Design of components and systems relies on a well established need and scope of work. This happens either after a research phase or where the design represents a new iteration of a well established product such as a car or bicycle. Other design tasks include the development of a unique and bespoke part to meet a specific need, for example a mounting system, computer utility or sensor circuit.
Engineering design at COLLINS LIMITED occurs across all of our areas of expertise from mechanical through software development to electronics engineering. We utilise our experience in these fields to develop the tools or parts that meet your need for a unique solution or large production runs for public consumption.
Often a feature in research projects, conceptual design involves
- understanding the problem or problem space,
- generating elegant, creative solutions to the problem,
- reviewing solutions against criteria of success and
- developing feasible engineering solutions out of the creative process.
We work with you to establish your full requirements then either autonomously or with your team work through a conceptual development process.
From a design concept and established load case, as well as any other design constraints, detailed designs can emerge. Constraints include the availability of parts and manufacturing processes or the budget or projected cost of the finished design. We provide design skills in the following areas:
- Component and assembly design
- Material selection
- Structural simulation (FEA)
- Composite layup manuals
- Sheet metal, casting and fabrication engineering
- Composites, mechanical parts, hydraulic systems
- Motion, collision avoidance
In many cases a design already exists, though no manufacturing information exists for its reproduction. It may be a competitor part or a one off part from a long-since defunct manufacturer. We can take the part and using a range of reverse engineering and measurement techniques, create digital models and engineering drawings for manufacture.
- Load analysis from knowledge of part in service
- Inference of design intent
- Estimation of manufacturing tolerance from service loads, adjacent parts
- Inference of manufacturing procedure from part analysis
- Digital measurement of key part surfaces
- Three dimensional scanning of functional organic surfaces
- Identification of material from period, service life and identified manufacturing techniques
Combining reverse engineering and rapid prototyping can in cases result in very quick duplication of parts, getting a duplicate of your upright or mount back to you in the shortest possible time.
Design for rapid prototyping changes the constraints on manufacturing processes. Designs can be far better optimised to meet their need be it thermal, mechanical, electrical and combinations of these and more. Our experience developing high-performance mechanical systems lends a particular ability to envisage ultimate solutions, those solutions not hampered by classical manufacturing constraints.
Rapid prototyping can be applied in several ways. As the name suggests, it can be used to quickly generate example part shapes as prototypes prior to the real part manufacturing. New developments in the technique allow design of intricate wax blanks for the lost-wax casting process; finished, low-strength polymer parts for use in service; and high strength metallic parts made from a range of sintering and deposition techniques.
- Metallics, polymers and resins
- Concept design, packaging verification and lightweight parts
- Structural polymers for rapid, low-volume production
- Wax investment cast blanks
- Structural metal for ultra-efficient production parts
Geared toward measurement and testing, electrical and electronic engineering services at COLLINS LIMITED ensure the interface between your hardware and loggers has minimal noise and distortion. We develop wiring looms for digital, analog and power systems as used on race vehicles and simulators.
Combining our analog sensor circuitry with digital interfaces such as the flexible Arduino and Raspberry Pi devices, we can generate prototype computer interfaces with the bi-directional communications required by control systems.
Analogue and digital circuit design:
- Electronic circuit simulation
- PCB design and routing
- Signal conditioning circuitry
- Strain gauge bridge
Wiring harness design and build:
- Specification of wire gauge, shielding and protection
- Specification of terminations or compatible items
- Assembly of components with routing length
Embedded processor interfaces:
- Raspberry Pi