Product Design and Development

Estes engineers bring years of sheet metal fabricating experience to bear on even the most complex problems.

With the ability to anticipate and resolve manufacturing challenges even before the process is begun, Estes insures the development of products that can be manufactured easily and cost-effectively. And because of Estes’ machines’ advanced processing capabilities, Estes can combine multiple components of an assembly into one complex part.

Design for manufacturing and assembly

Our Product Development Cycle

During the product development cycle, Estes collaborates with customers from product designing to rapid prototyping to manufacturing.

During the initial phases of development, Estes designers serve as a resource to its client’s own design staffs, which is especially critical to the clients who have been forced to downsize their own product development operations. By providing product design, engineering services, and rapid prototyping to clients, Estes can help to improve speed to market.

But Estes also provides manufacturing expertise, helping designers translate ideas from the drawing board to the assembly line. By applying design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) principles throughout the development process, Estes can ensure that a product can be manufactured efficiently while maintaining its aesthetic and functional purposes.

Product Design

Let Estes take your product design to the next level.

Case Studies

Case Study #1

Technology enables real savings

Client Need

The design for a client’s stainless steel box consisted of four pieces formed in a Z-shape at the press brake. These four pieces were then welded at the corners, which caused the stainless steel to warp slightly. The assembly had a brushed, cosmetic flange around the perimeter that would remain visible to the end user. To maintain an appealing look, the welds had to be ground, and then the flange had to be brushed.

Estes Solution

This finishing process was very labor-intensive and costly, so Estes proposed a redesign to the customer. Utilizing their Salvagnini forming cell’s capability to form complex, tight-tolerance bends, they formed the part from one blank instead of four. The edges were brought together so precisely they could be laser welded at the seams. The laser welding eliminated the warping and the secondary finishing.

Case Study #2

New design results in operational efficiencies

Client Need

A longtime client needed a cabinet door assembly that was nearly five feet long by nine inches wide, and it needed to be rigid. The original plan called for two fabricated stiffeners to be glued to the doors to provide the necessary support. The three-piece assembly cost $29.00 and required eleven operations to manufacture.

Estes Solution

The Estes design team, using the Salvagnini forming cell, was able to create a single-piece door with the necessary rigidity. The new design was manufactured in three operations, and costs were reduced by more than two-thirds.

Case Study #3

Development of better product at lower cost

Client Need

A client revealed to Estes that with their old fabricator, they were managing the production process themselves – taking three weeks to shuttle parts from one subcontractor to another, wasting precious time that could have been spent on revenue-generating business operations. Raw materials alone cost more than $24 per product produced. Continuing to manage production in this manner would prohibit the client’s growth.

Estes Solution
The client visited the Estes prototype shop and watched as their design was brought to life by the automated cell. The result was a new prototype for the client that was cheaper ($24 finished product cost) to produce and proved the same quality as the transitional product. The client was blown away by the time saved with the new design – from a production time of three weeks to a production time of three days – and, the final product looked better than the previous design.