Concept Development

Concept Development

Some argue that having the right idea is the most difficult part of concept development. Those that have had that idea, almost certainly appreciate that the idea is the easy bit, and it is making sure you do something with it that is by far the most challenging.

So how do you progress? How do you turn that brilliant idea into something that will make money?

There are two main fields involved; the engineering aspects that take the idea and formulate it into a product, and the marketing aspects that look at the market, what it wants, who will buy the product and how it should be promoted and delivered.

Design drawingsAt Plunkett Associates we are primarily involved in the former, the translation of an idea into a product, with the client bringing (or outsourcing) the latter.

The most common starting point is some combination of sketches, drawings or prototype that have been created to communicate the idea. This can be very powerful and help identify potential areas of risk and improvement.

However, in formulating a design some of the most important issues that need to be understood are (a) how much time is there for design and manufacture before the required launch date (b) what quantities are predicted to be sold both initially and across the product life (c) what is the target unit price and (d) who is the customer?

Design and concept developmentClearly some of this stems from the marketing work, yet the marketing analysis cannot be done without a product, so there is a degree of parallel working and iteration that has to take place.

Here prototyping can help immeasurably, as multiple concepts can be produced that utilise the flexibility of additive manufacture and avoid the need for excessive detail in the early development stages.

As the detail starts to be formulated other issues such as interface requirements, sealing requirements, environmental conditions, and repair requirements can all be factored in.

Moldflow designWe use Solidworks throughout, a powerful 3D modeller, to create everything from early concepts to fully engineered components. This allows us to analyse the design and output the required files to support manufacturing at anytime in the process

From all this information we can translate your idea into a product. We can design to suit the manufacturing process and manage the entire manufacturing cycle if that is your wish. You are free to pick and choose which parts you want us to undertake.

Throughout, we will work ‘with you’ to share, learn, develop and enhance your idea, providing support and advice wherever we can.

If this is what you are looking for and you would like to discuss a project further, please contact us.