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.

Translating an idea into a product

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.

Formulating the design

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.

Solidworks 3D CAD modelling programme

Solidworks modellingWe 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.



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  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
  • Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
  • Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
  • Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.
    Simon Ryder, Artist
  • Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.
    Naim Audio
  • We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio

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