Our Process

Flexible + Complete To Meet Your Goals

Client-Focused Flexibility

What’s important to Pensar is what’s important to our clients. Close collaboration defines both the project and the process. We can help you carry a design from the initial discovery phase through production or assist with a focused segment of the development effort. Sometimes our clients are just looking to jump-start idea generation, while other times they need us to be heads-down engineering in preparation for manufacturing. By having designers and engineers sit side by side, we are able to move through the process faster and with greater confidence that the design intent is maintained and that the engineering details are being considered from the start. And our discipline integration translates to smooth communication throughout the entire development process, leading to reduced cost and schedule.

Pensar Tested Process

Our clients are true collaborators on projects, and we strive for clear and frequent communication. Each of our phases includes multiple client review points and ends with a milestone review before continuing onto the next phase. Our frequent checkpoints mean clients know what’s happening on their project and it enables us to quickly course correct if needed. Have questions or want to know more about our process? We’re always available via email at inspired@pensardevelopment.com.

Our Product Development Phases

Exploration and Collaboration

We work closely and collaboratively with our Clients to understand their brand, business and project goals.  By understanding the human + brand + business elements at this stage, we are able to move forward with accuracy and speed.  The goal of the Discovery phase is to find new product opportunities and understand the technology sandbox.

Discovery phase includes:

  • Market research – competition, opportunities, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats)
  • User research – looking for unmet needs and wants, observations of user patterns and habits
  • Opportunity finding – Research allows us to understand user’s un-articulated needs. Our designer insight translates them into product opportunities.
  • R&D – Research relevant new technologies and processes to fully understand their limitations and opportunities
  • Risk evaluation and option trade-off studies
  • Initial human factors evaluation
  • Project details and processes are understood, including client-specific FDA-approved processes and production methods and quantities

Once opportunities are identified, concepts are developed to meet user, product, and business goals. We start broad, exploring copious ideas. Concepts are created and refined, new information is incorporated and the elements of the experience from physical object to user interface start to come together. Our process is iterative and inclusive and often involves a lot of prototypes. The goal of the Concept phase is to finalize the design direction to be detail engineered.

Concept phase includes:

  • Ideas – paper sketches, rough CAD, early prototypes
  • Form studies
  • New experience concepts
  • Concept selection – refined CAD concepts selected for further development (by both design and engineering)
  • CMF options and renderings – samples procured, manufacturing trade-offs evaluated
  • Cosmetic prototypes are created for further evaluation
  • Frequent client reviews
  • User testing – concept evaluation from the customer’s perspective (ergonomics/emotional response/experience evaluation/ease of use)
  • Concepts for cabling and accessories
  • UI wire-framing and graphic concepts/layouts
  • ID/ME co-development of concepts
  • Top level component layouts and configurations
  • High-risk area testing – functional prototype testing, cosmetic prototype testing
  • Thermal and EMC concepts and component layouts
  • Component evaluation and selection begins
  • BOM creation with MFG and COGS estimates
  • Electrical bench testing
  • Optics testing occurs
  • Device communication is defined

Refinement is where the nitty gritty details take center stage and all of the pieces must come together to define a complete product without compromising the fundamental design attributes and features identified in earlier phases. This is where risks are identified, managed, and resolved. Even the smallest details are fully defined. Pensar engineering teams are, at the core, production execution design experts. The tool sets, habits, communication skills, and experience of the team is critical to a smooth transition from “just a good idea” to a product that is ready to manufacture at volume, on schedule, and per COGS targets. The goal of the Detail phase is a fully functional cosmetic prototype.

Detail phase includes:

  • Prototypes – user and mechanical evaluation and testing to validate concepts
  • Close ID and ME collaboration to ensure design intent is carried into production
  • FEA testing – judicious use as needed
  • Full engineering and CAD modeling of internal and external parts, mechanical systems, electrical systems, software systems, and plastics
  • Tolerance analysis completed
  • Fit and finish revised to a cost target
  • Production ready databases and drawings
  • Final CMF specifications
  • Refined prototypes – cosmetic and functional as required
  • DFA and DFM
  • Pre-production builds
  • Electrical testing of circuits and prototypes
  • Breadboards created
  • Schematic design
  • PCB fabrication and assembly
  • EMC qualification testing
  • Vendors engagement
    • Components procured
  • Pilot builds completed – ensuring reliability, compliance, and risk reduction
  • Continuing FDA compliance for medical products
  • UI prototypes – user testing and refinement
  • UI graphic elements and icons defined
  • Firmware and software final design implementation
  • Algorithms developed and tested
  • Device communication refined

The goal of the Production phase is to go from prototype into full production. This is where our skills as production execution design experts are manifest. We are diligent about communicating all the critical details to manufacturing partners through drawings and manufacturing instructions, as well as face to face.  We verify that tooling and production methods are working properly and we are available for any continuing supplier management as long as our clients desire.

Production phase includes:

  • Specifying production details clearly for suppliers and manufacturing including final database release
  • Production set up
  • COGS negotiation with suppliers and trade-offs evaluated
  • Communication with suppliers and manufacturing throughout the process to ensure quality control
  • Verification of product and tooling, fit check of T1 parts, tooling release
  • Compliance testing and certification (UL, CE, FDA etc.)
  • Continued supplier management as needed