Getting to Know PADT: Product Development Services

This post is the ninth installment in our review of all the different products and services PADT offers our customers. As we add more, they will be available here.  As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to info@padtinc.com or give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT.

The “D” in PADT stands for design.  It has been an integral part of PADT’s service offering since the company was started. Design, or more broadly Product Development, is the engineer process of defining, designing, testing, prototyping and transferring the manufacturing of a product.  From concept to manufacturing, or any point in between, PADT’s engineers can help with product development.

Doing product development with PADT is about defining product requirements and then stepping the team through a proven process that iterates efficiently and results in working hardware that has been tested and verified. This approach works across industries.  We have worked on products for golfing, designed the insides of an electric vehicle fast charger, designed and built an alpha-machine for semiconductor manufacturing, reconfigured the configuration of an avionics device, developed several medical devices through clinical trials, and tested the fittings on an artificial heart.

We specialize in working with companies that have an engineering staff, but don’t have the specialization or capacity need to complete a project entirely in-house.  Our engineers become part of the customer’s team and can work on specific tasks, a subsystem of the product, or complete the entire process.  Regardless of the scope, it comes down to our providing our customers with experienced and capable engineers that can plug in where they are needed.

There are four characteristics that set PADT apart from other design houses that help with product development:

Proven

We have been providing product development services since 1994.  As of this post being published, we have 30 engineers onstaff and we have helped over 400 customers with their product development needs.  Many of those customers choose to use PADT over and over again letting us design and test their products.

Problem Solvers

What sets PADT apart from most providers of design or product development is the fact that we are problem solvers.  Product development is primarily the process of identifying problems and finding solutions. And that is what our engineers excel at and thrive on.  We are brought in by customers because we can answer the tough questions.

Project Management

It does not matter how experienced your staff is, or how amazing your tools and equipment.  To be successful in product development you need to have a proven Project Management process.  PADT’s process has been developed over decades to provide a flexible methodology to ensure requirements are defined, that they are met on time.  It drives the entire process to achieve deliverables on-time and on-budget with minimal customer oversight.

Complete Solution

Project managers and design engineers work with simulation, test, software, and manufacturing engineers to address the needs of the complete product lifecycle.  Almost every capability that is needed is available within PADT’s walls, and a tested network of approved vendors fills in any missing needs.

One of the best ways to understand these difference is to watch our video on Product Development here:

You can also review some of our great case studies:

Satellite Messaging
Device
Electric Vehicle
Fast Charger

Tissue Expander

Smart Orthopedic
Sensor

Ultrasonic Skin
Treatment Device

Compact High Pressure
Hydrogen Pump

Or, check out our brochure:

If you are developing a product of any kind, then please contact PADT so we can explore where and how we can help with that process.  Our slogan is “We Make Innovation Work.” Join over 400 other companies who have trusted PADT to make their innovation work.

Phoenix Business Journal: Developing a product in a global market

Everyone has adjusted to the fact that these days products are manufactured and sold globally. What many companies have not accepted, is that fact that the product development process is also global. If you don’t accept that and adjust, your competition will. “Developing a product in a global market” goes over the basics to successfully leveraging global resources to develop new products.

PADT Welcomes John Williams to Business Development Role

Please join Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies in welcoming our new engineering services business development manager, John Williams. John will be an integral part of our growth in helping customers turn their innovations into real products through our advanced engineering capabilities, flexible project management skills and careful vendor selection process.

“With John joining our team, we’ll be able to take our engineering services business to the next level and expand on our offerings,” said Eric Miller, co-founder and principal at PADT. “His sales and business development experience at the national and international level makes him ideal to handle our diverse client portfolio and position us as a major player in this category.”

To help PADT improve its market position in engineering services and product development, Williams will help define long-term organizational goals, build customer relationships, identify new business opportunities, and maintain extensive knowledge of market conditions.

“PADT is a diverse and innovative company that presents a number of exciting opportunities,” said Williams. “I look forward to using my experience and reach to raise awareness of the great engineering expertise the company can provide. Once companies realize how PADT can help them solve tough problems and implement their designs, the word will spread that PADT really does make innovation work.”

Williams brings more than 16 years of sales experience to the position. He joins PADT from Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. in South Asia where he was the director of business development. Prior to working at Bell Helicopter, John was Regional Sales Director for Textron Aviation for South Asia.  Prior to this, he was President of Williams Consulting Group (WCG) in Phoenix, AZ.

Before starting WCG, Williams spent 12 years with The Boeing Company where he was last responsible for implementing Boeing’s offset programs in India. He also played a key role in successfully winning several large orders for Boeing. Prior to this assignment, Williams was in International Contracts at Boeing Defense Systems where he successfully negotiated and closed several major Commercial and US FMS contracts with foreign governments.

Williams holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Northwestern College. He has numerous professional certifications including a Master’s Certificate in Global Leadership from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management; as well as certifications in various U.S. Federal Acquisition Programs.

Phoenix Business Journal: Why accurate prototypes are important to product development success

Cutting corners rarely pays off, and that is especially true in product development when you skimp on physical or virtual prototyping.  In “Why accurate prototypes are important to product development success” I take a look at why accurate prototyping is so important, with some real world lesson learned as examples.

Discover the Power of Pervasive Simulation – ANSYS R 18

Introducing the Release of ANSYS 18

Manufacturing is undergoing the most fundamental transformation since the introduction of the assembly line. Trends like the Internet of Things, additive manufacturing and machine learning are merging the physical and digital worlds, resulting in products that defy imagination.

Join the new CEO of ANSYS, Ajei Gopal, and visionary customers

CumminsNebia,OticonMetso, and GE Digital as they demonstrate the power of pervasive simulation, available in the release of ANSYS 18.

Attend this webinar to learn:

  • How you can use digital exploration to quickly evaluate changes in design, reducing development costs and preventing late-stage design changes
  • How digital prototyping enables you to provide insights into real-world product performance, test “what-if” scenarios and ensure optimal designs
  • How simulation is moving downstream of the product life-cycle through the use of digital twins to increase efficiency and to decrease unplanned downtime

Stay tuned as we will be covering the new additions in ANSYS 18 over the next few months.

Digital Engineering: Fast-Forwarding Next-Generation Product Development

digital_engineering_logoNothing beats seeing a product we were part of hit the shelves, except seeing that product become a success.  The Globalstar Spot3 project was even better because we were able to apply the full range of PADT’s capabilities to contribute to this success: Product Development, Simulation, and 3D Printing.

In “Fast-Forwarding Next-Generation Product Development” PADT’s Mike Landis outlines how we applied leading edge technology and a proven process to quickly develop Globalstar’s next-generation design, not just for performance but also for manufactuing.  The article is a great overview of the service PADT has to offer and how we partner with customers to make their innovation work.

If you have a new generation of an existing product line, or a brand new product under development and want a better product to market faster, PADT is here to help with our design, simulation, 3D Printing, test, and manufacturing expertise.  Just give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email info@paditnc.com.

 

Seminar Notes: Medical Device Product Development for Startups, The Bitter Pill

medical-device-development-bitter-pill-padt-0About 40 people joined us at CEI this Monday at the start of Arizona BioScience week for some blunt talk about Medical Device development for startups.  It was a great crowd and the quesitons were almost as (OK, maybe more) useful as the talk.

The gist of the seminar was a look at what it really takes to develop a medical device.  We talked about the FDA, ISO 13485, QMS’s and the very well defined process that all companies must follow.  We also talked a bit about tansfering to manufacturing and shared some lessons learned.

You can find a PDF of the presentation here: padt-azbioweek-medical-dev-bitter-pill-1.pdf

medical-device-development-bitter-pill-padt-4

We look forward to seeing more of you at other AZBio Week events including the AZBio Awards on the 21st and the White Hat Investor conference on the 22nd.

As always, PADT is here to help with your medical device product development, or with the development of any product.

medical-device-development-bitter-pill-padt-1

medical-device-development-bitter-pill-padt-2

Phoenix Business Journal: ​Getting your product made: 6 suggestions for outsourcing the manufacturing of your product

Just-Published-PBJ-1Getting a new product manufactured is one of those critical steps that new companies often assume is just a matter of finding a vendor and outsourcing it. In “Getting your product made: 6 suggestions for outsourcing the manufacturing of your product” I go over some suggestions on how to make this critical step a success.

Phoenix Business Journal: How to assemble the right product development team

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoHaving the right product development team is critical to the successful development of a new product.  In “How to assemble the right product development team” I take a look at what PADT has learned through the years about what makes a great team.

IoT Innovator: How to turn your IoT idea into a product – Part Two

iotlogoPart 2 is out!  Making a product a smart and connected device requires a lot of planning and an understanding of how Internet of Things devices differ.  In “How to turn your IoT idea into a product” I review the key steps and offer suggestions to make for a more successful design process.  It is published in two parts:

Part 1 and Part 2

Unexpected Joys at Rapid 2016

While much has been (justifiably) written about HP and XJet releasing new, potentially game-changing products at RAPID 2016, I wanted to write this post about some of the smaller, unexpected joys that I discovered. If I sound overly enthusiastic about the people and companies behind them, it is likely due to the fact that I wrote this on the flight back, staring out at the clouds and reflecting on what had been a wonderful trip: I own no locks, stocks or barrels in any of these companies.

1. Essentium Materials – Carbon Nanotubes and Microwaves to improve FDM mechanical properties
Over the past year, I have studied, written and made presentations about the challenges of developing models for describing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) given their complex and part-specific meso-structure. And while I worked on developing analytical and numerical techniques for extracting the best performance from parts in the presence of significant anisotropy, the team at Essentium has developed a process to coat FDM filaments with Carbon nanotubes and extrude them in the presence of microwave radiation. In the limited data they showed for test specimens constructed of unidirectional tool-paths, they demonstrated significant reduction in anisotropy and increase in strength for PLA. What I liked most about their work is how they are developing  this solution on a foundation of understanding the contributions of both the meso-structure and inter-filament strength to overall part performance. Essentium was awarded the “RAPID Innovations award”, first among the 27 exhibitors that competed and are, in my opinion, addressing an important problem that is holding back greater expansion of FDM as a process in the production space.
Website: http://essentiummaterials.com/

2. Hyrel 3D – Maker meets Researcher meets The-Kid-in-All-of-Us
I only heard of Hyrel 3D a few days prior to RAPID, but neglected to verify if they were exhibiting at RAPID and was pleasantly surprised to see them there. Consider the options this 3D printer has that you would be hard pressed to find in several 3D printers combined: variable extrusion head temperatures (room temp to 450 C), sterile head options for biological materials, a 6W laser (yes, a laser), spindle tools, quad head dispensing with individual flow control and UV crosslinking options. Read that again slowly. This is true multiple degree-of-freedom material manipulation. What makes their products even more compelling is the direct involvement of the team and the community they are building up over time, particularly in academia, across the world, and the passion with which they engage their technology and its users.
Website: http://www.hyrel3d.com/

3. Technic-Print: New Chemistry for Improved FDM Support Removal
If you manufacture FDM parts with soluble supports, keep reading. A chemist at Technic Inc. has developed a new solution that is claimed to be 400% faster than the current Sodium-Hydroxide solution we use to dissolve parts. Additionally, the solution is cited as being cleaner on the tank, leaving no residue, has a color indicator that changes the solution’s color from blue to clear. And finally, through an additional agent, the dissolved support material can be reclaimed as a clump and removed from the solution, leaving behind a solution that has a pH less than 9. Since PADT manufactures one of the most popular machines that are used to dissolve these supports that unbeknown to us, were used in the testing and development of the new solution, we had an enriching conversation with the lead chemist behind the solution. I was left wondering about the fundamental chemistry behind color changing, dissolution rates for supports and the reclaiming of support – and how these different features were optimized together to develop a usable end-solution.
Website: http://www.technic.com/techni-print-lp

 

4. Project Pan: Computationally Efficient Metal Powder Bed Fusion Simulation
I presented a literature review at AMUG (another Additive Manufacturing conference) last month, on the simulation of the laser-based powder bed fusion. At the time, I thought I had captured all the key players between the work being done at Lawrence Livermore National Labs by Wayne King’s group, the work of Brent Stucker at 3DSIM and the many academics using mostly commercially available software (mostly ANSYS) to simulate this problem. I learned at RAPID that I had neglected to include a company called “Project Pan” in my review. This team emerged from Prof. Pan Michaleris’s academic work. In 2012, he started a company that was acquired by Autodesk two months ago. In a series of 3 presentations at RAPID, Pan’s team demonstrated their simulation techniques (at a very high level) along with experimental validation work they had done with GE, Honeywell and others through America Makes and other efforts. What was most impressive about their work was both the speed of their computations and the fact that this team actually had complex part experimental validations to back up their simulation work. What most users of the powder bed fusion need is information on temperatures, stresses and distortion – and within time frames of a few hours ideally. It seems to me that Pan and his team took an approach that delivers exactly that information and little else using different numerical methods listed on their site (novel Hex8 elements, an element activation method and intelligent mesh refinement) that were likely developed by Pan over the years in his academic career and found the perfect application, first in welding simulation and then in the powder bed fusion process. With the recent Autodesk acquisition, it will be interesting to see how this rolls out commercially. Details of some of the numerical techniques used in the code can be found at their website, along with a list of related publications.

Website: http://pancomputing.com/

5. FDA Participation: Regulating through education and partnership
On a different note from the above, I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of the FDA, represented by Matthew Di Prima, PhD. He taught part of a workshop I attended on the first day, took the time to talk to everyone who had an interest and also gave a talk of his own in the conference sessions, describing the details of the recently released draft guidance from the FDA on 3D printing in medical applications. It was good to connect the regulatory agency to a person who clearly has the passion, knowledge, intelligence and commitment to make a difference in the Additive Manufacturing medical community. Yes, the barriers to entry in this space are high (ISO certifications, QSR systems, 510(k) & Pre-Market Approvals) but it seems clear that the FDA, at least as represented by Dr. Di Prima, are doing their best to be a transparent and willing partner.
Website: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/3DPrintingofMedicalDevices/default.htm

What really makes a trip to a conference like RAPID worth it are the new ideas, connections and possibilities you come away with that you may not stumble upon during your day job – and on that account, RAPID 2016 did not disappoint. As a line in one of my favorite song’s goes:

“We’ll never know, unless we grow.
There’s too much world outside the door.”
– Fran Healy (Travis, “Turn”).

Synergy in Action, or How PADT is More than the Sum of its Parts

PADT-Company-Photo-2016-01-600wPADT talks a lot about synergy as a key strength and a key element of the value we provide to our customers. Our three departments, Manufacturing, Services, and Sales, are in constant communication, always leveraging one another’s expertise to solve problems. Strong internal relationships — a consequence of being under the same roof — precipitate easy and abundant information and resource sharing. Communication, paradigm, alignment, synergy: clear as day.

But what does any of that mean?

When a PADT product development customer meets us for the first time, he or she may be shown a slide that looks like this:

synergy-f01

Strong bilateral communication among the Product Development, 3D Printing, and Analysis groups means that the project is enriched by contributions from experts across several fields, multiplying the value we add in the development process. For instance, the product will likely someday run into a sticky problem without a clear solution. PADT can attack it from multiple angles, such as design adjustment, finite element analysis (FEA) optimization, and the iterative testing of 3D printed prototypes.

Ok, but still: what does any of that mean?

A longtime customer of PADT’s product development group recently ran into an urgent problem without a clear path to a solution. Their manufacturing partner called them and said that a particular subassembly in their design will cost three times more than expected, which would raise the price of the product above the maximum the market would bear. PADT was presented with the problem: how do we reduce the subassembly cost by 66% while maintaining overall performance, and how do we confidently select a solution in under a week?

PADT’s three engineering groups jumped in to help.

The Product Development group held a brainstorming session and came out with two adjustments to bring overall cost down. First, the subassembly of three bonded unique steel parts would be replaced by a single injection molded plastic part. This change reduces component cost to within the target, but also significantly reduces the final assembly’s structural integrity.

synergy-f02
Reduction of 3 parts to 1 part

Secondly, a plastic stiffener truss was added between components to mitigate the reduction in overall stiffness. This change adds a little assembly cost, but also significantly increases the final assembly’s structural integrity, which had been weakened by the first change.

synergy-f03
Addition of Stiffening Member

The Analysis group conducted a series of FEA simulations, first to determine the increased bending under load and second to select a material to balance the conflicting requirements for stiffness, strength, and cost. After multiple simulation iterations, it was determined that Product Development had selected a permissible path forward and that a glass-filled polypropylene provides the best combination of the three parameters.

synergy-f04
Bending under load for Material Choices 1, 2, and 3

The 3D Printing group then printed the new design for qualitative “look and feel” testing and quantitative force/deflection study. The group was able to closely match the properties of the selected material from their collection of printable filaments and top-shelf industrial printers, reproducing even the fine details — subtle fillets, radii — that boost strength but are missed with lower quality printers. Through prototype tests, it was determined that Analysis selected an appropriate material and Product Development selected an appropriate design.

In the end, PADT was able to confidently select a solution to the customer’s unique cost problem in under a week. Thanks to the synergy of three groups — Product Development, Analysis, and 3D Printing — the customer was able to stay on schedule and enter the market at a relevant price.

So how can PADT help my product?

PADT’s system for delivering services is a textbook example of synergy in action, and it represents a uniquely effective solution to your company’s product problems. Whether you’re in concept design or high-volume production, PADT will tailor-make a solution that fits your budget, schedule, and technical requirements.
Give us a call at 1–800–293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com.

Video: Product Development with PADT: How We Make Innovation Work

thumbnailProduct Development is a key part of what PADT does, but we often struggle with sharing what we do in this area and why we do it better. We are engineers.  To help, we put together this video that asks our engineers the key questions that customers ask every day, and their answers truly do show how “We Make Innovation Work.”

See something you like or have more questions, give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com.

A big thanks to TechTHiNQ and CEI for producing this video.

Introducing Design Days: Free engineering consultation for Startups

PADT_StartUpLabs-1PADT and CEI are teaming up to answer any startup’s questions about engineering and manufacturing for their physical product. Over the years we have found lots of early stage companies who benefited from spending a little bit of time with an experienced product development engineer. Finding time for them to stop by PADT was always difficult to schedule and never seemed worked out. Or we would meet people at events and try and talk in a corner, still not good.cei_logo

So last month during Phoenix StartupWeek CEI and PADT tried having some time where people could stop by and talk. It went really well for everyone involved, so Design Days was born.

Our first one will be held on April 14, 2016 at CEI’s offices in Phoenix.  The idea is simple, you get one hour with an experienced mechanical engineer to talk about whatever you want. We can spend the time talking about:

  • Suggestions for how to properly design your product
  • Get contacts at local resources that can help you
  • Brainstorm solutions to technical problems
  • Discuss the weather (it’s your hour)
  • Get an idea of what it would take to design and prototype your product
  • Answer questions about software and hardware tools you may need
  • Bounce ideas off someone new
  • Review manufacturing options
  • Get advice on the next steps you should be taking
  • Or whatever else you want to discuss

You don’t have to be an existing CEI client, a new company or an old one. You just need to want to talk to our engineers.

 

Sign up for one of the available one hour slots here.   Our plan is to do this once a month, and if it works, try some other incubators as well.

Here is some basic information you should be aware of:

  • Do not ask for Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). PADT engineers operate under a strict company code of ethics; therefore no additional NDA is required.
  • This is meant for companies developing physical products, not software.
  • It is open to companies at ANY stage of development, not just startups. Entrepreneurs of any age, including students, are also welcome.
  • This is not a discussion about funding nor is it a sales pitch (from either side)
  • Do not expect a functioning prototype or design nor will PADT engineers solve your technical problems. To fully engage in PADT’s design, prototyping and simulation services, there will be a cost involved to be agreed upon by both parties.

    padt-cei-design-days
    Our impromptu trial “Design Days” session during Phoenix StartupWeek.

Phoenix Business Journal: 5 Ways to Improve your Next Product

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoIn this, our first contribution to the AZ Tech Council and PBJ’s TechFlash column, we provide some basic advice on getting products to market faster: “5 Ways to Improve your Next Product.” The five suggestions are:

  1. Define requirements based on customer value
  2. Frontload the process with exploration and iterations
  3. Involve suppliers in the process
  4. Build in a culture of excellence and relentless pursuit of continuous improvement
  5. Use standardization when possible, without blocking flexibility

Suggestions and examples are given for each point.