Parts, Products and Programs


As always, we’re working on many new and interesting hardware projects. The EastBridge engineering serves a diverse group of global customers methods engineering, DFMA consulting, manufacturing management, quality assurance and order fulfillment services. We provide them with deep knowledge of cutting edge technologies, clear and regular communications, fair pricing and short lead times.

Our work generally falls into three categories: parts of larger systems; complete, customer ready products; and manufacturing & quality program management and support. All of our work involves custom products with unique features that were designed and refined by our customers. 

Standard, off-the-shelf products aren’t a good fit for EastBridge – if you need something in that category, there are many fine choices… Just not us. But when you need your product, made to your design, honoring your design intent and specification, we can help.

As we find our work very interesting, we thought that you would as well. We’re going to feature a cross section of our current projects, highlight the challenges and progress and allow you to see how we bring new designs across the finish line.

Strain Gauge Body

We recently received a RFQ for 10,000 tight tolerance machined Strain Gauge Bodies. Our customer manufactures innovative acceleration, force and strain sensors for many applications. The part is shaped like a dog bone (narrow in the middle with a knob at each end) and features some difficult hole location tolerances and surface finishing requirements.

The material is 17-4 PH stainless steel alloy with H1025 heat treatment and surface passivation. We will need to machine each part after heat treatment.

The ends are 0.250 inch in thickness and the middle is 0.030 inch thick. The gauging surfaces require a 32 microinch finished surface. No problem there, however we have a question regarding the radii transition between the ends and the middle where the part thins out. The drawing is ambiguous and doesn’t clearly call out if the smooth surface finish must extend onto the radii.

Common sense indicates that the radii don’t need to meet the surface finish requirements as they’re not gauging surfaces, but common sense is in short supply… We’ve asked our customer for clarification. Update for all of you shortly..

Aviation Headset Manufacturing

Our customer is a well known manufacturer of noise reduction headsets used in aviation applications. You’ve seen their products at the airport, worn by ground staff, pilots and air traffic controllers.

Their legacy products are very well designed, extraordinarily well made and very rugged. Customers return them to the factory after 35 years of use for refurbishment and they’re good to go.

Our customer is designing a slimmer and lighter weight model for a new generation of aviation professionals. They’ve asked us to identify and then qualify candidate contract manufacturers (CMs) to build all or portions of the headsets. The build involves molded plastics, formed metal, printed circuit board (PCBA) assemblies, cable & wire harnesses and packaging. Everything needs to be first class as their culture, history and mandate is “Quality, Quality and Quality”.

In order to do this, we first study the drawings, product requirement document (PRD), schematics, Gerber files, Bill of Materials (BOM) and CAD files, ask a few questions and recommend a few minor changes. The next step is to cast our net and introduce the project to approximately fifty candidate manufacturers. 

We determine their interest, capability and suitability for the project and then winnow the candidates down to about ten. The next step is to visit the factories and carry out our 30 point on-site capabilities audit. EastBridge shares the scorecards with our customer and down selects to five or six well suited CMs. 

We then share stripped down versions of the drawings and the vendors provide budgetary quotations. We review their quotes and then down select to five or six well suited CMs. With their quotes in hand, we can finalize the one or two vendors for the project and move forward.

Our customer just returned from visiting the candidates with us and we’re in the final stage of picking the contract manufacturer. I’ll share how the project is unfolding in my next post. 

Personal Care Product

We’re working with an early stage company that’s developed an evolutionary personal care product. The design is beautiful, groundbreaking and will reshape the commercial space associated with the product segment.

The product incorporates molded plastic, deep drawn, die cast and machined metal parts. As the product’s cosmetics are extremely important for their brand image and product launch, they’re working very hard to find the right combination of base materials, manufacturing techniques and surface finishes to achieve their goal.

After struggling with vendors that they’d identified, their design team approached EastBridge for assistance in defining material and processing options. We provided a range of metal materials and surface finishes including clear anodized, painted, powder coated and sand blasting, shot blasting and vapor honing. 

We also advised on manufacturing techniques that will generate the desired appearance that are feasible and affordable. We eliminated metal injection molded (MIM) parts because of their expense and poor suitability for the design. We arrived at a combination extruded and lathed aluminum, die cast and secondary machined aluminum and deep drawn aluminum that will be shot blasted.  

We’re generating quotation  now and will sell the parts to our customer’s assembly house. Further update in my next posting. 

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