Our development services are designed to focus on generating the data that you need at the various phases of your project. Whether you are looking into the feasibility of your initial ideas and concepts, generating performance data to drive design changes and improvements as you look to move into a realisation phase, or ensuring that your production-spec design really does what it needs to before your customers get to use it in their application, we can advise you on the way to proceed, or proceed for you.
Design of Experiments (DoE)
Systematic and controlled experimentation is the approach of choice for all but the simplest of products and processes. PDE can provide you with detailed test plans designed to get maximised learning from the experimental phases of your projects.
If your start point is a large number of variables and no obvious ranking of the relative importance of these, then we can design the right type of screening test for you to understand which of these need your attention the most. A formal definitive screening test can tease out the key parameters as well as give early indications as to whether intercations between these could have some criticality. If you have confidence that such interactions are not so crucial, then a simpler Plackett-Burman type design will work, and we can provide this for you and, of course, analyse the resulting data, tell you what it means, and point you toward the next steps you should be taking.
Once you have eliminated minor factors, you can focus on generating more detailed understanding of the major ones. Usually, a factorial or response surface experiment design will be appropriate. Working with you, we’ll select between the range of factorial designs available or, if there is important non-linearity or you want to optimise an associated set of parameters, a Central Composite or Box-Behnken response surface plan instead.
PDE can also work with you to develop test plans for more specialised needs. If you need a plan focussed around elements, components and ingredients then we can create a tailored response surface experiment to permit efficient and result-targeted assessment of such mixture designs. Equally, if you are at the point where are looking to ensure consistency of performance for your product or process, we can develop a Taguchi-type experiment for you so that you can optimise robustness and learn to what degree you can manipulate the parameters within your control to offset any unwanted effects from those that you can’t.
PDE can specify, design, procure, assemble and commission test equipment as needed. We can work within your facility or externally, with partner organisations if necessary. We can also handle the documenting of your test work for you, creating reports and highlighting key findings for you to communicate with stakeholders in your organisation.
Labview-based development software
When the level of complexity required from your tests means that occasional manual data entry from observations of a few sensor readings are not going to cut it, then you will probably benefit from having a piece of tailored software that does exactly what you want it to in terms of control as well as data gathering, analysis and presentation. PDE can develop the specification for this software and any associate hardware with you and then create, test and implement the code, run the tests, analyse the data and tease out the key findings.