Product Concept Development, Design and Prototype Fabrication
Unlike most engineering firms, WESTEST services go beyond detailed design to encompass in-house prototype fabrication and testing to prove product performance prior to production.
WESTEST provides the engineering expertise needed to develop a new product or optimize an existing one. WESTEST has adopted a standardized process, which include the following steps:
Step 1: Concept Development
Step 1 begins with identifying a requirement for a new product. Through consultation, the product specification is defined to include its functional and performance requirements. One or more concepts are usually generated and rough sketches or CAD models are created to convey the product's fit form and function. A concept review evaluates the options, selects the best option and establishes the criteria for the next steps in the process.
Step 2: Detail Design
Step 2 implements a design based on outputs generated during the design review. A detailed design is generated using 3D, solid-modeling CAD programs, such as SolidWorks. CAD models are created for components and assemblies to check for interference before any physical parts are made. Using a design-for-manufacture philosophy, parts and assemblies are designed to ensure they are appropriate for the client’s fabrication capabilities.
Step 3: Analysis
Developed CAD models are exported to various analytical programs, such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA), to confirm that requirements, such as stress or thermal performance, meet establish targets.
Step 4: Prototype Fabrication
Once the detail design is completed, prototypes can be fabricated and the necessary purchase parts procured. WESTEST has a broad range of internal fabrication and tooling capabilities and has access to additional capabilities through relationships developed with preferred local service providers.
Step 5: Assemble and Test
Assembly of the initial prototype is a critical step in the process that validates previous design assumptions. Physical testing confirms that the prototype meets the performance requirements established during the concept phase. If changes are required, the CAD models are revised and the prototype modified until all expectations are met.
Step 6: Document Release
The final step is to verify the accuracy of all CAD models and create finalized production drawings. A documentation package is prepared which includes detail drawings, purchase-part specifications and assembly drawings with bills of materials.