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Product development services
(we develop your new product for you)
This page describes Reid Product Development's product development services:
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.