Concept design services

Startups come to EnCata for concept development and testing of their products. Concept testing in product development gives us the understanding of the problems existing on the market, and insights to solve them. Developing a concept, we validate the most important assumptions revealed by problem research.

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What is Idea, Concept Development & Testing?

Before starting the process of new concept development, you need to decide on the idea of the project. You have to define what specific problems your product will solve clearly. Product development ideas have to meet the needs of final users that should always come first. A key success factor is a user-centric approach where you invite users to test your product. However, you don’t need a working product to validate the market. Start with visual concepts and diagrams that give users an idea of what your product is and how it’s used. Feedbacks guarantee that your product offers the solution that users are looking for. Later the concept could be refined as many times as possible, thus you save resources in the next stages. Consequently, the outcome of this stage should not be limited to the new product idea generation, but a problem research must be carried out with suggestions of engineering and design concepts. 


60+ Engineers

We act as your extended R&D team which is faster than hiring engineers locally. The breadth of our technical expertise is unique.

Development Speed

Our dedicated team is ready to scale up quickly. We utilize AGILE lean development process that leads to 30-50% faster delivery.

Burn rate

Cost-effectiveness

Our development location enables us to be cost-effective and deliver premium R&D and engineering services at 1/3 of the price compared to that of in N-W Europe and USA.

Complexity of the product can be a death trap

Sometimes it is difficult to estimate the cost of the consequences of various product features. It might occur that a minor feature or functionality can drastically increase the development costs and time. For example, even an additional button could be a complete waste of time, money, and effort related to injection molding.

The catch is that, unless you understand the entire development and manufacturing process of any detail in your product, it is almost impossible to know the future implications of every decision. EnCata, therefore, offers a concept of new product development based on our knowledge and experience in mechanical and electronic product manufacturing.

Feasibility Studies

The value of success lies not in the idea itself, but in its realization. When someone is very confident in his or her idea, he or she might feel inclined to jump straight into the production stage. This can be quite dangerous, since there is no reassurance that the end-product will sell. When a potential solution is discovered, it is highly important to develop a project plan or method, and then run a feasibility study of it. Since a feasibility study takes into consideration all of the project’s relevant factors, it will help you to measure the market competition and the demand for your product. Once you have the product validation it’s time to test product design assumptions.

Proof-of-Concept Prototyping

We have to make sure that your idea works. This can only be done by trying to create a basic technology or idea built-in in the product. After concept testing in new product development for feasibility, we can produce a full-fledged prototype. POC prototyping also differs significantly depending on the type of product you are developing. In one case, a mathematical or computer model will be sufficient, while in another product with more complex technology, even a prototype will have to be made. Otherwise, do-it-yourself prototyping can be chosen as the easiest and cheapest option.

Rapid Prototyping

The goal of the rapid prototyping phase is to quickly create a product that you can use as a sample. It is unlikely that you will get to the finished product in one prototyping attempt. Sometimes rapid prototyping is needed to visualize your product. This visualization will be enough to present for investors or during a pitch deck. We use 3D printing, which helps us get prototypes quickly. This allows our customers to experiment with multiple versions of the product, eliminate options, make improvements and realize ideas right away.

Industrial Design

Before you start prototyping, an important milestone is the industrial design stage. It allows you to create a 3D model of the product, where the features will be adapted to be usable. Using the 3D model of the product is the simplest way to change the arrangement of buttons, consider different versions and test customer’s desires. Subsequently, the 3D model will be sent to the factory for manufacturing. The accepted standards should therefore always be maintained when creating one. A 3D model of a product can be turned into physical samples in less time and at a much lower cost, owing to modern techniques in 3D printing.

Low volume Manufacturing

The first batch of units is one of the most important elements of bringing a product to the market. Small-scale production helps discover technical issues in subsequent mass production and clarify production costs. You can share the product among early users and get feedback on it. These people can even be your family, friends or acquaintances. You will certainly not be able to change the product concept completely, but thanks to the feedback you receive, it will be possible to refine it.

Manufacturing Support & Sourcing

When looking for suppliers, there are many resources both online and in person. During the sourcing phase, you will inevitably be faced with the decision of whether to produce your product locally or world-wide. If you choose to personally search for suppliers, you will need to find contacts of factories world-wide, visit them and make agreements. Usually search platforms are used for overseas production. Starting to produce thousands of product samples means spending several months searching for proven manufacturers. EnCata is ready to help and support you even at this stage. As we work with many factories around the world to make manufacturing sourcing, we already have reliable contacts of manufacturers. 

Idea & Сoncept testing in product development is worth it

There are many steps you need to follow to launch a successful hardware product. By starting with defining an idea you will ensure your product actually offers a solution to potential users. The process of developing a concept will prove that the proposed solution works. These stages provide essential inputs for the next design, engineering and prototyping. It will also affect your go-to-market strategy and relationship with your buyers.

In cases where a Client does not have a technical background, it can be difficult for him or her to determine the complexity of the implementation of proposed solutions. This may lead to frustration, or even cause questioning whether a company is competent enough to carry out these functions. It is, therefore, important to choose a proven and experienced hardware product development company, like EnCata, and trust its suggestions.

Product Development Technology Stack

Concept Solutions
Research of analogs and solutions in concept

Design sketching to explore potential
Technology management

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Decision support
Research of new use cases and User Experience (UX) development

Prototyping of single components
Ergonomics development

Simulation and Testing – virtual and in hardware

Styling proposals in material and finish to react on customer wishes and needs
Specific human factors and ergonomics knowledge

Engagement Models

We focus on the entire product/service lifecycle, from concept to implementation to market launch.  EnCata’s knowledge, resources and innovation development expertise allow our Clients to develop and expand their businesses faster and leaner.

Some hardware Projects we delivered

Work that highlights the incredible technologies, solutions, and products EnCata developed.

Industries We serve

Our hardware engineers are focus on the entire product/service lifecycle, from concept to implementation to market launch.  EnCata’s knowledge, resources and innovation development expertise allow our Clients to develop and expand their businesses faster and leaner.

FAQ related to Product development

IP ownership when working with EnCata

When working with our clients we sign a contract where all the intellectual property to be generated during the R&D and engineering development belongs to the customer.

Do you sign NDAs?

Yes. As a highly professional design and engineering firm, we make sure that all discussions with our clients and all information regarding your invention, idea and other proprietary information are kept confidential.

How do I make sure EnCata does not "steal" my idea?

Aside from being a reputable company which does not steal ideas, EnCata's entire business model is based on delivering premium R&D, design and industrial prototyping services to our clients. As soon as we stole one client’s idea, our entire business would be ruined. Also, as we are not contract manufacturers (OEM or ODM), we wouldn’t be able to benefit from a stolen idea even if we wanted to.  This is definitely not a worry for our clients.

Patent or Develop first?

We follow a LEAN approach in product and business development and thus we strongly recommend patent filings only after you are  at least part-way through development. This is because patenting is expensive and early patents can already become obsolete or irrelevant later in the development phase. Typically, EnCata's work generates many patentable opportunities for our clients  and the best strategy is to file patents at TRL-7, i.e. when early beta prototype is ready and when a startup is ready to start batch production and marketing.

There is, however, another strategy, which is to use provisional patents which can be loose and are not to be disclosed to the public for 18 months. These are much less expensive and time consuming, generally costing below $500. EnCata will always sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and keep your intellectual property confidential during the development phase and then we can recommend several third-party patent attorneys when the time is right.

Can EnCata consult me or help me with my existing design?

Whether you need to validate, evaluate or review your design, concept, 3D model, BOM or drawings, our experienced manufacturing, mechanical and electronics engineers are ready to help.

EnCata’s engineering consultancy service will allow you to critically reassess your project and help reach your goals while keeping the process cost-effective. To read more about the TRL and learn why it is useful, please procees to our blog.

What are typical project EnCata engaged with?

EnCata develops integrated Hardware and Software solutions for a variety of industries. We are engaged in multiple domains like IoT, robotics, medTech and IoMT, aerospace, agriculture, consumer products and many others. It is possible to work with such a wide variety of industries because we have multidomain expertise and utilize a cross-disciplinary product development approach.

I would like to do prototyping myself. Is it possible with EnCata?

Generally speaking, we do not allow clients to work on EnCata's manufacturing premises.

What does work, however, is that EnCata can manufacture prototype parts and the startup team can assemble thea prototype in our MakeIT Center hackerspace.  Alternatively, the startup can design and build the prototype themselves in our hackerspace.  We operate this free-access space in Minsk and we are currently working on expanding a hackerspace network worldwide.

Have a project to do? Reach out to EnCata team

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