What we do

Product development: definition, design, engineering and realisation

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Panchromos undertakes product development projects for and with clients. We (help) clarify product opportunities, create product concepts, prototypes and manufactured items. Based on ideas, IP, or identified needs. We act as a—sometimes partially—outsourced product development department. I’m using the words development and design interchangeably—to me they describe the same process, the same set of activities: Definition, Concept exploration, Engineering and Realisation.

Although conceptually straightforward, the reality of most design project is not so linear: While exploring concepts new questions come up and requirements might need to be adjusted. A crucial component may become unexpectedly unavailable. IP issues might favour a less-then-ideal technical solution, creating a new set of challenges. Different streams of the project will run out of sync. Choices will have to be reconsidered due to opportunities or conflicts uncovered along the way. Intermediate deliverables such as prototypes need to be defined, designed and made. And it’s pretty sure you’ll need to start selling before engineering is completed, which is likely to generate feedback that gives rise to a few changes…

You get the idea. This fluidity means it is extremely important to stay flexible throughout the design process. I think we’re pretty good at that.

Definition

This is about posing and answering questions— questions that define the opportunity and the product. Sometimes we start with a perceived user need, but just as often we start with a technology or invention and look for problems to solve. Read more

Concept Design

This is all about creating options, evaluating them and making choices. Ideally in an iterative, concurrent interplay with product definition. Some questions and challenges will only come up in the process of exploring alternative concepts. Read more

Engineering

This is all about making lots of small (or not so small) choices that reduce options and take away uncertainty. From the top level of product architecture down to the (literally) nuts&bolts, PCB traces, and firmware code. Making trade-offs along the way. Read more

Realisation

Once designed the product still needs to be made, sold and used. This is mostly up to you, but we’re happy to assist where we can, e.g. in finding contract manufacturers, CE-marking and illustrations for marketing literature and technical manuals. Read more

Disciplines we cover include mechanics, electronics, optics, fluidics, industrial design, (embedded) software, user research, and production engineering.