, day or to an agreed schedule and quotation.
Design – keep it simple!
Our design is a creative process involving collaboration, ingenuity, skill, lateral thought and experience. Keep it simple is our aim wherever possible throughout our business and work. Best design often comes from this approach – a simple solution to a complex or difficult problem is an exciting and rewarding challenge.
Your intellectual property (IP)
Your Intellectual Property rights (IP) are important to us and we work to protect and respect them. We ensure there is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place before any project detail is discussed. Our standard contract is also drafted to further protect your IP.
We work closely with our customers throughout a project to tackle the challenges of development and production. A lot of focused effort is put in early as this pays dividends in minimising problems at the project’s end. During the early or concept stages, it is vital to ensure requirements are well thought through and reviewed as significant cost and problems can be designed in at this stage. Our early involvement in a project is key so our experience can be used to best effect. We provide a flexible and systematic approach with work broken down into logical stages keeping you regularly informed on progress. This may be in the form of conventional meetings/reviews, teleconferences, internet virtual meetings, emails etc. as required.
Distance, travel and time are often challenges when trying to get a united understanding on a hot topic during development or production. Internet virtual meetings are used when communication by other means is not practical. While this does not replace a face-to-face meeting, it is a valuable time and cost saving tool.
We find the workflow of many projects tends to follow an 8 key stage pattern with development feedback loops.
Initial contact to quotation. On contact, we assess whether we can supply the service you require. A non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement is signed (if appropriate) at this point as we respect and protect your intellectual property. This protects your intellectual property rights while allowing us to discuss your project in detail. A quotation is then prepared based on your detailed requirements and may involve a face-to-face meeting or communication by phone and email. A draft copy of our standard contract is made available at this point so any issues can be addressed up-front. If our quotation is accepted, we prepare a standard contract that works with the quotation.
Requirements. Once we receive your order and design begins, all specification and requirement information is gathered, reviewed and updated as development progresses. This information is used to guide the project.
3D CAD design & simulation. Design is checked for interface with the real world by simulation. We use 3D computer models to confirm form, fit, function and aesthetics or analysis of a particular function such as deflection or stress. Solidworks with Simulation is our main CAD system for design and analysis. This is central to the design process with data feeding into and out of the CAD system.
Throughout the project we can send you 3D viewing files so you can give feedback and see progress. These allow you to view and manipulate our work on a standard computer and perform measurements, rotates, pan, zoom, sections, explodes etc all in full colour 3D. All items that go to make a product are defined at this stage along with their materials and processes. Suppliers are engaged as early as possible for mutual benefit, aid understanding and to address design and manufacturing issues at a point when changes are easy and cost efficient.
Detail design. CAD is central to this stage and SolidWorks (our main CAD system) is used extensively. Here, all the preceding work and knowledge is amassed to develop the design to a production standard. Output is a mixture of 3D model data, documents and drawings that are either fully detailed or a reference drawing accompanying a 3D model. Reference drawings convey only data that cannot be defined or easily visible in a 3D model. This greatly simplifies the design documentation and reduces leadtime. During development, the detail design is kept flexible under a prototype revision system. Once the design goes to production, the revision system changes and is under formal engineering change control.
Manufacture. Early supplier liaison comes together at this point. Any queries are dealt with swiftly as the communication paths are established. CAD data is vital and a central reference at this stage as it is used directly for manufacture. We work closely with suppliers to ensure all components and assemblies are tested and inspected for conformity. During early or prototype production, any problems or improvements are carefully considered and worked into production changes if necessary.