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Blog - Author Archives: Richard Lundin
Richard Lundin

I had a conversation with a potential client several months ago about doing a redesign of their newly introduced product. Since they were not reengaging the initial design firm, I asked why. Their reasoning in short was that the product did not behave as they expected it to under changing conditions external to their product, and thought the design firm should have designed for that. I asked what the product specification called for under those circumstances and was asked “what is a product specification?” That answer said it all; the process went wrong at the beginning. That’s not to say that starting with a napkin sketch won’t work, but a clear and detailed product specification is the mainstay of a successful product design. It saves development time, money, and can … Read More +

Richard Lundin

Problems that stem from using a single-source supply chain combined with the lack of Intellectual Property (IP) ownership were recurring themes during my visit to a U.S. Military depot last month. During a half hour briefing I attended, the brass made two things clear to department heads and visiting suppliers. First and foremost was a clear directive to buy the IP rights when paying for development of an engineered product or a weapons system. The second was to obtain more than one source for a service or part. Sole sourcing without purchasing the IP saved money for the military in the late 20th century. But the decision has come back to haunt them. They are paying millions for reverse engineering because they don’t have access to the IP, or the production … Read More +

On the Road to Houston

Richard Lundin

Stilwell Baker recently won two projects for the design and manufacture of new electronic products that will be marketed to the Oil and Gas industry. As a result of the two projects,  the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston became a priority destination for me during the first week  in May. Yes, Spring is hot and muggy in Houston, and arriving in southern Texas from the cool Pacific Northwest was like being transported directly into a terrarium; but it was worth it. I knew there would be companies that needed custom electronic product design and manufacturing at this show. As is typical for most industry shows, the exhibiting companies spanned a wide range of specialties—from drilling rigs and platforms to flow control systems, monitoring equipment, and instrumentation. The market segment behemoth, … Read More +