BDCM = Beautiful Design, Can't Make...


We receive new product turnover packages at EastBridge Engineering ( every work day. Before we generate our service estimate, the package is passed on to the appropriate team leader. S/he open the files and gives them the once over for completeness, feasibility, BOM sourcing, tolerance stack-up and a general design review.

If everyone has done their job, we draft a suggested list of minor tweaks and adjustments, share them with the design team and wait for the (minor) design revisions to be turned around. This generally involves our recommendations for alternate and lower cost components, locally procured materials and tiny design changes that take cost out of the tooling and finished device cost.

In about one third of our projects, the needed tweaks aren’t so minor… We can’t approach candidate contract manufacturers for quotations because the designs, as presented are unmanufacturable. Our engineers review the designs, roll their eyes and mutter “BDCM” (Beautiful Design, Can’t Make)!

Their improvised “text speech” is a predictor of a future trial run and manufacturing disaster. Our management team doesn’t use this acronym and are more likely to say “nice looking product, but where were the engineers?”

These detours are often caused development teams of unrelated electrical engineers, mechanical designers, ID firms and app developers that were loosely cobbled together. The parties are generally competent at their specialties, but end up throwing their contribution over the wall to the client and hope for the best. This dated approach of multiple functional specialists acting in a relay race model doesn’t work in 2013.

There’s nothing wrong per se with development teams that are comprised of several independent consulting firms or design groups, so long as there’s a master sergeant who can make everyone march to the same drummer.

When our clients bring us in early in the process. EastBridge fills the role of that sergeant. Our involvement ensures that the final design is well suited for production and there only small (and inevitable) changes are incorporated. So, when the design is about 80% complete, please think about bringing us into the tent.


Jack Daniels

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