Why work with Crucible?

Why work with Crucible?

There are five reasons to choose Crucible as your product design and development partner:

  • We listen - to your ideas, timescales, concerns and cost targets
  • We’re experienced – a track record of hundreds of projects over 30 years
  • We deliver - your project will be completed on time and on budget
  • We're team players - with a friendly, positive approach & no jargon
  • We cover the whole process – from initial ideas to the finished product

1. We listen – to your ideas, concerns, timescales and cost targets.

We want to build long term relationships with our clients, so are more than happy to invest time getting to know your business and what you need from the product design process. This is why we created our detailed Project Specification checklist - to make sure we have discussed every angle of your project with you – and to make sure you are aware of some of the less obvious issues that can affect the design of your product.

Above all, we like to work with our clients, not for them. If we can become a temporary part of your team, we can deliver the best results in the shortest time – reducing your costs and getting your product to market as quickly as possible.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, just call Mike Ayre on 01235 833785 to arrange an initial meeting.

2. We’re experienced –  hundreds of projects over 30 years

If you need a couple of safe pairs of hands, look no further. Both Hugh and Mike have been designing products for over three decades, and we’ve worked with virtually every product type, process and material. We’re also completely up to date with the latest CAD tools and production methods, including pioneering work on 3D printing and sustainable design.

We have worked in most product sectors, from telephone handsets to bomb disposal equipment. Our design approach is to start with whatever goes inside the product and work outwards, so you know that all our ideas will be practical. This approach also creates a huge range of creative options, as the internal structure can often suggest opportunities for unusual and exciting external form. We always provide you with a range of ideas to make sure you have the widest possible choice to balance exciting design with commercial risk.

With Mike’s focus on low volume, high value products and Hugh’s background in high volume plastics, we can advise you on the most appropriate production process for your new product and create all the manufacturing data you need to get it made. We can also recommend trusted manufacturing suppliers and work with them to make sure your product is made on time, at the lowest possible cost and to the right quality.

3. We deliver – your project will be completed on time and on budget

We are proud of a track record of meeting or exceeding our client’s needs in terms of availability, response and delivery. Although we are a small team, we offer a very personal and focussed service and can often respond to meeting requests and project actions and updates within 24 hours.

This approach starts with our detailed briefing and specification process, which makes sure that every issue is covered. That is followed by a detailed – and completely free – project proposal which covers the objectives of the project, the stages of work and the outcomes from each stage. The proposal is fully costed and usually based on a fixed price quote, so you know what the project will cost. Each stage will have delivery dates for the work, and we often meet with you in between these stages to make sure the work is progressing to your satisfaction. If additional progress meetings are needed, we can usually accommodate these within a few days, and we don’t charge for meetings.

We always strive to be realistic about stage timescales and – in particular – lead times for critical phases like testing and tooling. The success of your project will depend on these actions and we will always advise on the right balance between speed and care that will deliver the best possible result. Similarly, the manufacturing suppliers we can recommend won’t necessarily be the cheapest, but they will be utterly reliable and able to deliver high quality parts and assemblies.

If you would like to know more, please call Mike Ayre on 01235 833785.

4. We’re team players – with a friendly, positive approach and no jargon

Like many professions, product design has its fair share of confusing terms and simple things dressed up to look complicated. We don’t work like that.

To begin with, we’re happy to have an informal chat about your project and what you’re hoping it will achieve – at no cost to you. If we think we can help, we will then go through our more detailed Design Specification – again at no cost to you – and send you a free proposal detailing exactly how we can help and how much each stage of the work will cost. All of this will be in plain English, with no professional or technical jargon. When we start working with you, we’re always available to discuss the project, its progress or any concerns you have. You will have direct contact to the two primary consultants, Mike Ayre and Hugh Raymond.

We know that the most successful projects are the ones where everyone involved works closely as a team. We are keen to foster that approach, and collaborate closely with your engineers, marketing specialists and production staff. In fact, we often find that we can form a positive link between these departments, balancing their often-competitive requirements.

5. We cover the whole process – from initial ideas to the finished product

Product design involves everything from the initial idea for a new product right through to making sure the parts are produced to the right quality and that they fit together and work as they should. One of the many benefits of our years of experience is that we’ve covered the whole process many times, and with many different technologies and products.

The planning stage is often one of the most challenging – and potentially profitable for your company. Choosing the right product to develop is vital, and we have helped many companies identify the right market niche to exploit or the best way to diversify into new and profitable sectors.

With concept design, it is essential to cover all the possibilities, not just in terms of appearance, but also operation, materials, processes and cost. We can help you look at all of these and find the right balance for your particular market and customers.

The technical design of your product is clearly key to success, and we have both considerable in-house and external expertise to make sure that your product will work as efficiently and economically as possible. Our in-house expertise covers all aspects of production methods and processes, and we have excellent links with engineering analysis and manufacturing specialists.

We are particularly keen on encouraging our clients to focus on the role of prototyping and testing in the product development process. The most successful manufacturers, like Dyson, prioritise testing and repeated prototyping phases to make sure that their products are fully developed before sale. We can help you take a similar approach to ensure that your product will be a success and that you won’t have to deal with issues like recalls or complaints.

Finally, we can produce all the manufacturing data you need to make your new product and recommend suppliers who can make the parts and even carry out assembly and packaging. We’ve worked with many suppliers in the UK, Europe and Asia over the years and can recommend good quality companies in almost every production sector.

Please give us a call on 01235 833785 if you would like to talk any of these issues over in more detail.


Product design consultancy

T: 01235 833785 E: info@crucibledesign.co.uk

Crucible Design Ltd, Boston House, Grove Business Park, Downsview Road, Wantage, Oxfordshire. OX12 9FF