Product Engineering Firm

Products Engineering Firm

We identify meaningful opportunities and shepherd ideas from concept to launch.

We identify meaningful opportunities and shepherd ideas from concept to launch.

RKS logo small
RKS logo small

Product Engineering

Services

RKS logo small

Product Engineering Overview

About RKS

As a leading product engineering firm and design and development company, we use our human-centered methodology to solve any engineering challenge. Whether creating new products and services or improving existing ones, we assist at all stages of a product’s life cycle. Our cross-disciplinary specialists, researchers, designers, and engineers leverage their deep understanding of multiple industries and technologies to spark creative and innovative solutions. With our in-house CNC and prototyping capabilities, RKS is a unique full-service product design firm that handles the needs of any type of project with quick and efficient turnaround.

Our product engineering team takes a design solution and prepares it for manufacturing and launch. Our expertise and engineering services include CAD development, BOM creation, CTF drawings, prototyping, and testing as well as mechanical problem-solving, materials selection sourcing, and manufacturing support. Our approach is integrative. Because we are also a design and development firm, our engineering team takes a holistic view of all projects. This view enables us to uniquely engineer designs so that can be scaled on a cost-effective basis to ensure profitability and success. While our experience spans global companies that include many of the Fortune 500, we also work with startups to engineer challenging new concepts or ideas.

RKS logo small

About RKS

As a leading product engineering firm and design and development company, we use our human-centered methodology to solve any engineering challenge. Whether creating new products and services or improving existing ones, we assist at all stages of a product’s life cycle. Our cross-disciplinary specialists, researchers, designers, and engineers leverage their deep understanding of multiple industries and technologies to spark creative and innovative solutions. With our in-house CNC and prototyping capabilities, RKS is a unique full-service product design firm that handles the needs of any type of project with quick and efficient turnaround.

RKS logo small

Our product engineering team takes a design solution and prepares it for manufacturing and launch. Our expertise and engineering services include CAD development, BOM creation, CTF drawings, prototyping, and testing as well as mechanical problem-solving, materials selection sourcing, and manufacturing support. Our approach is integrative. Because we are also a design and development firm, our engineering team takes a holistic view of all projects. This view enables us to uniquely engineer designs so that can be scaled on a cost-effective basis to ensure profitability and success. While our experience spans global companies that include many of the Fortune 500, we also work with startups to engineer challenging new concepts or ideas.

Clients that have moved with us
Animated list of RKS client logos
Clients that have moved with us
Animated list of RKS client logos

Product Engineering Design

The engineering design process is a common series of steps that engineers use in product engineering. These series of steps guide our teams as we solve complex problems. The steps are iterative, meaning that we repeat the steps as many times as needed, making improvements along the way as we learn from failure and uncover new possibilities to arrive at improved solutions. The overarching principle of the engineering design process is teamwork and strong technical capabilities. Years of experience working together enables our team to brainstorm ideas, apply new and existing concepts, test prototypes and analyze data—and aim for creativity and practicality in our solutions.

CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) is one of the many tools used by our engineers and designers to engineer products and solve complex problems. Solving complex problems requires a combination of organization, analysis, problem solving principles and a graphical representation of the problem. With CAD software, it’s possible to create solutions in a virtual space, letting our team visualize attributes like height, width, distance, material, or color before a design is used for a particular application. Our experience spans the spectrum of CAD software from 2D CAD, to 3D CAD and solid modeling. In the product engineering process, CAD allows us to respond to solve problems, and respond to new information in our designs early on.

Engineering Testing

Our engineers test a product to determine whether it meets specifications and create the processes that test the product. From beginning to end of product engineering our engineers develop test programs and create QC documentation, perform testing, log test results, and analyze and track defects identified in testing. Before conducting the tests, our engineers develop test protocols to anticipate performance, determine timing and cost required to execute test programs, and determine resource and equipment needs to conduct testing. While testing our engineers maintain accurate documentation for executed test programs and investigate test problems and implement solutions. After testing, our engineers prepare failure analysis reports and provide corrective actions and recommend design revisions based on test data to meet expected performance. Some of these many tests include: the in-circuit test (ICT), stand-alone JTAG test, automated x-ray inspection (AXI), automated optical inspection (AOI) test, (Board) functional test (BFT/FT), burn-in test, environmental stress screening (ESS) test, and system test (ST).

Compliance and Regulatory

Our product engineering team works around compliance requirements that are often imposed by governmental organizations, industry associations, and companies themselves. Often these requirements create minimum specifications for the form, function, and technologies used in a product. Fortunately, we can rely on our deep understanding of compliance issues and years of experience to find best-in-class solutions to each compliance requirement. Some examples include FDA certification, CLIA Certification, ISO and 13485 Compliance, and European Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). We support and adhere to standards that our clients and their regulatory partners define as they navigate these issues during the entire process.

Materials Science

Successful design to manufacturing require understanding of materials science and engineering. Materials science is the relationship between a material’s composition, microstructure, and properties and the effects of manufacturing on a material’s microstructure. Materials engineering is the task of applying materials science knowledge to the creation of products and manufacturing designs. In many cases, up to 70% of the cost to make a product is its materials. Therefore, whether a product meets all its performance, reliability, and cost requirements depends on whether a team selects the appropriate materials and implements them correctly. An understanding of materials science and engineering enables selection of materials that have been optimized to meet performance, reliability, and cost

Key Attractors

Once we synthesize our research, we can create insights that will make their way into the product. By identifying repeating patterns of desire in the personas, we are able to define what is most important to each individual. We call these patterns of desire Key Attractors, and we can turn them into considerations to motivate the product design. These Key Attractors will motivate us to choose specific design features, touchpoints, haptics, and emotional responses that engage particular target groups. They will continue to provide guidance throughout the design process and can be evaluated against competitive offerings to ensure the creation of unique products and services that successfully differentiate in the market.

Patent Protection

New engineering designs require robust patent protections. We have filed hundreds of utility patents for our clients. We offer patent services for every engineering and development project. Our data protection and procedures ensure that the rights of our clients and their company are protected. Often our engineering design product valuable and game-changing innovations. These innovations can change a company dramatically, and we take our responsibility of protecting these sources of growth seriously.

Product: CueTruly wireless headphones with hybrid driver technology for uncompromised sound.

Product Engineering Design

The engineering design process is a common series of steps that engineers use in product engineering. These series of steps guide our teams as we solve complex problems. The steps are iterative, meaning that we repeat the steps as many times as needed, making improvements along the way as we learn from failure and uncover new possibilities to arrive at improved solutions. The overarching principle of the engineering design process is teamwork and strong technical capabilities. Years of experience working together enables our team to brainstorm ideas, apply new and existing concepts, test prototypes and analyze data—and aim for creativity and practicality in our solutions.

CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) is one of the many tools used by our engineers and designers to engineer products and solve complex problems. Solving complex problems requires a combination of organization, analysis, problem solving principles and a graphical representation of the problem. With CAD software, it’s possible to create solutions in a virtual space, letting our team visualize attributes like height, width, distance, material, or color before a design is used for a particular application. Our experience spans the spectrum of CAD software from 2D CAD, to 3D CAD and solid modeling. In the product engineering process, CAD allows us to respond to solve problems, and respond to new information in our designs early on.

Engineering Testing

Our engineers test a product to determine whether it meets specifications and create the processes that test the product. From beginning to end of product engineering our engineers develop test programs and create QC documentation, perform testing, log test results, and analyze and track defects identified in testing. Before conducting the tests, our engineers develop test protocols to anticipate performance, determine timing and cost required to execute test programs, and determine resource and equipment needs to conduct testing. While testing our engineers maintain accurate documentation for executed test programs and investigate test problems and implement solutions. After testing, our engineers prepare failure analysis reports and provide corrective actions and recommend design revisions based on test data to meet expected performance. Some of these many tests include: the in-circuit test (ICT), stand-alone JTAG test, automated x-ray inspection (AXI), automated optical inspection (AOI) test, (Board) functional test (BFT/FT), burn-in test, environmental stress screening (ESS) test, and system test (ST).

Compliance and Regulatory
Our product engineering team works around compliance requirements that are often imposed by governmental organizations, industry associations, and companies themselves. Often these requirements create minimum specifications for the form, function, and technologies used in a product. Fortunately, we can rely on our deep understanding of compliance issues and years of experience to find best-in-class solutions to each compliance requirement. Some examples include FDA certification, CLIA Certification, ISO and 13485 Compliance, and European Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). We support and adhere to standards that our clients and their regulatory partners define as they navigate these issues during the entire process.

Materials Science

Successful design to manufacturing require understanding of materials science and engineering. Materials science is the relationship between a material’s composition, microstructure, and properties and the effects of manufacturing on a material’s microstructure. Materials engineering is the task of applying materials science knowledge to the creation of products and manufacturing designs. In many cases, up to 70% of the cost to make a product is its materials. Therefore, whether a product meets all its performance, reliability, and cost requirements depends on whether a team selects the appropriate materials and implements them correctly. An understanding of materials science and engineering enables selection of materials that have been optimized to meet performance, reliability, and cost

Key Attractors

Once we synthesize our research, we can create insights that will make their way into the product. By identifying repeating patterns of desire in the personas, we are able to define what is most important to each individual. We call these patterns of desire Key Attractors, and we can turn them into considerations to motivate the product design. These Key Attractors will motivate us to choose specific design features, touchpoints, haptics, and emotional responses that engage particular target groups. They will continue to provide guidance throughout the design process and can be evaluated against competitive offerings to ensure the creation of unique products and services that successfully differentiate in the market.

Patent Protection

New engineering designs require robust patent protections. We have filed hundreds of utility patents for our clients. We offer patent services for every engineering and development project. Our data protection and procedures ensure that the rights of our clients and their company are protected. Often our engineering design product valuable and game-changing innovations. These innovations can change a company dramatically, and we take our responsibility of protecting these sources of growth seriously.

Engineering Methods

We utilize a combination of tried and true engineering methods and emergent technologies that give us a unique advantage in product engineering. While prototyping is a cornerstone of our work, new 3D printing methods allow us to quickly create life-like models that can be used to solve problems and make adjustments early on that are costly when done later. At the same time, our systems engineering methods incorporate traditional understandings of systems integration and of organization-wide technologies driving innovation like hybrid-cloud, AI/ML, and IoT. Ultimately, our decades of experience are used to apply best practices to every project and maintain enough flexibility to incorporate new ones as needed.

Rapid Development Prototypes

Prototypes are routinely used as part of the product engineering process to give engineers and designers the ability to explore design alternatives, test theories, and confirm performance prior to starting production of a new product. Almost every project uses prototypes in some way. A prototype is a working model of a product that is used for testing before it is manufactured. Prototypes help our designers learn about the manufacturing of a product, how people will use the product, and how the product could fail or break. A prototype is not the same thing as a model. A model is used to demonstrate or explain how a product will look or function. A prototype is used to test different working aspects of a product before the design is finalized.

3D Printing

3D printing is the key technology that enables rapid prototyping. Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is used to make three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. In the 3D printing machine a prototype is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. From shorter lead times in prototyping to the creation of complex internal structures, additive manufacturing can offer a big advantage over more traditional processes. 3D printing allows our engineers and designers to create as many variations as necessary of a product or part while adapting its shape and detail, without affecting the cost of the process. As a result, 3D printing allows us to get early feedback and reviews for quality, adaptation, and adjustments. Changes cost more the later they occur and 3D printing reduces this risk.

System Engineering

Product Engineering requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes an analysis of the product and its related elements such as production, maintenance, support, logistics, phase-out, and disposal These activities are necessary to the realization of the system and the longevity of the product. The proper application of systems engineering, and analysis ensures the timely and balanced use of human, financial, and technological assets, and technology investments to minimize problems, harmonize overall results, and maximize customer satisfaction and company objectives.

Product systems engineering helps develop the end-to-end analysis of products and their sub-systems, which includes determining the overall scope of needs for the system, defining product and system requirements, and considering all interactions between the different elements of the system.

Vendors and Materials Sourcing

In the product engineering process, our engineers evaluate, and source proposed materials and manufacturing partners based on the needs of the clients in regard to scale, budget, geographic location, and other factors that will drive decision making. Using our established relationships we often have unique access to materials, materials supply, and a range of manufacturers that cater to various categoires. Our suppliers can often be a great source of innovative ideas for future products. Through close relationships, our suppliers have the freedom to support engineering and innovation efforts that can result in a competitive advantage for both our clients and the supplier. More often than not our diverse set of relationships allows us to compare costs and have a backup option if one of our suppliers isn’t able to perform.

Manufacturing Engineering Support

Our clients often seek to leverage our deep experience in moving a product from engineering to production. Our manufacturing support services connect our clients and suppliers, with our manufacturer partners to support specific all or parts of the process. Our support can be end-to-end or targeted. At the outset, we can help our clients find the right manufacturers for their products. Our in-plant line side replenishment helps with coordinating the delivery of the required parts and materials to the production location, usually sequenced to the required specifications. This service frees up the cost of storing inputs and products themselves. We can also assist sourcing the sub-assembly and parts configuration used in a manufacturer’s products, reducing labor and storage costs. We also offer “post-production” services such as packaging design and sourcing that removes the burden of work from the manufacturer and client. Ultimately, our support is designed to create processes that minimize sourcing costs and lead times of products at each stage of the manufacturing supply chain.

Product: Baby Barista –The perfect baby bottle at the perfect temperature.

Product Engineering Methods

We utilize a combination of tried and true engineering methods and emergent technologies that give us a unique advantage in product engineering. While prototyping is a cornerstone of our work, new 3D printing methods allow us to quickly create life-like models that can be used to solve problems and make adjustments early on that are costly when done later. At the same time, our systems engineering methods incorporate traditional understandings of systems integration and of organization-wide technologies driving innovation like hybrid-cloud, AI/ML, and IoT. Ultimately, our decades of experience are used to apply best practices to every project and maintain enough flexibility to incorporate new ones as needed.

Rapid Development Prototypes

Prototypes are routinely used as part of the product engineering process to give engineers and designers the ability to explore design alternatives, test theories, and confirm performance prior to starting production of a new product. Almost every project uses prototypes in some way. A prototype is a working model of a product that is used for testing before it is manufactured. Prototypes help our designers learn about the manufacturing of a product, how people will use the product, and how the product could fail or break. A prototype is not the same thing as a model. A model is used to demonstrate or explain how a product will look or function. A prototype is used to test different working aspects of a product before the design is finalized.

3D Printing

3D printing is the key technology that enables rapid prototyping. Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is used to make three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. In the 3D printing machine a prototype is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. From shorter lead times in prototyping to the creation of complex internal structures, additive manufacturing can offer a big advantage over more traditional processes. 3D printing allows our engineers and designers to create as many variations as necessary of a product or part while adapting its shape and detail, without affecting the cost of the process. As a result, 3D printing allows us to get early feedback and reviews for quality, adaptation, and adjustments. Changes cost more the later they occur and 3D printing reduces this risk.

System Engineering

Product Engineering requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes an analysis of the product and its related elements such as production, maintenance, support, logistics, phase-out, and disposal These activities are necessary to the realization of the system and the longevity of the product. The proper application of systems engineering, and analysis ensures the timely and balanced use of human, financial, and technological assets, and technology investments to minimize problems, harmonize overall results, and maximize customer satisfaction and company objectives.

Product systems engineering helps develop the end-to-end analysis of products and their sub-systems, which includes determining the overall scope of needs for the system, defining product and system requirements, and considering all interactions between the different elements of the system.

Vendors and Materials Sourcing
In the product engineering process, our engineers evaluate, and source proposed materials and manufacturing partners based on the needs of the clients in regard to scale, budget, geographic location, and other factors that will drive decision making. Using our established relationships we often have unique access to materials, materials supply, and a range of manufacturers that cater to various categoires. Our suppliers can often be a great source of innovative ideas for future products. Through close relationships, our suppliers have the freedom to support engineering and innovation efforts that can result in a competitive advantage for both our clients and the supplier. More often than not our diverse set of relationships allows us to compare costs and have a backup option if one of our suppliers isn’t able to perform.
Manufacturing Engineering Support

Our clients often seek to leverage our deep experience in moving a product from engineering to production. Our manufacturing support services connect our clients and suppliers, with our manufacturer partners to support specific all or parts of the process. Our support can be end-to-end or targeted. At the outset, we can help our clients find the right manufacturers for their products. Our in-plant line side replenishment helps with coordinating the delivery of the required parts and materials to the production location, usually sequenced to the required specifications. This service frees up the cost of storing inputs and products themselves. We can also assist sourcing the sub-assembly and parts configuration used in a manufacturer’s products, reducing labor and storage costs. We also offer “post-production” services such as packaging design and sourcing that removes the burden of work from the manufacturer and client. Ultimately, our support is designed to create processes that minimize sourcing costs and lead times of products at each stage of the manufacturing supply chain.

Industries and Markets

We have decades of experience bringing our product engineering competencies to various industries and markets. Our experience in product engineering and tools, as well as our long-term relationships with suppliers and manufacturers allow us to work across industries. We have deep experience in the medicalconsumer, and industrial product engineering. We have run the gamut of consumer products for worldwide markets and millions of shipments to specialized medical products for a small targeted market. Though there are common challenges for each industry, each project brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. We approach each challenge with the same experience and skills that enabled us to create lasting value for our clients.

Consumer Product Engineering

We’ve worked with hundreds of companies to bring their consumer product designs to life through our product engineering expertise. Our experience with consumer engineering ranges from guitar amplifiers, to children’s toys, and everything in between. In each case we bring concepts to life by using our competencies in design and development to turn concepts into production-ready designs. Consumer engineering projects are unique from other engineering projects such as medical products or industrial products because they usually are sold directly to their end user and sold at scale globally. Engineering decisions must take into the account the potentially global nature of the supply chain, as well as the potentially wide variety of customers.

Medical Device Engineering

Medical companies trust us to create and update some of some of their most important designs to achieve business goals. We’ve engineered devices and products for medical device companies from various industries from genomics to dentistry. Medical devices are used in often heavily regulated industries that require layers of approvals and exacting specifications. Moreover, multiple stakeholders are often included in the decisions to purchase a new product or device. These stakeholders have their own needs and compliance requirements. Our expertise in working with companies in the medical industry allows us to take into consideration these diverse stakeholder requirements throughout the entire engineering process, and throughout the design, development, concept, prototyping, and production processes.

Industrial Product Engineering

Over the years we have developed and implemented work in and with installations, accessories, manufactured parts, and supplies and consumables. For each type of industrial product we’ve worked in various industries, such as automotive, semiconductors, banking, technology, as well as general sustainability across production. Industrial products often demand lower tolerances, because they are used in high-velocity, high-pressure, and/or six-sigma environments.

These environments require engineering that is durable, ergonomic, and efficient. Our engineering and development process accounts for both the demanding user requirements of industrial products and their demanding cost requirements.

Digital Development

Digital permeates every new product as a key feature or as an important concern due to the integrated systems where the product is being used. At the same, product engineering usually includes some type of software engineering. Product designs and the services they provide are reflected in the interplay between hardware and software. Software increasingly unlocks the capabilities of hardware to deliver long-term value to customers. At the same time, newly engineered designs must take into account the technologies and trends that are turning everyday objects into supercomputers and/or connected sensors. Our experience with Cloud, AI/ML, IoT, Mobile and Web, as well as UX/UI enable us to engineer software that considers the digital requirements of products. Ultimately, our experience allows us to create solutions that use digital to increase useful life.

Open Innovation Services

We believe that the future belongs to those who create it. Our expertise can be applied to industries that exist and it can be used to create new ones. The design, development, and engineering of a product often leverages the existing knowledge and technologies of the present but applies them in a unique way. We have been engaged by clients to oversee the design and development of work that redefines categories. Clients often bring us a new idea, or an idea for a technology and we find a way to engineering it. We take this idea and apply decades of experience to the design, engineering, and development of the idea. Our company does not shy away from hard project, in fact we embrace them.

Product: FloWaterA more premium, refreshing, and sustainable alternative to disposable water bottles. 

Markets and Industries

We have decades of experience bringing our product engineering competencies to various industries and markets. Our experience in product engineering and tools, as well as our long-term relationships with suppliers and manufacturers allow us to work across industries. We have deep experience in the medicalconsumer, and industrial product engineering. We have run the gamut of consumer products for worldwide markets and millions of shipments to specialized medical products for a small targeted market. Though there are common challenges for each industry, each project brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. We approach each challenge with the same experience and skills that enabled us to create lasting value for our clients.

Consumer Product Engineering

We’ve worked with hundreds of companies to bring their consumer product designs to life through our product engineering expertise. Our experience with consumer engineering ranges from guitar amplifiers, to children’s toys, and everything in between. In each case we bring concepts to life by using our competencies in design and development to turn concepts into production-ready designs. Consumer engineering projects are unique from other engineering projects such as medical products or industrial products because they usually are sold directly to their end user and sold at scale globally. Engineering decisions must take into the account the potentially global nature of the supply chain, as well as the potentially wide variety of customers.

Medical Device Engineering
Medical companies trust us to create and update some of some of their most important designs to achieve business goals. We’ve engineered devices and products for medical device companies from various industries from genomics to dentistry. Medical devices are used in often heavily regulated industries that require layers of approvals and exacting specifications. Moreover, multiple stakeholders are often included in the decisions to purchase a new product or device. These stakeholders have their own needs and compliance requirements. Our expertise in working with companies in the medical industry allows us to take into consideration these diverse stakeholder requirements throughout the entire engineering process, and throughout the design, development, concept, prototyping, and production processes.
Industrial Product Engineering

Over the years we have developed and implemented work in and with installations, accessories, manufactured parts, and supplies and consumables. For each type of industrial product we’ve worked in various industries, such as automotive, semiconductors, banking, technology, as well as general sustainability across production. Industrial products often demand lower tolerances, because they are used in high-velocity, high-pressure, and/or six-sigma environments.

These environments require engineering that is durable, ergonomic, and efficient. Our engineering and development process accounts for both the demanding user requirements of industrial products and their demanding cost requirements.

Digital Development

Digital permeates every new product as a key feature or as an important concern due to the integrated systems where the product is being used. At the same, product engineering usually includes some type of software engineering. Product designs and the services they provide are reflected in the interplay between hardware and software. Software increasingly unlocks the capabilities of hardware to deliver long-term value to customers. At the same time, newly engineered designs must take into account the technologies and trends that are turning everyday objects into supercomputers and/or connected sensors. Our experience with Cloud, AI/ML, IoT, Mobile and Web, as well as UX/UI enable us to engineer software that considers the digital requirements of products. Ultimately, our experience allows us to create solutions that use digital to increase useful life.

Open Innovation Services

We believe that the future belongs to those who create it. Our expertise can be applied to industries that exist and it can be used to create new ones. The design, development, and engineering of a product often leverages the existing knowledge and technologies of the present but applies them in a unique way. We have been engaged by clients to oversee the design and development of work that redefines categories. Clients often bring us a new idea, or an idea for a technology and we find a way to engineering it. We take this idea and apply decades of experience to the design, engineering, and development of the idea. Our company does not shy away from hard project, in fact we embrace them.

Product Engineering Project Spotlight

Cue

Truly wireless headphones with hybrid driver technology for uncompromised sound.

Baby Barista

The perfect baby bottle at the perfect temperature. 

FloWater
A more premium, refreshing, and sustainable alternative to disposable water bottles.
Experience more of our Product Engineering Work.

Product Engineering Project Spotlight

Cue

Truly wireless headphones with hybrid driver technology for uncompromised sound.

Baby Barista

The perfect baby bottle at the perfect temperature. 

FloWater
A more premium, refreshing, and sustainable alternative to disposable water bottles.

Experience more of our Product Engineering Work.