full-service design house.
We provide contract R&D, usually starting from TRL (technology readiness level) 3 or 4. Contract R&D is the overarching definition of the activities we perform as a full-service design house. The scope of our ventures is very diverse, depending on our customers and their actual needs, ranging from start-up to established OEM, from feasibility study to product certification, from one-off to medium volume, etc. We offer comprehensive services, but can also cover well-defined phases of the product creation process, for example following a phased stage-gate approach. The services we provide are: contract R&D, product development, feasibility studies & proof of concept, systems modeling & simulation, prototyping, pilot system assembly & testing, systems testing & certification, clinical testing, contract manufacturing & production and service & technical support.
Although our focus is on commercial projects aimed at customers’ roadmap developments and new product introductions, we also participate in publicly funded (international) projects to explore emerging technologies. Therefore, we can start from scratch, by evaluating the customer’s concept and, if necessary, even returning to TRL 2 to investigate groundbreaking technologies. Given the often uncertain, or even speculative, character of projects, our technical lead will organize maximum creativity and design freedom, while our project manager guides the process keeping the customer’s end goal in mind. Our main assets are our researchers, engineers and support staff, working in state-of-the-art facilities.
- technology exploration, roadmap development, new product introduction
- broad systems engineering expertise
- creativity, transparency, flexibility
- IP transfer to customer
feasibility studies & proof of concept.
As the first iteration in our V-model systems engineering approach, we set great store by the feasibility phase. Starting with a list of the required functionalities, we rank them according to the associated risks and uncertainties. We then focus on the highest risk(s) and uncertainties with a feasibility study that is either theoretical, analytical or experimental in nature, or a hybrid thereof. If necessary, we make a physical proof of concept to investigate the feasibility with tests and measurements. We can also address the lower design level of an individual module or even component, reiterating a ‘mini-V’. In each case, the deliverable is a simple answer, yes or no, which subsequently can prevent design sub-optimization and endless tweaking. This leads to significant time and cost savings, while producing a functionally better outcome.
- functionality analysis
- risk assessment
- system, module and component level
We perform prototyping to verify product and system concept designs using proof-of-principle set-ups and functional models (‘alpha’ prototypes). The deliverable of our prototyping activities is an essentially ‘frozen’ product or system design. In case of a serial product, the alpha prototype will have the functionality and appearance of the final product, but different components may have been used and other production technologies applied. The final, beta, prototype will then be the subject of pilot system assembly & testing.
- proof of principle and functional model
- highly skilled prototyping engineers
- dedicated workshops, cleanrooms and warehouses
- flexible and efficient project management
systems testing & certification.
We help our customers to ensure quality & regulatory compliance. This service involves testing the technical requirements for design verification and the user requirements for design validation, from the component and module level up to the system level. We have extensive in-house prototyping and testing facilities, can manage external test-house procedures, and support certification procedures; For special applications we design, realize, validate and certify dedicated test tooling. We use our extensive experience with factory and site acceptance testing to support OEMs in their FAT and SAT procedures.
- quality & regulatory compliance
- usability, reliability, safety, endurance
- CE, IEC, UL, MDR, IVDR, EMC, ATEX, IP
- in-house facilities, test tool design
contract manufacturing & production.
Our contract manufacturing services are aimed at providing customers with a clever production set-up that delivers reliable products. The activities include finalizing the product design, transferring the full design documentation, and designing and realizing an efficient production process, including production and test tooling. In this way, we can either help customers to organize their own production or bring in our group partner Demcon production and a set of trusted external producers as a natural extension of our services. Our main manufacturing focus is assembly, while we master other production technologies as well. We have access to in-house prototyping, pilot system assembly & testing and high-end measurement facilities to support the various design and production stages.
- OEM and production customers
- design documentation and production set-up
- production and test tooling
- prototyping, pilot assembly and measurement facilities
We provide product development services to support start-ups as well as settled OEMs in their new product introductions. Delivering either prototypes or production-ready products or systems, we cover the whole product creation process. Our design & engineering activities include failure mode and effects analyses, and design-for-X, with X ranging from usability and safety to manufacturing and assembly. We integrate the industrial design in the development process, involve the production company early on and also perform cost/value engineering, for serial products and disposables in particular.
- from concept design to market introduction
- industrial design
- tailormade stakeholder management
- DfX, FMEA, cost/value engineering
systems modeling & simulation.
In the process from concept exploration to design validation, we start with quick model building, using common physical sense, hand calculations and technical computing tools. We thus obtain first order-of-magnitude estimates of, for example, thermal behavior or critical quantities such as eigenfrequencies. This helps in making design trade-offs and optimizing the control strategy. In the early project stages, ‘crude’ finite-element modeling can already support design concept validation. For more advanced designs, we employ system modeling tools as well as multiphysics simulation and finite-element methods to study for example the dynamics and thermodynamics and finetune the control algorithm.
- model building, simulation, physical experiments
- automatic code generation, formal software verification
- SciPy, NumPy, Matlab, Simulink
- FEM, CFD, multiphysics
pilot system assembly & testing.
We bridge the gap between prototyping and full-blown manufacturing with pilot system assembly & testing. For this, we create a ‘beta’ prototype, featuring the final series-product components and manufacturing technologies. The aim is to settle the last details of the product design and create a robust production design. This is then followed by pilot series production for iteratively refining and validating the production and tooling design, as well as developing the test procedures, optimizing the automation and organizing the supply chain. To conclude, null series production is used for process validation. We can also use our capabilities and highly skilled assembly operators to produce a single batch of a product, using a fully verified procedure while avoiding the costs of establishing a continuous production process.
- beta prototype and null series
- production and tooling design and validation
- one-off small series
- products for clinical testing
Our clinical testing services cover the complete range from literature search, pre-clinical and exploratory lab testing to healthy volunteer and patient trials with clinical partners. Our clinical staff is part of the engineering team and our clinical services serve as an addition to product development. Employing our in-house and partner lab facilities and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certified staff members we can run pre-clinical tests. In addition, we have the expertise to oversee animal studies by specialized partners and collaborate with GCP-certified principal investigators in clinical trials. We support clinical researchers and medical companies with project management, institutional review board applications, data analysis and writing the clinical investigation report. For example, we can help with compiling the investigator brochure. Besides clinical testing, we are also equipped for performing the full clinical evaluation for medical product certification.
- one-stop clinical evaluation shop
- literature search, pre-clinical testing, clinical trials
- testing, validation, certification
- MDR, ISO 13485, ISO 14155, GCP, GDPR
service & technical support.
We provide lifecycle service, until end-of-life, for the (one-off) systems and serial products we deliver, starting with design-for-service. For troubleshooting and in-depth analysis, we can perform remote monitoring and continuous data logging, or rely on dedicated data dumps, when 24/7 remote access is not possible. In special cases, we can take over system control remotely and perform repairs or maintenance in collaboration with customer staff or local agents. Our customized service-level agreements can include spare parts management for long-lead items and field-replaceable units, schemes for corrective, preventive or predictive maintenance, and even an on-site service team.
- lifecycle service
- remote monitoring and troubleshooting
- preventive and predictive maintenance
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