Engineering Design Consulting Case Study Example

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 - and start a direction.  The importance of "beginning" is recognized across industries, and considerable focus goes to setting a trajectory for success.  While methods with buzzwords like "Brainstorming" and "Sprint" are coined to represent ways of thinking, they all focus on quickly connecting on the path to success.  Engineering Design Consulting fits in that category too.

Engineering Design Consulting Case Study

One well proven way to set the right trajectory is inviting input from experience for thoughtful perspectives.  This is helpful in all methods, 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 on the experience of Synthesis for design consulting is one ingredient in success for some of our customers.

The following is an example of Engineering Consulting from just one of our customers.  While the example is generic to protect the intellectual property of our customer, and their customer, we think there is value in sharing even the generic version.  (Yes, we often wish we could share more, but we always respect the privacy and property of our customers.  There are things we can share, things that are public knowledge, and things we can't.  Thank you for also respecting this relationship.)

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 large and complex projects - usually as one-offs that provide amazing aesthetics within the function.  You may have seen their work - large, beautifully functional structures in or around big buildings.  In one example, we were able to help with a large winding staircase that appears to float in the air.  A very cool appearance in the atrium of a building.

Prototype of Drive Gears DesignThe business of one-off unique design and engineering often throws a curve simply because the designs are always new.  When there is a lot of "new" in the features, that brings the 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

First, these folks are good at what they do, and very capable in their field.  They have a lot of experience, and they are a bunch of really smart people.

Second, they identify where they can use assistance, and bring in others.  So, it is 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, with this customer we don't take a large portion of the engineering - they know how to do that.  We support their tasks in an engineering design consulting role to help answer key questions or solve specific mechanical engineering or design issues.

Much of their business is in the Civil Engineering arena, and we are not Civil Engineers.  However, when creating the new and creative, the projects often blur the lines between engineering disciplines.  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 define the work.

The fields of Mechanical Engineering are vast, and as they intersect other areas, the projects benefit from collaboration.  More to the point, when starting the design process, the most important piece is always finding the best ideas that will lead to success.  For this customer, it is a blend of both Civil and Mechanical design.

Design Innovation is one of our fundamental talents, 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 with concepts, then separating to analyze or model the concepts for further team evaluation.  Scale prototypes convey concepts and enhance communication within the team.  Also, to other engineering personnel, and to the end customer.

Design consulting brings valuable input for engineering and design to the project.  That is 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.  Other projects need balance in expectations.  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 is 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, 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, and to show the user interaction.  It all depends on the customer need, and in all these cases, we are happy to help.

Seeking Consulting

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 that Synthesis is not the perfect fit for every situation.  If you are considering Engineering Design Consulting for your company, please read "How to Find the Right Engineering Consultant", then the follow-up article about making the Consulting Relationship a Success.  This is a process, and success depends on many choices.

When you are ready, we invite you to connect with us to discuss ways that design consulting may assist in expediting your next project.

Start Here

 

To see more examples of our work and to read more about Engineering Design Consulting, please visit the Engineering Services Consulting Page.  There are also several more case studies on engineering topics in the library and in our Insight feature for you to read.  Thank you for visiting our website.

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