Having a manufacturable product starts with design. While Zebulon Solutions offers stand-alone electrical, mechanical, and software design services, our integrated design approach is what sets us apart. By incorporating system design, considering the supply chain and eventual manufacturing process, and aligning with market needs early in the design phase, we’ll design a product optimized for all your requirements: functionality, reliability, size, time to market, development cost, and especially product cost.

Our team has designed hundreds of successful products. We understand the nuances and challenges of getting a product out of the lab and into stable manufacturing. Let us get your product there as well.

Zebulon Solutions can work from an idea and design a complete system from scratch, or we can take an almost-ready prototype design and dial it in. Either way you’ll end up with a cost-optimized product that is manufacturing-ready.

Bringing a commercially-successful product through manufacturing to market requires the convergence of multiple design disciplines. Zebulon Solutions can optimize your entire product as a system, from PCBA to enclosure, software to packout. And we always apply world-class DFM (Design for Manufacturability) skills, as well as keep a critical eye on costs.

Specific Design Services

Before an enclosure can be designed, before a PCB can be laid out, the system must be architected at the top level. Zebulon Solutions reviews all system requirements and tradeoffs in order to come up with the best design approach. This big-picture view is the key of our success.

  • Products requirements definition
  • System architecture
  • Cross-discipline design, such as thermal or mechatronics
  • System-level bring up and testing

Every physical product, simple or complex, ultimately needs to be manufactured. Zebulon Solutions combines its world-class design and manufacturing skills to make sure your product is designed from the very beginning to be as manufacturable as possible. While we apply these concepts routinely to our own designs, we also offer DFM as a stand-alone service at the board, assembly or system level.

  • Electrical, mechanical and system-level DFM
  • Assembly review
  • Drawing review
  • Tooling review

Today’s electronic devices not only communicate with each other, they also interface with the real world via sensors and actuators. Zebulon Solutions has extensive experience in designing PCBAs as well as electronics subsystems, from batteries to antennas. We are especially skilled at embedded microcontrollers, sensors, analog, wireless comms, and portable devices, but we’ve worked on a wide variety of products, from medical devices to clean-tech, IoT products to industrial controllers.

  • PCBA design and layout
  • Battery and charging circuitry design
  • Technical and tradeoff analysis
  • Component evaluation and selection
  • Circuit simulation and analysis
  • Specialized design: analog, sensors, RF, ultra-low power, motion control, etc.
  • Board to board and system level interconnect design

Mechanical design ranges from creating simple enclosures to engineering complex dynamic systems with many moving parts. Zebulon Solutions not only creates 3D CAD models (the easy part) but also does analysis, simulation, prototyping and verification of the complete mechanical subsystem, and then integrates it with the electronics and other system level components. Our skilled team can finalize your existing design or covert your idea into a complete, manufacturing-ready product, complete with documentation.

  • 3D part and assembly design
  • Structural and functional analysis
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerance (GD&T) analysis
  • Design finalization: 2D drawings, etc.
  • Materials and finish selection
  • Ingress protection design, analysis and testing

Software is everywhere, in tiny devices, loaded on powerful microprocessors embedded in products, or up in the cloud. Zebulon Solutions has extensive experience integrating software, hardware and the real world together to create products that offer unique function and value. While much of our software effort is embedded firmware within the electronics hardware, we also do work at the app and cloud levels.

  • Embedded firmware development
  • System software development
  • Cloud-based data access
  • Code reviews
  • Embedded library selection/licensing review

Zebulon Solutions can help you ideate and prove out your concepts, while keeping an eye forward toward eventual manufacturability and costs. Leverage our experience to make your next big thing even bigger.

  • Ideation
  • Proof of Concept
  • Skunk works proects
  • Preliminary costing analysis

While prototypes should never be confused with a manufacturing-ready product, they’re an important part of the product development cycle. Zebulon Solutions works with all the latest 3D prototyping techniques as well as less trendy but effective methods like casting and machining. And we utilize these tools to allow for many agile iterations.

  • Procure 3D parts and evaluate
  • Quick-turn PCB boards and bring up
  • Prototype BOM scrubbing and component kitting
  • Assembly and testing of subsystem and system prototypes

Design validation testing closes the feedback loop between your product and your requirements. Zebulon Solutions will help you make sure that your design aligns with these requirements, ranging from regulatory to product life to performance testing. We develop test protocols and manage 3rd party labs, or we can do some testing in house.

  • FCC/CE EMI pre-scans
  • Mechanical pre-testing o
  • Life and endurance testing
  • Temperature and humidity testing
  • Test protocol development

A DFMEA is a highly-structured brainstorming session used to predict what might go wrong with your product in the future. While Zebulon Solutions can’t do this in isolation—a successful DFMEA requires active participation from all stakeholders—we will organize and facilitate this analysis. It’s better to figure out what might go wrong before your customers learn about it the hard way.

  • Organize and facilitate a DFMEA
  • Participate with your team as an independent set of eyes
  • Generate reports and action item lists

Even world-class design teams need a second set of eyes to review their work, to make sure that they haven’t lost sight of the forest for the trees—or the bark. Zebulon Solutions can provide an independent assessment of your design, in as much detail as you like, and provide unbiased, clean-slate feedback without casting blame on anyone. Many of our long-term customer engagements started this way. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to leverage our decades of experience and gain valuable insights about your product’s readiness.

  • Design review
  • Manufacturing path review
  • Risk identification
  • Preliminary costing analysis

There are many reasons for product redesign: cost, end-of-life components, feature enhancements, change of manufacturers. Some are internally driven, some are externally driven. Zebulon Solutions does a lot of this, it’s one of our core offerings. Let us handle the redesign while your internal team attacks the next breakthrough product.

  • Design in replacement parts (end-of-life or long lead times)
  • Updating product feature set
  • Form factor change
  • Manufacturing optimization
  • Cost reductions!

Zebulon Solutions’ design services are focused on making sure you get the most value from the product development cycle. We always keep an eye on costs, no matter how large or small our engagement. And we can combine both design and supply chain expertise to provide the maximum impact.

  • Cost reduction studies and calculations
  • Implementation of cost-down programs
  • Manufacturing process selection / optimization
  • Trade-off optimization
  • Return on Investment analysis

Design Case Study

Wearable Instrument Design

Four years ago, Zebulon Solutions was asked by a spin-out of an existing customer to help with the design of a new scientific instrument. Advances in MEMS technology allowed them to reduce the physical size of air samplers and integrate analysis features, resulting in a wearable form factor. Our first engagement was basic R&D on the actuators to understand their electrical, thermal, and mechanical behavior. We created a design of experiments and subjected the actuators to a wide range of operating conditions. Zebulon Solutions then architected several circuit options, trading off efficiency, risk and design effort with costs, performance and manufacturability. With our customer, we settled on an evolutionary approach in order to get to market early, generate cash flow, and then improve the instrument over time. This approach worked: our customer is now manufacturing and shipping their instrument, and our collaboration has expanded into system architecture, PCB layout and debug, prototype contract manufacturing, firmware development, and cost reductions.

Have an existing design? Get an independent design assessment done by our experts in multiple disciplines.

Specific Questions or Needs?

Email us at info@zebulonsolutions.com

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Experienced. Trustworthy. Efficient. Pragmatic. Innovative. Optimized. Zebulon Solutions.