New product development and innovation from first principles

New product development and innovation from first principles

Smoke control, ventilation and facade engineering technologies are widely used solutions in building design and construction, but like all complex systems, they are reliant on the performance and quality of individual products and components.

“First Principles is a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘What are we sure is true?’… and then reason up from there.” — Elon Musk.

The importance of this has been embraced by SE Controls with its ongoing commitment to product innovation, research, and development, which was enhanced with the creation of a dedicated innovation centre in 2013 and its new R&D Centre of Excellence completed earlier this year.

With around £2 million already invested in its new product development (NPD) programme, the company’s focus is on creating the next generation of actuators and control solutions that incorporate smart technologies.

To support this, SE Controls has already recruited new development engineers and designers together with a number of software engineers who are developing new operating systems and programmes for the ‘smart’ products.

By adopting a first principles design philosophy, every aspect of the product design, function, performance and marketability have been scrutinised to ensure the products are reliable, compliant and suitable for global markets.

As a result, SE Controls’ NPD and manufacturing teams have set up technology partnerships with specialist organisations engaged in the precision aerospace, automotive and medical sectors to integrate advanced technologies into their products.

Alongside this, new manufacturing, rapid prototyping and rapid tooling techniques have been adopted, as well as the development of unique product testing rigs for endurance and destructive testing of all products and key components.

A state of the art climate chamber has just been installed too, which enables the simulation of environmental conditions across the globe to ensure products can be tested in temperature and humidity extremes.

NPD Manager, Mike Clayton, who heads the R&D operation at SE Controls, explained: “Everything we’re doing is being driven by our desire to provide high quality products and solutions in an increasingly competitive and demanding commercial environment.”

He added: “The products that are currently in the final stages of development are being previewed at the international BAU exhibition in Germany during January 2019 and will be among the best engineered, efficient and reliable in the market. The use of smart technologies and modular design also enables them to meet the differing requirements of individual markets across the globe."

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SE Controls

SE Controls

SE Controls is a leading specialist provider of smoke and natural ventilation solutions, providing adaptive and bespoke ventilation strategies for all types of new build and refurbishment projects.

Fires are a costly expense, from property...
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