Case Study: Engineering Design Consulting
From the start, as thoughts form around new design concepts, a trajectory begins to emerge. The starting thoughts in design are often the most critical because they influence results — for good or for bad. The importance of “beginning” is recognized across industries, and considerable focus is given to setting a trajectory for success. Methods with buzzwords like “Brainstorming” and “Sprint” are coined to represent ways of thinking — all with a focus on quickly connecting the path to success. Engineering Design Consulting fits that category too.
One well proven way to set the right trajectory is inviting input from experienced and thoughtful perspectives. This is helpful in all the above methodologies, because it expands the conversation and avoids past problems. Considering the new project in context of previous success definitely expedites progress.
If you could increase confidence in the direction of your design, would you do it?
Calling in experienced design consulting is one ingredient in success for some of our customers.
Case Study Example
One of our customers is a large Engineering Firm that focuses on interesting features of commercial buildings and the like. They design and construct very large and complex projects — usually as one-offs in aesthetic function. You may have seen their work — large, beautifully functional structures in or around big buildings. One example we got to help with is a large winding staircase that appears to float in the air.
The business of one-off unique design and engineering often throws a curve simply because the designs are all new. Often there is a lot of “new” in the features, and that’s a challenge. Furthermore, there is no room for error because there is only one, and the cost is often in the millions of dollars. So how do they stack the deck in their favor?
Call In The Engineering Design Consulting
These folks are good at what they do, and very capable in their field, so it’s an honor to receive an invitation occasionally for design consulting. Our input is not usually in the aesthetic area, as the artists have already defined that. Our job is to assist in making it happen in ways that are safe, robust and functional. Normally we don’t take a large portion of the engineering — they know how to do that. We support specific tasks in a design consulting role to answer key questions or solve specific engineering or design issues.
Much of their business is in the Civil Engineering arena, and we are not Civil Engineers. However, in all areas of engineering design, sound understanding and creativity are important. Whether it be analysis of a beam structure for deflection, or a motorized system for containment, the physics don’t change. The fields of Mechanical Engineering are vast. More to the point, when starting the design process, the most important piece is always finding the best ideas that will lead to success.
Design Innovation is one of our fundamental tallents, so we fit this need very well. And, we know the mechanical engineering side so we can easily assist in those areas. Designing drive systems, for instance. Big engineering projects often require experts in several fields.
Engineering Design Consulting
In design consulting with this and other customers, we almost always work with a team to flesh out ideas and to analyze possibilities. This usually includes discussing ideas or brainstorming to develop concepts, then separating to analyze or model the concepts for further team evaluation. Often scaled prototypes convey concepts and enhance communication within the team, to the extended engineering personnel, and to the end customer.
Design consulting brings valuable input for engineering and design to the project. That’s our role. Depending on the specific needs of the customer, sometimes we bring creative ideas about how to accomplish things. Sometimes we offer design analysis to give confidence in the direction they are going. Then, sometimes we assist with ways to prove a concept before it goes to production — often with prototypes of one kind or another. For us, it’s all about helping customers find a path of confidence, then expedite their progress along that path.
With respect to this case study, our role with the customer varies. While sometimes we give input and perspective, then other times we do initial CAD modeling to show concepts and see about viability. For one project we built a demonstration unit to show how everything works. It all depends on the customer need, and in all these cases, we’re happy to help.
Because our experience spans numerous industries including design and manufacturing, we have a wealth of acquired knowledge to draw from. We combine the experience with creativity to mutate and apply previous concepts to new roles. And, we cross pollinate with ideas from other industries — which is the essence of value for design consulting. This customer values the outside input as it accelerates their progress. Getting on the right path for success right from the beginning is the objective.
This is an area where we love to help.
While many positives are highlighted above, we know it’s not the perfect fit for every situation. If you’re considering Design Consulting for your company, please read “How to Find the Right Engineering Consultant” and the follow-up article about making the Consulting Relationship a Success. It’s a process, and success depends on many choices. We invite you to connect with us to discuss ways that design consulting can assist in expediting your next project.
To see more examples of our work and to read more about Design Consulting, please visit the Engineering Services Consulting Page. There are also several more case studies on engineering topics for you to read. Thank you for visiting our website.