Modern smart devices, whether consumer, medical, or industrial, are complex systems that encompass diverse technologies. These devices typically require precision mechanics, electronics, sensors, high-power processors, firmware with complex digital signal processing (DSP), motion control, or machine learning algorithms. Each of these pieces requires a depth of expertise for delivery.
Pulling Diverse Strands Together
Many companies have someone that attempts to fulfill the role of a systems engineer in addition to their duties as a senior engineer in another discipline. At Simplexity, our deep experience in motion control systems highlighted our need for dedicated systems engineers. Systems-level tasks include requirements gathering and analysis, system architecture, cross-disciplinary system optimization, and product test and verification. Simplexity’s systems engineers pull these diverse strands together to achieve stellar results.
By focusing on critical features of the design that cut across the traditional disciplinary lines, our systems experts catch the issues that tend to fall through the cracks with engineering teams organized in the traditional manner. Time and time again, an experienced systems engineer working with strong mechanical, electrical, firmware, and software engineers can achieve performance and cost optimizations that other teams simply cannot match. In fact, clients have repeatedly come to us to fix faulty designs that traditionally-organized engineering firms have created. We often discover that the overall system architecture wasn’t designed correctly, costing valuable time and schedule.
A core aspect of Simplexity’s product development process is to “brainstorm from a systems perspective.” While modern smart products are built from components made of materials such as plastic, metal, and composites, they are much more than the sum of their parts. It is the careful and successful integration of mechanics, electronics, software and algorithms brought together by a multi-disciplinary engineering team that brings a product to life. At Simplexity, the systems engineering team ties together the pieces from various technologies into a holistic product.
The systems engineering team takes a cross-cutting look at a product and focuses on delivering the core features in the most efficient manner possible. This starts by working closely with the client to understand product functionality as well as user interaction and expectations. These requirements are captured in use cases and ultimately a product requirements document (PRD), then transformed through a system architecture design into the technical requirements used for design and its subsequent verification. We then bring the full design team together to discuss the product needs and brainstorm solution concepts, filtering and refining those down to the very best candidates. By looking at the entire system instead of just the pieces, we ensure that the overall design remains balanced and optimal.
Going forward, the system engineer works with the project manager to guide the technical portion of the design, keeping the engineering disciplines aligned. This guarantees that the solution utilizes each of the technology pieces in the best manner possible to yield the most cost effective and highest performance possible.
As the project progresses, the systems engineering team and project manager remain in tight communication with the client so that project learnings and newly discovered product needs can be assessed for impact to the program, and changes integrated as needed.
As the project nears completion, the system engineering team guides the product testing so that both components and the overall system are fully tested and verify that the design meets the requirements.
Smart devices are more than just electronics and code. An understanding of advanced mathematics is required to develop algorithms. Those data processing algorithms are expressed in the firmware and software code that truly gives a device its smarts.
This wide range of algorithms includes extended Kalman filter-based sensor fusion algorithms, signal windowing for discrete Fourier transforms, sliding mode nonlinear controllers, and backpropagation learning for neural networks, just to name a few.
Simplexity's Engineering Experience
Simplexity’s engineering team is made up of engineers with advanced degrees from top universities in fields such as digital signal processing and feedback control systems. Our expertise also includes practical knowledge based on years of product development experience.
This mix of knowledge and experience allows us to solve the most difficult problems for our customers, which is why product companies and engineering service providers have sought out Simplexity. We look forward to bringing the power of a systems engineering approach to your product.
“Simplexity has a highly motivated, technically resourceful staff. For a complete project or for augmentation of an existing program, they are a go-to team in a crunch.”
Director Instrumentation, Agilent Technologies