Content - Consulting Services
Do you have a product idea, need help with the design of your electronics, prototype design or support with production, or is your engineering department overstretched and you require specific additional design support? If so, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your requirements and how we can assist you with the development of you product.
Our consulting services cover a broad spectrum of topics and interests so we will likely be able to assist you. Based on your specific requirements we will evaluate and assess various approaches and together with you identify the best solution for you. This may be a single element or a combination of services... all from one provider.
Concept Studies are the phase of project planning that includes creating ideas and considering the pros and cons of implementing those ideas helping to minimise the likelihood of errors, manage costs, assess risks and evaluate the potential success of the intended project. In general, a concept study includes:
- analysis of available information, definition of objectives
- development of variations, determination of automation level
- budget levels for investment, staffing and operating costs
Technology Studies focus on costs, time, size and any environmental requirements that may be applicable, technology studies are used to evaluate the best choice of technology or technologies to be used in a project or system.
Technology studies often start with a workshop intended to combine the customer’s knowledge of an application with the first ideas from Art of Technology. The goal of the workshop being to precisely define the intended application and all partners to the same level of understanding.
Design Reviews can be a significant success factor for time-critical projects with "get-it-right-first-time” demands. Our established Review Process is linked to a “bug-tracking” tool which allows transparent and continuous handling and tracking of identified issues, as well as documentation of corrective actions.
Designs that are consistently subject to review enable latent errors to be detected and corrected at an early stage, with minimal impact on costs which ultimately results in fewer re-designs, less re-works and potentially significant savings in terms of time and costs, while helping to improve overall quality. Reviews can be held at any time and help to minimise internal conflicts as the external reviewer, being free of internal relations or commitments, is able to adopt the neutral role of referee. Reviews allow:
- demonstration of alternatives
- identification and control of critical Issues
- independent evaluation of work completed
You have an established R+D team, or a long term co-operation with an external design and development house, and are basically satisfied with their work. However, you now want to develop a new product or application, maybe even introduce a new technology and you need to make sure that your existing team hasn't become blinkered, e.g. “we've been doing it that way for years!”.
Here's where Art of Technology can help
We can provide you with an independent "no-strings-attached" second opinion about the work being done by your internal team or external partners, supplying tips and hints on the components and technologies being used, as well as identifying possible pitfalls in production and even alternative designs.
Fast professional help for projects at a critical phase, where time schedules, goals and success are becoming increasingly uncertain. We can provide you with engineering support and people for the routine or maintenance tasks, enabling your team to concentrate on the core activities of the project, e.g.
- problem & system analysis
- new expertise and ideas
- technical project management
- comprehensive & objective status reports
- support with documentation & certification
- additional personnel (when required)
We provide advice and assistance throughout the certification process, including the certification of medical devices, from the first steps (especially for start-ups) all the way through to certification by the appropriate certification body. In co-operation with the Notified Body, we provide coaching to define the steps required for product development. Art of Technology helps you to:
- create, organise and improve development processes and documentation in accordance with required standards and relevant medical requirements
- establish your own certified quality system based on our documentation system for design, development and verification, which is available in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) and can be provided as templates.
Our documentation service is where you task us with reviewing and updating your existing documentation (quality, production or engineering) adding missing information or sections, as required. Starting with an existing device or assembly with inadequate or basic documentation, we can create or re-create (via reverse engineering) complete documentation enabling further development, re-design, post production or replacement of obsolete components. In each case, we can help to:
- create and maintain necessary documentation
- prepare templates for non-existent documentation
- organise missing information required
As an independent design house, we have established a network of manufacturers in Europe, Asia and America, enabling us to supply prototypes, small and mass production volumes at the quality level required, e.g. ISO9001 and ISO13485 (medical).
We plan and accompany on your behalf the complete manufacturing process starting with the selection of appropriate manufacturer(s) or if preferred, we can set-up and manage production at the manufacturer(s) of your choice. Especially for small companies, or where a complex production set-up may be required, we can organise the entire production straight from the design stage.
We can support you with:
- selection of the appropriate manufacturer(s)
- verification of the production chain
- management of the entire production process
The key to optimising costs lies in the consideration of the overall system, in order to avoid the negative effects of keyhole optimisation. We can help you to reduce costs (and improve your products) using our tried and proven optimisation process, via
- standardisation at component level
- reduction of production complexity
- optimisation of production testing
- overall size reduction
- adapting design to standard manufacturing processes
- adapting design to standard processes of selected manufacturer(s)
- improving product serviceability
- optimisation of the product platform
Support for Start-Up Companies
New business ventures often lack detailed electronics know-how, requiring either a turn-key development or specific support it the form of engineering or consulting services. In particular, we provide assistance during the design of the first prototypes, with the key functionality necessary to convince potential financial partners of the feasibility of a project.
Taking the overall system into consideration, we help to identify which features are needed for the functional prototype. Important here is to recognise that, in most cases, it is essential to postpone the “nice-to-have” extras to a later re-design, in order to keep initial costs down to an affordable level.
We also provide ongoing support throughout the development phase up to and including industrialisation, with designs optimised for manufacturability and testability for small, medium, large and very large production volumes.
Support for Universities
Educational institutes are sometimes unable to manufacture research-specific electronic systems, as the documentation needed may be fragmented or incomplete, especially if the person responsible has left the university. This can be further compounded when the focus of the institute is not electronics, as the system may be limited to a quick build without a clear, traceable, reproducible system design. In such situations, we can re-design the electronics to industrial standards, including
- hardware design using industrially available components
- layout of industrially manufacturable prints
- optimisation of assembly processes
- improve or create documentation
The result being a design that can be manufactured in volumes from a few pieces to a few hundred for the institute itself, or indeed to sell to other institutes or research organisations.
Research Projects, Semester of Thesis Work
We are happy to assist universities that need an industrial partner (in the area of electronic design and development) to support research projects, semester or thesis work.
Technology Partner for Investors
We have been supporting young entrepreneurs with great ideas (but a lack of electronics know-how) for several years, either with turn-key developments or the specific engineering and consulting services needed. In particular, we provide assistance during the design of the first prototypes, with the key functionality required to convince potential financial partners of the feasibility of a project.
On-going support is available throughout the development phase, up to and including industrialisation with designs optimised for manufacturability and testability for small, medium, large and very large production volumes. We can also help with business plans and preparation for certification, providing people if required to act as temporary project managers and technical directors.