product development

Product Development

At Sparkpi we offer our customers a fully turnkey product design solution. This can include specification\proposal development feasibility studies, concept design, detailed design, product packaging, prototyping, approvals, testing and low to medium volume manufacturing. All of this within a gated design process with several commercial models available.

Specification/Proposal Development
At Sparkpi we are happy to work with customers who have done their own preparation and proceed with their specifications. Equally we understand not every project and customer knows the details; we are happy to work with our customers to develop the specification, costs and planning to allow the detailed work to continue with confidence.

Feasibility studies
Sometimes achieving the end goal is uncertain whether that is technical risks or commercial targets (BoM costs etc). We are happy to quote for small packages of work separately from the main development program to explore various project options and de-risk any future development.

Concept design
Often customers know what the electronics and software needs to do but are on unsure on what the look, feel and ergonomics of the product should be. At Sparkpi we are equally at home working with hand sketches or 3D CAD modelling to present the customer with various options and advice in, aesthetics, materials and tooling (hard moulding, soft moulding, 3D printing, CNC machining etc).

Detailed Design
Sparkpi has a multidisciplinary team who can cover all of your product development needs including the electronics, software and mechanical engineering elements. We use Altium or PADS for our detailed electronic schematic capture and PCB layout work, Solidworks for our mechanical engineering or product packaging needs. For software development we use multiple design environments ideally suited for the application whether that is FPGA, DSP, embedded or a mobile application.

Product Packaging and enclosures
Along with our electronics and software services Sparkpi can offer a fully turnkey solution including the product packaging (custom plastic enclosures, box build etc.). We have experience of designing with hard and soft moulded plastics, machined enclosures, 3D printing, 19” racking and customised cables \ harnesses.

The engineers at Sparkpi have extensive experience of the product approvals process and guide our customers on the optimum design choices or manage the process on their behalf. Our experience includes, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Radio Equipment Directive, Low Voltage Directive, Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS), ATEX, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and various UL approvals.

As well as supporting any approvals testing Sparkpi have an extensive range of advanced electronic test equipment in our new dedicated laboratory and manufacturing facility to allow for prototyping, proof of concept, calibration and board level production testing.

Sparkpi can fully manage the manufacture for both prototyping and low \ medium volume production quantities. We use UK based contract manufacturers to make the bare board PCBs and surface mount assembly. Sparkpi uses our in- house facilities to hand solder any components if required, wire custom magnetics, board level testing, integration into the product housing and final product level validation.

Design Process
At Sparkpi we understand the design process and the systems V model to ensure the end users needs and requirements are fully understood at the start of a project. Toll-gate checks and design reviews are carried out during the project and verification testing is carried out to ensure the product or system meets our customers requirements.

Commercial Models
Different customers and different projects have various commercial needs. Sparkpi recognises this and we are flexible in the way the commercial contracts are structured. Typically we use a milestone payment structure or a hourly/day rate for projects with evolving requirements. However we are willing to discuss a partnership based model for the right product. We have also assisted customers with crowdfunding campaigns to promote, market and raise funds for the product development.

Intellectual Property
We understand the importance of protecting our customers IP. We can supply our own two way Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or are happy to sign our customers. Our typical terms pass any IP developed on the project to the customer on receipt of the final payment.

The team at Sparkpi is also experienced in the process of protecting IP during product development and can offer our customers advice on the best way to proceed.

Meetings and Reporting
Collaborating closely with the customer is very important in the way we work at Sparkpi. Product development needs to be fast paced and agile that’s why at Sparkpi we are happy to facilitate any meetings and reviews the project requires, whether that’s at our location in the Bristol and Bath science park, our customers premises or remotely via teleconference or skype etc. Monthly, bi-weekly or weekly progress reports can also be provided at the customers request.