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Product development services
(we develop your new product for you)


This page describes Reid Product Development's product development services:


Those services center on product engineering.



To develop your product, we need to know its features, intended use(s), intended users, intended use environment, a crude estimate of unit sales volume, and any ceiling on unit production cost.  We can help refine your product requirements:  eliciting additional content, distinguishing the imperative from the desirable, and alerting you to the design impact of severe provisions.  Through active review, we both gain a clearer vision of your intended product and its market.

From that we create technical specifications to guide and track our engineering development of your product.  These reach down into the sub-system level.

After "design control" formally begins, we maintain records of product requirements, technical specifications, and controlled revisions thereof in the project's master file.

Final product design is documented via engineering drawings, bills-of-material, manufacturing process specification(s), and assembly & test procedures.

When inviting bids on special production equipment on your behalf, we write capital equipment / tooling specifications.

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Feasibility studies

Feasibility studies are best-effort assessments of the challenges and risks expected to arise later in the engineering development of a product idea and its design concept(s).

We routinely subject design concept(s) to an early feasibility study before actual design begins.  We examine the key technical challenges and key components of unit cost implicit in the design concept(s).  Next we assess the likely impact of those technical challenges on meeting the product specification, especially on meeting performance, safety, manufacturability, and unit cost goals.  Methods for the early feasibility study may include:  heuristic examination, failure mode & effects analysis (albeit cursory), technical background research, and tentative engineering calculations.

An early feasibility study flags severe provisions of the product specification and reveals basic flaws in brainstormed design concept(s).  These deficiencies can then be revised prior to embarking upon technical specifications and engineering design, thus saving you time and money in the long run.  An early feasibility study makes for better program planning, too, because project tasks can be better estimated and project schedule can be optimized to address uncertainties early in engineering development.

Occasionally a client will ask us to perform an independent feasibility study of another engineer's design.  It has some characteristics of an independent design review, save that it often precedes design validation.  The goal is a fresh perspective, discovery of overlooked issues, recommendations for design improvement, and estimation of impact on schedule and budget.

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Program planning / leadership

We do project / program planning to predict budget and schedule for product development.  "Planning a development program just for you" is a step-by-step planning and estimation process.

We plan programs for product development that we lead.  We also plan programs for entrepreneurs seeking to do their own product development.

We organize and lead temporary workgroups, as described in teams.

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Concepts / layouts

Design concepts are technical visions of how a product idea can be made tangible in construction and performance, including materials and manufacturing processes.  Once we understand your product requirements, we can brainstorm design concepts, including refinements of your existing concepts.

When brainstorming as a team, traditionally all in the same room with a white-board, there are two ground rules:  (1) offer ideas or embellish earlier ones, and (2) do not criticize (yet).  The brainstormed concepts are recorded and disseminated.  Team members can individually reflect upon and embellish them.  The team, including the client, meets again to share updates and to collectively critique and rank the design concepts.

When brainstorming as an individual, one's mind supplants the white-board.  Short sessions on consecutive days provide fodder for the sub-conscious.  Over the next 3-4 days, the brain really storms.  Concept ideas are free-hand sketched, diagrammed, and annotated as they occur.

Next, the design concepts are critiqued.  Subjectively flawed ones are set aside (but saved).  Combinations of concepts are logically considered, too.  Plausible design concepts are more carefully sketched and annotated.  Pro's & con's are qualitatively listed.  Attributes are quantitatively ranked.

Finally, the plausible design concepts and assessments are shared with you, the client.  From among these, we can together select the best design concept(s) for subsequent engineering development.

A mechanical layout is the precision means by which the design engineer establishes part(s) geometry.  The evolving orthogonal (top, front, and side) views in the layout typically portray nested parts in cross-section.  Mechanical layouts are precursors to full-size 2-D patterns, 3-D CAD "solid models", and production drawings.

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Mechanical engineering design

Mechanical engineering design at Reid Product Development includes original creative design, quantitative analysis, and experimentation.

Designs rely upon the founder's (Reid's) mechanical engineering expertise in fluid mechanics, strength of materials, heat transfer, thermodynamics, system dynamics, automatic control, material properties, and fabrication processes; plus a strong familiarity with the related fields of physiology, electronics, analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry, and human factors.

We use SolidWorks TM mechanical CAD software to create our 3-D solid models and engineering drawings.

For intensive mechanical engineering design tasks (e.g., finite element analysis or dynamic simulation), we use specialists from our Project Partners Network SM.

Mechanical engineering design is documented in many forms:  production engineering drawings, bills-of-materials, engineering specifications, and assembly & test procedures.

SolidWorks is a trademark of SolidWorks Corp.

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Prototyping / testing

Experimentation often supplements calculations, mathematical models, and computer simulations.

When warranted, we construct "breadboards" during preliminary engineering design.  (Years ago, electrical engineers pinned and wired electrical components to kitchen breadboards to experiment with circuits, hence the name.)  Breadboards look nothing like final product.  They are simply used to demonstrate proof-of-concept or to glean experimental insight preparatory to detailed engineering design.

Later, to validate detailed engineering design, we build engineering prototypes.  Constructed of both standard and custom components, engineering prototypes are intended to function and almost look like final product.  They allow us to test, debug, refine, and verify the engineering design.  This includes correcting errors in engineering drawings and bills-of-material.  For the purpose of marketing demonstration, an engineering prototype of a durable product will sometimes be enclosed in an industrial designed "skin" to more closely resemble the final product.

When prototyping, we often sub-contract from our Project Partners NetworkSM for machined parts (both conventional and CNC), rapid prototype masters, and cast models.  We are also receptive to sources that you may care to suggest.  Other custom components are purchased as first-article specials from candidate production vendors or from specialty fabricators in trial quantities. 

We assemble and test these engineering prototypes in our workshop, unless your facility or that of one of our partners proves more suitable.  Specialized testing is sub-contracted to outside testing laboratories.

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Production drawings

Our production drawings follow ANSI Y14.5M-1994 (Dimensioning and Tolerancing) for conventional and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T).  We can design in the U.S. (inch) system or the metric (millimeter) system, depending upon client preference.

We use CADKEY TM mechanical CAD software to create our 2-D layouts and full-size 2-D patterns.  Our multi-color pen plotter accommodates media up to engineering size "D" (22 inch x 34 inch).

We use SolidWorks SM mechanical CAD software to create our 3-D solid models and engineering drawings.  SolidWorks' myriad output formats enable us to electronically transmit our designs for rapid prototyping, CNC machining, and production quotes.

CADKEY is a trademark of Baystate Technologies, Inc.
SolidWorks is a trademark of SolidWorks Corp.

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Confidential OEM sourcing

We provide confidential OEM sourcing. Almost every project here involves finding long-term sources of materials, parts, and special fabrication capability.  We obtain competitive quotes from multiple vendors for high-ticket or custom items.  We excel at sleuthing hard-to-find sources for production.

If sourcing will require sharing project-sensitive information, we pre-qualify vendors and have them execute our non-disclosure agreement.  We maintain anonymity for you, the client, whenever possible and for so long as it preserves your best interests.  Meanwhile, you are privy to details about the prospective vendors.

Most prototyping materiel and fabrication services are purchased under our own account (at a modest surcharge) as budgeted expenses of the project.  For big ticket prototype expenses or when long-term supply contracts are anticipated, you may opt to purchase prototyping materiel directly from the vendors (at no surcharge).

We do not accept finder's fees nor commissions of any kind from vendors.  Our allegiance is strictly to you, our client.

We treat prospective vendors with respect.  You deserve a smooth transition to good supplier relationships.

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