With oil and gas prices soaring, Britain is leading the world in the move towards ‘Smart Energy’ – the use of better metering and supply management technology, and more energy-efficient devices in the home.
As part of this trend, companies in Cambridge and surrounding areas are playing a key role. When Product Design Consultancy eg technology needed a rapid prototyping partner for its contract with AlertMe, it turned to Prototype Projects.
When Product Design Consultancy eg technology needed a Rapid Prototyping Bureau to provide them with prototype models for their client AlertMe, they chose Prototype Projects.
AlertMe is a global smart energy innovator and a leader in the market for smart energy solutions.
eg technology was involved in the design of AlertMe products as early as 2007, and at that time used Prototype Projects to produce some of the first prototype models of the company’s “SmartPlug” range.
Early successes with these products have led to other AlertMe prototyping requirements including SmartPlugs for the European and US markets, lamps, sensors, keyfobs and hubs.
Due to the fast-paced nature of the Smart Energy industry, eg technology had exacting requirements for its prototyping partner.
The models required were for early concept presentation and marketing but there was also a need for some functional Prototypes. These were occasionally SLS but more often were SLAs using painted XtremeResin materials.
As a result, the need was for all prototype models to be finished to a consistently high standard each time. The emphasis was strongly on accuracy and quality, and eg technology needed to be able to rely on a consistent finish each time.
Timing was always key. It was not unknown for a high level AlertMe business executive to need to fly to the USA or Europe at short notice to present or demonstrate a product model at a sales meeting– and in these cases both fast turnaround and high quality finish were paramount requirements in equal measure.
De-risking the Prototyping Process
Because of Prototype Projects’ ability to deliver consistently quickly and to high quality, eg technology have seen no need to turn to an alternative provider.
In fact, as Russ Farn, Design Engineer at eg technology says, Prototype Projects provides eg with a ‘seamless’ solution that ‘de-risks’ the prototyping process. As a result, Product Designers have confidence in helping their clients because they know their prototype model making processes are reliability consistent in quality and approach.
By contrast, some prototype suppliers have been known to send product in up to two weeks late.
Citing how Prototype Projects are always keen to go the extra step, Russ recalls an occasion when they rose to a particularly stretching challenge:
“We were working to a very tight deadline that was made more challenging by the fact that it was Christmas week. We needed five prototype product models built, finished and painted fast– and while Prototype Projects stressed that it may not be possible to do the job in the timescale we gave them, they pulled out all the stops and delivered the day before the deadline.”
Russ Farn continues: “The speed of response and turnaround, both on quotes and delivery gives Prototype Projects a massive edge over competitors. Their genuinely positive attitude and willingness to help is extremely valuable to us.”