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.

Phoenix Business Journal: ​Um, the coffee machine needs more water and 5 rules to improve your user interface design game

Usually getting coffee is just getting coffee, but a recent trip turned into some deep thoughts on user interface design.  “​Um, the coffee machine needs more water and 5 rules to improve your user interface design game” explains my encounter with the office caffeine dispenser as well as five key rules that everyone should follow when developing a user interface for a product.

ANSYS Startup Roadshow Kickoff – CEI Phoenix

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Register

Can’t make it? Keep an eye out as we will be hosting events in other locations as the roadshow continues on!

In the meantime, click here for more information on the ANSYS Startup Program.

Nerdtoberfest: Perfect Pitch Startup Competition and the Fight for The Unicorn Cup Heat Up

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William and Mahatma guard The Unicorn Cup before the competition.

The teams are set, the judges have confirmed.  Details on the fake company has been shared. It is time to see how the professionals pitch a tech startup. The area’s best startup incubators and accelerators are facing off in this head to head competition to take home the awesome Unicorn Cup and bragging rights.

The teams are:

Thomas Schumann and Patti DuBois from CEI
Nate Mortenson from Tallwave
Wiley Larson from ASU
Lauren McDannel and John Johnson from Seed Spot

Our distinguished panel of judges consists of

Rebel Brown of Cognoscenti
Carine Dieudé of Altima Business Solutions
Jim Goulka of ATI
Christie Kerner of ASU
David McCaleb of ATI

Perfect Pitch is a contest where teams present the same fictitious technology startup company.  A group of expert judges will determine who gave the best pitch. The event is part of PADT’s Nerdtoberfest celebration of engineering and manufacturing in Arizona, and takes place from 4:30-6:00 on Thursday, October 27th at our Tempe offices.

Everyone is invited! We will have an overflow area set up if we get more than can fit in our seminar room where you can watch live.  We will also be streaming the event live to the world (watch this blog and social media for the link).

barqk-logo-200-1If seeing the best of the best pitch is not enough, here is some info about our fictitious Company: barqk!

At barqk!,  we deploy the latest cloud based machine learning and big data algorithms to convert your dog’s barking into words on your mobile device so that you can understand your pet’s needs, if they are sick, and be made aware of danger. Sometimes our pets can be very nervous and we do not really know what their issue is. Some dogs bark nonstop and it might be a sign that they are experiencing some deeper problems. Calming treats offered by KarmaPets have helped many dogs owners. To know more about KarmaPets and their products, visit their website.

Dog owners face significant problems communicating with their pets. Although you can train a dog to obey commands, the dog cannot tell it’s owners what it needs or wants. This leads to significant stress for the owner and may lead to death when the animal cannot communicate an obvious and present danger.

Barqk! has created a cloud connected wearable device for dogs that records their barking and uses machine learning and big data algorithms to convert dog-speak into human-speak. The translated words are sent via text or through our app to the owner’s phone. Initially the owners provide feedback to the network, and the responses of all owners to every dog’s bark are collected as big data then fed through our proprietary algorithms that use Bessel functions and advanced machine learning approximations to develop a consensus on what a given bark means. Over time a translation for each dog will be developed and we expect 87% accuracy.

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.

 

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.

PADT Events – September 2016

PADT-Events-LogoSeptember is here and it is a jam packed month of events, many of them related to BioMedical engineering.  We are continuing with ANSYS webinars and talking about 3D Printing as well. See what we have below:


uma_new-sm2September 13: Salt Lake City, UT
Manufacturing Promotes Innovation Summit

The UMA Summit is a day long event filled with networking, guest speakers and informative information. In between speakers network with our vendor booths and see the latest products and services available for the Manufacturing Industry. PADT will be there with lots of example of 3D Printing and ready to engage on how manufacturing really does drive innovation. Check out the event page for times and an agenda.


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September 15: Scottsdale, AZ
ANSYS Arizona Innovation Conference

ANSYS and PADT are pleased to announce that we be holding a user meeting in Scottsdale for the entire ANSYS use community.  Join us for an informative conference on how to incorporate various productivity enhancement tools and techniques into your workflow for your engineering department. ANSYS Applications Engineers and local customers like Honeywell, Galtronics, On Semi, Ping, and Nammo Talley, will discuss design challenges and how simulation-driven product development can help engineers rapidly innovate new products.  See the agenda and register here.


September 19: Phoenix, AZ
Seminar: Medical Device Product Development for Startups – The Bitter Pill

We will be kicking off our Arizona Bioscience Week with this a free seminar at CEI in Phoenix with a sometimes brutally honest discussion on the reality of medical device product development.

No one wants to discourage a good idea, and entrepreneurs make it a long way before someone sits them down and explains how long and expensive the engineering of a medical device product is. In this one hour seminar PADT will share the hard and cold realities of the process, not to discourage people, but to give them the facts they need.

Get the details and register here.


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September 21-22: Minneapolis, MN
Medical Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis

PADT Medical will have a booth with our partner Innosurg at this premier event for medical device development.  For 22 years, Medical Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis has been the medtech innovation, communication, and solution epicenter of the Midwest. Now over 600 suppliers strong, and with more than 5,000 industry professionals in attendance, the event provides the solutions, education, and partnerships you simply won’t find anywhere else.  Learn more here. And if you are attending, please stop by and say hello, we are in booth 1643.


azbio-logo-1September 21: Phoenix, AZ
AZBio Awards

Join PADT and others for this annual event that recognizes those that contribute to the growing AZ BioTech community.  The awards will be made by PADT’s 3D Printing team again this year.  Stop by our table to say hello. Register here.


AZ-Bioscience-Week

September 21 & 22: Phoenix, AZ
White Hat Investor Conference

The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers.  PADT will be joining others in the investment community to meet with and hear from companies (32 are signed up to present right now) in the Bioscience space and to also share ideas and network.  Registration for this special event can be found here.


exerience_it_nmSeptember 30: Albuquerque, NM
New Mexico Tech Council: Experience IT NM Conference

Geek out on all things technology. The New Mexico Tech community will gather the best and the brightest entrepreneurs, technicians, hackers, and tech fans for presentations, talks, meet-ups, and parties; all to highlight the vibrant tech community in our city. The Conference takes place on the final day of a week of events, and will focus on HR, CRM, Manufacturing, and Creative concerns of the tech community with panels and presentations.  PADT’s Eric Miller will be presenting in two “MakeIT” sessions.

Learn more here.


PADT-Webinar-LogoThis month’s webinars look at Signal Integrity and 3D Printing for Production

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 – 1:00 PM AZ/PDT, 12:00 PM MDT
Investigating Signal Integrity: How to find problems before they find you
Register
Thursday, September 29, 2016 – 4:00 PM AZ/PDT, 3:00 PM MDT
SAE Webinar: Additive Manufacturing: From Prototyping to Production Parts
Register

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.

Fund a Great Idea: ReadyXO Crayon Box on KickStarter

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As a parent I know that crayon management has always been a problem in our family, especially when we travel. We could have used the ReadyXO – a simple container that cleverly uses the lid to provide stability so it doesn’t tip over.  Now is your chance to control your crayons and help fund a great entrepreneur, and PADT customer, through KickStarter.

This is a great idea, a simple solution, by an individual entrepreneur who applied good problem solving and engineering to develop a solution to something that most of us have dealt with when we were kids or as parents.

Check out the details at:

              www.kickstarter.com/projects/996897358/readyxo-crayon-box 

Scroll down and read “The Story.” If you didn’t want to get one out of simple necessity, when you hear about the inventor’s journey you will want to back this enterprise immediately.

readyXO-box4  readyXO-box3

One of the best parts of working at PADT is helping our customers make their ideas work. From a new valve actuator on the International Space Station to clever gadgets.  Sometimes we see some great ideas from individual inventors that solve a day-to-day problem with a simple and elegant solution and get to help out just a little on their journey.  This is a fantastic example of that.

Help us help them by pre-ordering your ReadyXO Crayon Box on KickStarter and spread the word through social media.

Do you have an Internet of Things Strategy? PADT Can Help

thing-1-250w“It is not just a trend, it is a Tsunami. One day you will wake up and see a giant wave headed your way, and that wave will be the Internet of Things!”

This was the opening line from a presentation given by the VP of sales for a major engineering software company. It got my attention because it wasn’t hype or hyperbole.  He was just pointing out the obvious. Over the past two years the signs have been there. Smart devices will connected to the internet, and older devices will be made smart and then connected. Those that don’t, will no longer be competitive.

It is not all about smart thermostats. Far from it.  I went to IoT world in San Jose last week and saw a lot of people scrambling to find their solution. And a few that found them.  The best example was an older letter stamping machine, you can guess at the manufacturer, that plugged a modular device from Electric Imp in to their controller and boom – they were connected.  Some back end programming and they now had a competitive IoT device.

iot-networ-graphic-1 It is time to define and execute on your IoT strategy

When we visit customers, we will often ask them what their IoT Strategy is.  The answers vary from “we don’t really think our products have an IoT play” to existing products on the market.  The focus in the media is on consumer IoT products, but the bigger push right now is for industrial Internet, where machines used in manufacturing, energy generation, raw material extraction, and processing are smart and connected.

Customers from consumers to other companies will be requiring the benefits of IoT devices as they look to replace older hardware.  That is why every company that makes physical products needs to develop an IoT strategy.

PADT Can Help

We have been helping our customers define and implement their approach to IoT well, since before it was called the Internet of Things.  From assisting semiconductor companies that make MEMS sensors to making smart medical devices we are plugged in to what is needed to make IoT work.

iot-landing-page-padt-1A good place to start is our IoT landing page at:

www.padtinc.com/iot

There you can find some basic information about how PADT is a more comprehensive and technically capable solution then most design houses that claim to have IoT solutions.  We are uniquely qualified to make sure the “Thing” in your IoT strategy is designed and manufactured right.

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoWe also published a series of articles in the Phoenix Business Journal that provide some fundamental background information on the Internet of Things and how to deal with the challenges it presents:

ansys-iot-wheelSimulation can play a big role in almost every aspect of making your IoT device development faster and more productive.  PADT uses ANSYS, Inc.’s comprehensive Multiphysics simulation tool set to model everything from the chip to the embedded system software.

We highly recommend this white paper, “Engineering the Internet of Things

We also have a recording of a very popular webinar that we did: “Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation

and this video on how ANSYS can drive your IoT Design:

For detailed examples, check out the ANSYS IoT Landing page to get a feel for why so many companies are driving their design with ANSYS simulation software:  www.ansys.com/iot

PADT-Webinar-Logo

Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation

June 21, 2016 (Tue)
1:00 PM AZ & PDT / 2:00 pm MDT

REGISTER

Make sure you subscribe to PADT’s email list so you don’t miss future Events

Talking is the Best Approach

We hope that you find all of the material above, and the information we will provide in the coming months useful. But they are no substitute for giving us a call or sending us an email and setting up a face-to-face to talk about your IoT strategy and device development needs.  If you are doing the work in-house, we have the hardware and software tools you need to be successful. If you need outside help, you won’t find engineers with more applicable experience.

Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com.

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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.

Phoenix Business Journal: ​So, you have an idea for a product, what next?

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoGetting a product from idea to the market is a lot of work. Much effort and attention is focused on figuring out the idea, but the part after that is usually portrayed as some romantic quest involving coffee, colocation spaces, and long hours.  In this article,​ “So, you have an idea for a product, what next?” we offer up some practical advice on the steps you need to take to get going.

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 reasons why nerds celebrate Pi Day

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Have you heard? It’s Pi Day! This post, “5 reasons why nerds celebrate Pi Day” shares the reasons why those of us in the know like Pi day so much.
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Video: Automated Test Fixture for Biopsy Device

biobsy-test-fixture-1How do you figure out when and why a product is failing?  When the failure is due to repetitive operation the only practical way is to build a machine that operates the product over and over again. Designing, building, and running this type of device is one of the many services that PADT offers its customers.

The video below is an example of how PADT’s Medical Device team developed an automated text fixture for a customer that needed to understand the failure mechanisms of a biopsy device. The fixture was designed to operate the device, repeating field operations, and capture behavior over time with the goal of capture which components failed, the nature of each failure, and the nature of each failure.

The apparatus repeats four operations that constitute one operation of the device. Video is used with a counter to determine when a failure occurred and how. The project brought together test, controls, and mechanical design engineers. It also utilized PADT’s in-house 3D Printing and machining capability.

This is also a perfect example of how a customer can hand over an entire project that they need done, but don’t have the resources to do in-house. PADT’s team created the test specification, designed the hardware, conducted the tests, and delivered actionable information to the customer.

If you have a project you do not have the resources to complete in-house, consider having our engineers take a look at it to see how we can help.