Our rigorous stage gate process reduces project costs and risks for our clients, and leverages our technology to rapidly design, develop, qualify and insert new materials into productive service.
Design & Development
We integrate our physics-based, Materials by Design® computational approach and technology with a comprehensive stage gate process. We believe that QuesTek is the first firm to rigorously apply proven stage gate development steps to system-based, computational materials design and development efforts. This yields truly Integrated Computational Materials Design (iCMD®) and a logical, deliberate methodology to control our client’s risks and costs. We typically divide our efforts into three stage gate phases: Phase I Concept Feasibility; Phase II Design and Development; and Phase III Allowables Testing and Qualification.
Benefits to our clients typically include:
- Invent unique, valuable, viable solutions. We evaluate a wide range of potential conceptual solutions during our initial review and brainstorming, in order to avoid focusing on sub-optimal design ideas or on design spaces that computational models indicate are infeasible.
- Obtain rapid speed-to-market. By applying a physics-based design framework and powerful computational analytical tools in a deliberate, logical stage gate manner, we conceive, design, invent, develop, qualify and insert valuable new materials far more rapidly than using conventional experimental or combinatorial techniques. To produce prototypes and quickly achieve production scale-up, we typically work with partners that have proven commercial-scale production expertise and can rapidly go-to-market.
- Reduce up-front risks and costs. We avoid designing material curiosities that get stuck in the laboratory by evaluating from our earliest efforts the interactions that can occur between chemistry, processing, microstructure and properties at many production scales, ranging from conceptual prototypes to full-scale production, processing and end-use. From the outset we design for robust production and processing paths that allow commercial-scale variability.
- Reduce total project costs and risks. We characterize, test and evaluate prototypes at key steps along our development path, in order to confirm that material properties and desired microstructure are being achieved and further validate our computational models. We use sophisticated probabilistic tools such as our unique Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM) expertise to help ensure that material property goals will be successfully achieved at full-scale production, so that costly large-scale production runs or heats and R&D efforts will not be wasted.
- Use resources wisely. Our periodic stage gate reviews become increasingly detailed as design projects proceed, receiving broader inputs from knowledgeable client- or industry-based experts in manufacturing, processing, R&D, sales/marketing, operations and maintenance, etc. This helps maximize efficient, productive use of our client’s time, attention and resources while minimizing risks.
In this illustration of our typical process, blue boxes represent tasks and circles diamonds represent key stage-gate review meetings:
- Computational Materials Design and Engineering
A detailed review of the computational materials design methodology and its application to property- and performance-driven materials engineering - Material Science and Technology, Vol. 25 No. 4, 2009