ESCATEC announces partnership with UID to create a unique, fully integrated product design through manufacturing service

Heerbrugg, Switzerland – February 18, 2013 – ESCATEC, one of Europe’s leading contract design and manufacturing companies, has announced a partnership agreement with UID, a German design company that specialises in user experience analysis and user interface development. This provides customers with a complete product design and manufacturing solution that is fully integrated through every stage.  This turnkey approach will speed time to market and save costs.

There are three phases in creating and making a new product according to Martin Kingdon, ESCATEC’s Director of Business Development.  First is working out the very important look, feel and function of a new product, which is UID’s expertise.  They focus on the user experience from analysing the requirements through to designing interfaces that are intuitive, easy to use, and deliver a positive user experience.  Normally the project would then be handed to a product designer to make critical technology choices in order to deliver the device’s functionality and life expectancy.  The product designer will also develop and implement the hardware, embedded software and mechanical structures of the device.  The third stage would be handing it over to a manufacturing company to actually make prototypes and production versions. 

These two handovers can create major disconnects in the process and introduce the possibility for problems, additional costs and delays as the process is not being looked at as a whole.  For example, a prototype design may look wonderful but could be very hard or expensive to make in volume, requiring it to go right back to the beginning and be redesigned for efficient manufacture.  Another example is that a user interface could be specified without considering that the display technology required to render it requires more power and a larger battery than can physically fit in the device.  Every time a problem occurs, design changes must be made, and bouncing back and forth between three different companies to try and solve the problem can ultimately delay the project, cost money, and compromise the functionality of the final product.

This partnership means that the first and second stages are now handled as a single coordinated design process by ESCATEC and UID that also draws on ESCATEC’s deep knowledge of Design for Manufacture ensuring that all aspects of the third stage are considered at the same time.  “The close working relationship between UID and ESCATEC means that every decision is looked at and evaluated in terms of the entire, three stage creation process, ensuring that the device is always designed right for manufacture and designed to meet the functional specification and end price point,” explained Martin Kingdon.  “This holistic approach ensures seamless and problem-free transition to rapid prototyping and low to high volume contract manufacturing by ESCATEC.” 

Andreas Beu, Marketing Director at UID, added, “We are really excited about this new initiative as it enables us to extend our service to customers beyond our current user experience and interface stage right through to final products, to add more value for our customers.  By working closely in a fully integrated, parallel fashion for all three stages, rather than one after the other in a serial manner, the two companies are able to share knowledge and expertise, ensuring better products for customers, reducing risk, and delivering faster time to market.” 

The two companies will be jointly exhibiting at Embedded World 2013 at Nuremberg, Germany (26-28 February) on booth 430 in hall 5.  ESCATEC will be showing examples of products that it has designed and manufactured from high reliability medical devices, through precision instruments to high-end consumer electronics. 

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