Decades of field engineering experience guide our process, steering customers to manufacturable solutions
¬By Tom Hoffman, President/CEO, R.M Hoffman Company
We call our initial engagement with value-added clients our discovery process. When we meet (usually, on the phone or via computer teleconference), we’ll engage in an informal field-proven approach represented as Step 1 in the infographic. Our objective is to discover everything knowable. Successive steps beginning with Design rely on no surprises. Like you, we don’t want false starts.
Brake and gearbox assembly designed and manufactured by R.M. Hoffman to solve a challenging human safety issue (cantilevered human load) in a medical diagnostic system used at hospitals and clinics. Read about the solution here.
Our team consists of veteran engineers with a combined resume that is second to none. We build our team for your specific issue, selecting backgrounds, skill sets and team member experiences most likely to achieve a best-practice approach. With decades of field work, R.M. Hoffman’s resources represent a storied history with a high success rate.
To the extent possible, we’ll ask you to supply the following information in advance or during our discovery meeting. By working closely with you as a team, R.M. Hoffman gains needed information and clear understanding. Flexibly, we know that data changes unexpectedly at times.
- Your type of business and industry
- Clear statement(s) of the problem. More than one point-of-view is welcome
- Background — you’ll tell the story of how this issue developed
- Solutions you’ve tried that have failed or fallen short
- CAD files, photographs, blueprints, engineering drawings of impacted mechanisms
- Videos and photos that demonstrate the problem
- Specifications for connected system hardware
- Special design and engineering concerns. For example, is human health and safety involved? Will the hardware need to survive a high-debris environment? Any standards (such as OSHA) to meet?
- Equipment duty cycle and efficiency needed
- Equipment certifications required
- Specific physical objectives:
- Voltage, torque, speed, configuration specifics
- Must the solution fit a specific physical envelope?
- Does the operating environment rule out – or rule in – the use of electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic motion devices?
- Is the solution destined for an “intrinsically safe” environment (e.g., process control of combustibles)
- Will the solution need to accommodate fieldbus sensors? Which?
- Will the solution include integration into a PLC or DCS (e.g., shaft encoder, sensors)?
Our Interview Produces a Proposal
We often learn about mechanical motion problems during routine sales engineer visits. And sometimes our phone rings. An anxious client asks for help. Hoffman immediately engages our discovery process. As soon as we gather needed information, test the data and agree to a tentative schedule, R.M. Hoffman will generate a design concept proposal for prototypes and an estimate for production.
On approval, the design effort begins without delay. In addition to the discovery steps enumerated above, there are inevitable questions on both sides of the table so team work is our style.
Future blog episodes will offer more in-depth examples. NEXT UP: Our design process. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our wide range of successful projects and read other Blog episodes. You’ll be able to get in touch quickly to begin Step 1 with no obligation. CLICK HERE.
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