Who You Are and Why Your Designs are Better Because of It

Forget about designing from a clean sheet of paper.  It can’t happen.  The designer himself prevents brings a tapestry of experience, skills and preconceptions with him.  Embrace that diversity and create better designs, even when you are starting from scratch.  Once you understand you, then you can think on a broader scale and truly innovate on your next project!

This is a podcast I originally created in 2012.

Cheers,
Montie
montie@montie.com

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Audio File Transcript: Who Are You and What Does that Mean

Hello. My name is Montie Roland. And I’m with Montie Design in Morrisville, North Carolina. I wanted to spend a few minutes with you this morning talking about who are you and how does your skillset, your drive, your . . . how you go about creating new product concepts or new product ideas; how does that fit into everything.

We all have our own desires, drives and I want to kind of go through it and talk about it. And maybe learn a little bit about each other as we go through it.

I’m the president of Montie Design and also the president Montie Gear in Morrisville, North Carolina. Montie Design is a product development firm. And we develop products for you. And we fill in gaps. Sometimes it’s a small project; sometimes it’s a large one. And what we do is fill in those gaps in your engineering or your industrial design or your prototyping department; fill in those gaps to help get your product to market.

Montie Gear is a company that provides outdoor shooting equipment, and slingshots and fun stuff. Montie Gear was founded about four years ago as one of those things we decided as an institutional learning tool. And we decided that we wanted to design some of our own products, not just everybody else’s. So we did a couple and then said, well, what would it be like to sell them? How do we sell products without spending a lot of money on advertising? So, we put them on our website, Montie Design website, and then we also came up with the idea – thanks to Carl – of doing a lot of test and evaluation units. And over the years that test and evaluation unit approach has even rolled into a service we now call Social Reviews. And so, I don’t want to spend all day talking about that. Something we’re proud of. Montie Gear line has grown from zero to over a hundred thousand dollars in sales in about four years with very little advertising. So we’re very proud of that and we’re proud of the products we sell.

So it gives us a little different perspective on the product development process. So, not only do we develop products, we also are responsible for some of those products for selling, and manufacturing them. And that’s also kind of spilled over in that we’re now doing that for two clients where we’re providing the backend services – they sell them, and we ship them. We make sure they’re manufactured, that they’re packaged, they’re QC’d and then the customer’s happy.

And so, first question, our first thought is I want to throw out the thought of, you know, who is Montie? Who am I? If I’m going to tell you how other people are, I’m thinking maybe I should go ahead and kind of do a little analysis on myself. Now, Montie Design designs products for a wide variety of situations – manufacturing approaches. We have products that we design – they’re going to go straight overseas. We have products that we design and we get to a certain point and we turn them loose to an ODM somewhere the other end of the Internet and they take it from there; and we read about it in a magazine. We other products we’re more intimately involved with throughout the whole lifecycle. But, you know, it comes down to the “Who’s Montie” and how I think. I think the best example is to maybe watch what I do and not what I say in this case and look at Montie Gear.

With Montie Gear we’ve come at it from the standpoint of we want to have a high quality product that’s what we call heirloom quality-Toublesome Gap tough. Which means a very robust product that’s going to perform well in the field and it’s going to be the kind of product that you want to give to your grandkids because it’s that lasting and hopefully timeless.

So, right there, you kind of have to ask, well, how many of those products are high-volume. And the answer is very few. So we have mainly products that are low-volume, low-capital requirements – and by low-capital requirements, we haven’t built a lot of tooling; we haven’t spent a lot of money to get the products to market. Now the trade-off with that, of course, is the products cost more to manufacture, so you have a higher quality product, higher cost of goods sold, but at the same time that fits in with the Montie Gear approach where what we want to have is this heirloom quality, made local, products.

So, when I go to create a product for Montie Gear, or work with someone on our team that does, or work with an intern or what have you, we’re definitely in the mode of Let’s-get-something-out-there-fairly-fast, without spending a lot of capital investment; without a lot of investment. So, we want to design it, have it work well, but not rely on the fact that we’re going to injection mold it to get the price down or what have you; die cast it, and have to sell gazillions instead. We’re going to plan to sell handfuls at a time. So, in this case, my natural instinct is to rely on local manufacturers for Montie Gear, and to work with those local manufacturers closely to have a higher quality product sold at lower volumes – higher cost, but at the same time the higher quality and also that emotional appeal of having a product that the down the street made (which I think is having more and more value in our society). At the same time, if we’re going to have a higher-end product, we need to provide a higher level of customer service as well. So what we want to do there is to treat that customer well and make sure that we meet their needs on a timely basis.

So if we take that a little farther and look at it in a broad perspective, there’s several different kinds of companies. One company is a company that’s service excellence. They may not be terribly innovative, but you get the same service every time. A great example of this is McDonald’s. You know what you’re going to get no matter where in the United States you go; and to a certain extent, you’ve got a good idea of what you’ll get no matter where in the world you go. So, their goal is to bring you a reliable product at a reliable price, and get it to you quickly and have no surprises. So, it’s a safe bet. You stop and eat at McDonald’s, you know exactly what you’re going to get. That’s not a terribly innovative company at this point. It may have been innovative early on by driving the concept of fast food and so forth. But at this point, it’s a mature company and they don’t do a lot of innovations. They do little tweaks here and there. And they definitely don’t create a lot of new intellectual property; at least, that goes into their products. Most of the intellectual property goes into logistics, service.

So let’s look at other companies that have to innovate. So, kind of break it down into two different types. One is a product excellence company. So a product excellence company is a company where you know that you’re going to get the finest product you can get. You’re going to get a high quality product; you’re going to get service to go with it. So, the whole experience is excellent. They may or may not be innovative, but at the same time, you’re going to get this high quality, high satisfaction product. A good example is that you may go buy a ring for your wife (or your husband); and that ring hasn’t really changed a whole lot. You got a little filigree here and its silver instead of gold, but for the most part, your expectations is very high level of quality. Not a lot of innovation in that industry, I would argue, for the most part. There’s some artistic work but not a lot of what I describe as true innovation. And then another example is a company that’s very innovative, or it could also be very inventive, where they create new intellectual property. And so, in either situation that organization is relying on either innovating or inventing to drive their products ahead of their competitors. And that’s a very important part of the whole ecosystem as well. And that’s the ones a lot of times we tend to really want to get behind. And everybody just wants to always tell the example of Apple, but they’ve come up with some really great products by often by innovating and inventing. And so they’re an example of a company where they try to stay ahead of the curve. And a good example of that is if they don’t, they’re products don’t always compete as well because of cost. So, they want to have this innovative customer experience, these innovative products; but as those products age, there are a lot of times that “me, too” products are a lot more attractive. A good example of that is the iPhone is now starting to be displaced by other smartphones, where at first they were “me, too” – for example, Samsung, HTC – but now they’re starting to actually have some innovation and some invention in what they do. And so they’re competing very well. And if you look at the iPhone 5 versus the latest HTC or the latest Samsung, there’s starting to be a technology gap, which in this case isn’t in Apple’s favor because they really relied on having this amazing edge in the marketplace. Now, they also have a lot of other things going for them, but in the realm of phones, that edge is absolutely critical to maintain their market share.

This also applies to smaller organizations. I like going to the Apex farmers’ market. And there are several folks there that cook different types of items. So, one example is there’s a lady there that makes pies and she makes muffins and so all the recipes she’s using are pretty old school. There’s not a lot of innovation. So, what she’s bringing to her product is quality; its handmade from scratch; these very desirable elements, but there’s not a lot invention or innovation that goes into that. So, if you look at this in the context of the three categories I described earlier, she’s in the service excellence category, or product excellence. So, she’s using her time buying some materials and turning that into a product. Now, in no way am I denigrating that as a model for business. There are a lot of very successful businesses that do that. Think about how many large cookie companies there are. And so, it’s a very valid way of doing business. I think the important thing is that if you’re in that type of business, it’s often handy to understand what your model is to help you make future decisions and current decisions.

So a lot of the folks that we buy stuff from that make pies and pastries at the farmers’ market, there’s just not a lot of innovation there. So, they want to provide a high quality product; they want to provide a friendly face; and it tastes good. You like the fact that the person you’re talking to made it yesterday or this morning, put their time and love into it. And so that’s a good way to look at that. The other categories you find in different places. So, for example, if you’re an inventor, then generally when someone considers themselves to be an inventor, or we consider them to be an inventor as an organization, they have an interest in creating intellectual property, and then selling the concept. So, they’re truly inventing. So, in this case, they’re viability as a service provider (or as a vendor) to someone is their ability to innovate. So, they fall in that last category because if they come up with a concept that’s already out there and it’s a “me, too”, as an inventory they really haven’t invented anything. When you look at entrepreneurs, the entrepreneur – and I want to define the inventor as someone who invents for the sake of invention-to-license later – an entrepreneur is someone who builds a company and an infrastructure that is designed around selling a product; manufacturing and selling it. It’s an important distinction.

So when the entrepreneur does this, the entrepreneur may be making pies to sell at the flea market; may be making cupcakes; and in the last few years there’s been this huge amount of cupcake industry forming. It’s really amazing how many cupcake companies there are. These companies that make cupcakes make some amazing cupcakes sometimes. So you can go and get a cupcake at the grocery for $2.50; or you can go to a specialty store – you might get a $20.00 cupcake. Yes, a $20.00 cupcake. So, could a cupcake company kind of fall into these categories? Well, yes. A cupcake company could be a matter of picking twelve existing cupcake designs, styles, and then making those. And in that case, their appeal is service. They’re providing a product that’s based upon their labor. So it’s not a real inventive product in that case. But there are also cupcake manufacturers and cupcake stylists that provide cupcakes that are very different. And they’ll actually do research into different ways that they can do this. Or maybe come up with their own. So, there may be a new style of icing or a new style of . . . packaging. You know, what can they do different that sets them apart? Now, the question to ask is – Are you selling cupcakes because you have something that’s truly original? It’s a, I don’t know, vacuum-puffed cupcake that no one else can do. And you’ve got this trade secret on how to make vacuum-puffed cupcakes. Or, are you selling products that are just based on your hard work and love? And usually there’s a mixture of the two. But, so, it’s important to understand how your business thrives based on where you are in these models. Because then, all of a sudden, you can make better decisions about how much time and resources and money you should put into these different activities. So if having inventive cupcakes doesn’t drive sales, then maybe you’re putting too much effort into inventing those crazy, new technology cupcakes. If the fact that you sell these crazy vacuum-puffed cupcakes is what is driving your new sales (or your existing sales) in a big way, if that’s what’s driving your growth, then maybe you need to put more effort into the crazy ones.

And so it goes a little beyond just the matter of the accounting; saying this cupcake sold this many, this cupcake sold this many. I think it also goes into the strategic planning. So I think it’s important to plan your strategy around what type of company you are. And so understanding these distinctions and where you fall, and how where you fall helps your business grow, is very, very important. This type of strategic planning and understanding is important at the Fortune 500 level; its important at the small business level. Because it important for anyone in a small business to make sure that you’re always, always – always – making good use of your resources. And understanding, you know, your place in the process of developing new products; or not developing new products helps you make the best decision to maximize your return on investment. Which is critical because it’s a small business; it’s tough enough to survive even if you’re making good decisions. So, making better decisions may be a different between subsistence and true growth and just kick-butt kind of company. And I think how you go about product development, or don’t, is an important part of that and can help you dramatically.

I hope this podcast is helpful. This is a tough subject to sometimes kind of articulate through and work through and walk through with you. So I hope it was helpful. Understanding your spot in your strategic model and what the strategic value of your . . . or what the value proposition of your company is, is something that can really help.

Let me know if you have any questions. Montie Roland, Montie Design. (M-O-N-T-I-E)@montie(M-O-N-T-I-E) .com. Visit us on the website – (M-O-N-T-I-E)@montie(M-O-N-T-I-E) .com. There’s a handy little chat tool and you can click on it and get immediate help. Either way, it’d be great to hear from you. And have a great day. Montie Roland, out.

Podcast: Micromanufacturing In Spring Creek

July – Micromanufacturing In Spring Creek

 

Audio Transcript

Hi. My name is Montie Roland. And right now I’m coming to you [from] about two hundred vertical feet above Troublesome Gap [at an elevation of  approximately 3900 feet].

Troublesome Gap is between the communities of Spring Creek and Big Pond, which is just south of Hot Springs, North Carolina, which is where the Appalachian Trail goes through Hot Springs, and just north of Asheville. And so I had an opportunity to come up this weekend and just relax.

We had a meeting in Spring Creek earlier and a meeting the night before at ASU for the IDSA Student Merit Competition judging. And I was right here, and I said, You know, it might be a good weekend to pitch a tent and sit back and just relax. So, that’s what I’m doing. So, right now, I am literally the only person within three-quarters of a mile of where I am. I think the closest people, from right here, from where I am, are Bob and Patsy Allan, who are down farther on Baltimore Branch Road. And they’re about three-quarters of a mile away. So, it’s nice and remote up here. And then the next neighbors . . . there’s another neighbor about three-quarters of a mile away and then you got to go farther to get to more neighbors. So it’s quiet up here. It’s about to rain, I think. It’s been holding off all day but . . . so I built a fire, pitched a tent, and there’s a stack of wood in kind of a U-shape behind the fire, which keeps the wind off. There’s a lot of wind up here. And it comes from Tennessee and comes up the Spring Creek Valley and it’s pretty energetic. So we have to build this pseudo-kiva structure to keep the wind off the fire. And I’ll tell you that has a really nice effect of pushing a lot of that heat back, I believe. Or maybe it captures it and radiates it, but, whatever, it’s nice and cozy warm here. It was in the high-70’s today and now it’s a little cooler.

So, it’s nice to get away. It’s nice to sit back and relax and enjoy life.

So, we are, as a company, Montie Design and manufacturers of Montie Gear products, are setting (or in the process of) setting up . . . I’m going to call it micro-manufacturing facility for now. Maybe one day we can actually graduate to the mini-manufacturing facility size. But we’re planning on renting a building up here and down in the valley in Spring Creek, and have a couple of local folks that work part time and do some assembly for us. And hopefully grow that into a way to bring jobs to this community. And then also serve our Montie Gear clients better, and our Montie Design clients. And I think I just hear my iPhone beep. Boy, that kills the woodsy mood. Sorry about that. But anyway so we’re putting in this facility and been making arrangements to do that. And what I wanted to do was chat a little bit about my vision for that facility.

My contention is that we can have a facility up here, in this remote location, and bring jobs to a group of people who are struggling to find employment. And that also gives us the labor rate that’s lower than what we can do in Raleigh. And hopefully we can put some of this mountain culture and mountain know-how to use in a way that, like I said, is good for the Montie Gear and Montie Design clients; customers.

So, what we’re setting up is a very flexible assembly area where we’ll do some of the assembly on our Montie Gear products. For example, the slingshot has a paracord handle, and that’s . . . that has to be woven into the aluminum frame. And it takes . . . its time consuming. So what I want to try with that is to . . . it’s just out to here, so it’s not something we’re doing in the office anymore in Raleigh; it’s something we’re doing up here. And I think that’ll work out as a win-win for everybody. You know, that brings some work here. It keeps our labor rate low, which is a win for our customers, too, because that helps our prices reasonable.

So, as a Montie Design client, you know, what’s the benefit for you if you’re a Montie Design client? And that is, now, we have a good way to do that initial prototyping for you, where there is a . . . you’ve not moved it to a full-blown contract manufacturer, but maybe you want to get the first hundred units out while you’re tooling up or what have you. And so I think this is a lot more cost effective way where we can take that product (a lot of times one we designed), shift it over to here to be assembled, tested, debugged. And so that way we’ve got this very flexible facility – very small but very flexible – taking your product and building your prototypes. And I’m thinking this is the . . . you know, we’ll build the first few prototypes in the office, develop some documentation, and then we move those prototypes to here and maybe that’s the first two hundred . . . thousand, what have you. But you get those fairly quickly; we can use to make those . . . maybe they’re cast parts; maybe they’re rapid prototype-type parts, but . . . what have you. So those first market samples go out.

So that’s kind of part of the reason . . . big chunk of the reason we’re doing that is to give us capabilities that we didn’t have before. And a way of keeping that economical.

It’s really beautiful up here; it’s gorgeous. And it’s remote. And, I think the nice thing is that for . . . if your production is up here, you can go meet the people that are building your product. You can see where it’s built; you can see, you know, is this a sustainable model, are we treating people well. And just ask them. And so I think that’s an awfully nice thing in today’s times where we’ve . . . you know, there’s so much, so many times, that it comes over from a boat, and, what was it like when it was made? You know what? What considerations are there for, you know what, how people are treated? Or, you know, how . . . are people paying attention to the quality of your product as they’re putting it together. And so what we’re trying to do here is give you a way to address those concerns. Do it locally and do it in a very cost effective manner.

So I hope as this project progresses you’ll keep track and I will . . . will definitely post information as it proceeds. And that can . . . inspire you to think about, you know, letting us do some of your production here in Spring Creek, North Carolina.

I hope you have a great evening. And I think it’s starting to rain so I believe I’m going to move underneath the picnic shelter to keep me dry.

Thanks. Have a great evening. Bye.

END AUDIO

Maker Faire is Coming, Maker Faire is Coming on Jun 7th


Are you a maker? Who are makers? Lets spend a few minutes and explore this amazing and sometimes wacky world. Keep in mind that the makers are influencing how you do business and that influence is rapidly growing. According to Wikipedia:

The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses new and unique applications of technologies, and encourages invention and prototyping. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively.

Makers are people how build stuff. Some of these makers are just hobbyists and crafters who use technology to create their products. Other makers are entrepreneurs who use what is now common technology to build innovative products in their garage. It would probably surprise you how many individuals now have CNC machines or hobbyist grade 3d printers in their garages. Over past ten years several technologies and enabling products have had a huge impact on democratizing design. These enabling products and services include:

Electronics Development Platform
Raspberry Pi – http://www.raspberrypi.org/
Adurino – http://www.arduino.cc/
 

3D Printing
MakerBot – http://makerbot.com/
RepRap – http://www.reprap.org/wiki/RepRap
 

Laser Cutters

Epilog –
http://www.epiloglaser.com

CNC (Computer Numeric Control) Machining
Shopbot – http://www.shopbottools.com

Online 3D Printing and Laser Cutting Services
Fineline in Raleigh, NC – https://www.finelineprototyping.com
Ponoko – https://www.ponoko.com

There are even networks of makers like 100K Garages (http://www.100kgarages.com/).

Many people don’t realize that this community even exists. It’s important to keep in mind that this community is and will impact your business and how you do business. A great way to connect with the community is at the Maker Faire at the NC State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Jun 7th, 2014. This is a fun event, and it is guaranteed to show you the coolest innovation and innovators around. Check out the Maker Faire at www.makerfairenc.com!

See you there!

About this blog’s author, Montie Roland and his business Montie Design Montie Design is an innovation and commercialization firm with core competencies in mechanical engineering and industrial design. Active in the product design, defense, and technology sectors, we leverage years of industry leadership and extensive technical capabilities to help clients take products from concept to marketplace that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. Montie Design is a North Carolina company headquartered in the Research Triangle region with clients across the country and overseas. We are dedicated to economic development throughout our home state and furthering excellence in design and engineering. For more information, visit www.montie.com or download the capabilities statement in PDF format here.

Ball dispenser sent off for prototyping

Hey!

So the belt clip ball dispenser is finally coming together. After testing more mock-up models the decision was taken not to use any plate or similar to separate the balls from the magnet, as more than one kept falling off when trying to pull only one off. Instead the magnet will be coated with a durable finish and the balls will be in direct contact with it. This simplified the design significantly, but put increased the demand on the aesthetic form of the back plate, as this now became the mail feature of the whole product. A simple plate can have many different forms:

assembly

One option was to add a top bumber to create a feeling of better encapsulating the balls, as well as giving more depth to the product. Unfortunately, the manufacturing complexity of adding this feature was greater than expected. As this would drive up the cost of the product a lot the decision was taken to put this feature on hold for now.

As for the final design the initial round magnet was kept and the plate form includes some curved lines to follow the magnet while still keeping some edges to go with the rectangular belt clip. After quite a bit of struggle finding a good form, this one actually feels pretty obvious I would say! Let’s just hope the prototype will look just as good!

Have a good weekend!

/Richard Boden

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Dispeser, round, belt.210 copy

Lastest News — Montie Design Ranked in Top 50 Area Companies in Web Traffic and User Engagement by AreaStartups.com

Montie Design Ranked in Top 50 Area Companies in Web Traffic and User Engagement

National Rankings Lists Innovation and Commercialization Firm at Number 42
MORRISVILLE, N.C.–Innovation and commercialization firm Montie Design is generating enough buzz about its expertise in taking products from concept to marketplace to merit a place in the top 50 of greater Raleigh area companies in terms of user engagement and website traffic.

The rankings, from AreaStartups.com, lists Montie Design at number 42, joining such high-profile companies as Channel Advisor, iContact, SAS, Global Knowledge Training, and Bandwidth.com as online destinations for customers and prospects interested in securing top-quality products and services.

The list is compiled monthly using data to measure overall traffic and engagement. The founders of Area Startups provide the rankings to promote information about companies in each major startup geographic area across the U.S., track their progress, and deliver relevant news and job listings in the various coverage areas.

Paying special attention to achieving excellence in functionality, operability, value and aesthetics regardless of market or industry, Montie Design staffers have helped turn over 750 exciting product ideas into reality. The team is active in the product design and engineering market sector, utilizing a combined 140 years of knowledge and experience helping clients realize products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust.

In addition to serving customers in a myriad of industry sectors, Montie Design produces its own Montie Gear line of outdoor equipment, including a slingshot; ultralight knife; multi-purpose tree hook archery rest for sturdy support of a bow, crossbow, or rifle with a sling; a camp rack designed to hold pots, lids, serving bowls and utensils off the ground to dry after cleaning; and the popular X-Rest and AR-Rest shooting supports for hunters and recreational shooters.

All equipment in the Montie Gear line is heirloom quality, Troublesome Gap tough. Located near the peak of Hap Mountain overlooking Spring Creek, North Carolina, Troublesome Gap is a rugged mountain area where Montie Gear prototypes are tested and evaluated.

For more information contact Montie Roland, company president, at montie@montie.com.

About Montie Design

Montie Design is an innovation and commercialization firm with core competencies in mechanical engineering and industrial design. Active in the product design, defense, and technology sectors, we leverage years of industry leadership and extensive technical capabilities to help clients take products from concept to marketplace that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. Montie Design is a North Carolina company headquartered in the Research Triangle region with clients across the country and overseas. We are dedicated to economic development throughout our home state and furthering excellence in design and engineering. For more information, visit www.montie.com.

Podcast: Understanding Economics Helps Us Design Products with Impact

Lets talk about some of the misconceptions about economics and how that relates to the American political and economics systems.  One big misconception is how wealth is created.  Lets spend a few minutes and dive into the mechanisms of creating wealth.  Its important for entrepreneurs, product designers and engineers to understand how these systems work, so we can design and engineer products that have the greatest benefit for our clients and constituents.  Creation of new products is a great way to benefit our clients, their employees and the community.  Lets dive in and swim through some of these issues.

Misunderstanding Of Economics

Montie Design May 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue:

  • Sign up for Customer Requirements Lunch and Learn on June 4
  • Last Chance to RSVP Last Stand on Troublesome Gap Event for Montie Design Clients and Friends
  • New Class – Getting Your Product To Market 101 – Taught by Montie Roland
  • Product Design Win – Slingshot Holster
  • Spring Intern Update – Coco’s Bench and Rachael’s Utensil Holders

Sign Up for “Difficulty Getting Real Customer Requirements” Lunch & Learn on June 4th

Andy Roth will give us practical tools and advice on gathering customer requirements.  Andy has almost 15 years of experience managing complex corporate projects while at Tekelec.  Put his experience and knowledge to work for you at this insightful Lunch & Learn.  This is a great way to sharpen your project management skills and network with other engineers and project managers.  Click here to sign up.

The Montie Design Lunch and Learn series is developed to connect professionals involved in the technical or business side of designing and producing innovative products and technologies with one another as well as with speakers, who have agreed to share their knowledge, professionalism, and willingness to support entrepreneurial growth.

Upcoming events include:

June 4 –  Difficulty Getting Real Customer Requirements?

June 18 – How to Size a Battery

June 28 – Final Friday End of Quarter Networking Event

July 18 – Flex Circuits 101

Aug 7 – Social Reviews 101

Aug 21 –  Designing Rubber Keypads

Sept 11 – Personalities & Personas

Sept 25 – Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Machining and Rapid Sheetmetal

Sept 27 – Final Friday End of Quarter Networking Event

 

RSVP by Friday and Join Us at the Last Stand on Troublesome Gap

Every year Montie Design staff, industry peers, and clients meet up in the mountains out at beautiful Troublesome Gap, NC for a weekend of fun on Memorial Day Weekend.  Sit by the campfire and relax, and be sure to join in the fun of our first annual Zombie shooting course and competition.  In order to complete the course, you engage the Zombie targets with a rifle, pistol, shotgun and slingshot.  The event is free, but an RSVP is required.  RVSP to montie@montie.com.  The brochure is available for download here.

 

Getting Your Product to Market 101 – How to Design, Prototype and Manufacture Your Product

A two day seminar that provides participants an overview of product development, prototyping, product manufacture, and low cost public relations tools to develop a “buzz” about the product.  Hosted by Product Design Veteran and design firm owner Montie Roland

Class Description:  Montie Design, an innovative concept-to-marketplace product design and development firm, has announced that Company President Montie Roland will host a two part class “How-to-Design-A-Product” in Morrisville on Tuesday, June 11, and Thursday, June 13.

Roland, a product design veteran, will be generating a casual dialog where attendees can learn about how to develop a product or service from concept through the patent process all the way through to the point of manufacturing and selling the product.

With a small manufacturing facility in Spring Creek complimenting its main operation in the Triangle region of North Carolina, Montie Design has a successful history of taking products from concept to marketplace. The firm’s team of product design professionals has over 140 years of knowledge and experience helping clients realize products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. Paying special attention to achieving excellence in functionality, operability, value and aesthetics regardless of market or industry, Montie Design staffers have helped turn over 750 exciting product ideas into reality.

In addition to serving customers in a myriad of industry sectors, Montie Design produces its own Montie Gear line of outdoor equipment, including a slingshot; ultralight knife; multi-purpose tree hook archery rest for sturdy support of a bow, crossbow, or rifle with a sling; a camp rack designed to hold pots, lids, serving bowls and utensils off the ground to dry after cleaning; and the popular X-Rest and AR-Rest shooting supports for hunters and recreational shooters.

All equipment in the Montie Gear line is heirloom quality, Troublesome Gap tough. Located near the peak of Hap Mountain overlooking Spring Creek, North Carolina, Troublesome Gap is a rugged mountain area where Montie Gear prototypes are tested and evaluated. 

Sign up at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6546126641/eorg

 

Design Win – Slingshot Holster 

The mighty Montie Gear Y-Shot slingshot now is even better with a rugged and locally made holster. We call it a win because the initial production run is almost sold out before the die cutting tools are even complete.  Call or email us today to find out how we can make your product a winner too!  Click here to see the holster on the www.montiegear.com website.

Intern Spotlights: Kitchen Utensil Holders, Campfire Bench

Spring 2013 Montie Design interns Rachael Hughes and Coco Feng have been working on some very interesting concepts for additions to the Montie Gear line of outdoor camping equipment. Rachael is closing in on a final design for something to keep utensils from setting on surfaces typical to camping, such as picnic tables or coolers — where they may attract wildlife and collect bugs or harmful bacteria – while Coco is working on an outdoor wooden bench design which solves a customer need for hanging backpacks, coats and garbage bags.

We are proud to say that the wood for the bench was sawn on site at our Spring Creek facility from locally harvested timber.  Otherwise the sizes of lumber we used wouldn’t have been commercially available.  The seat is made from a single pine board over 16″ wide by 1-3/4″ thick.  The final shapes were cut from 20″ wide boards using a water jet giving a very precise fit.

Designs can be viewed online at blog.montiegear.com. Montie Design has a long history of hosting interns from colleges throughout North Carolina and from Sweden in order to prepare them for their chosen fields and help them build a portfolio of solid work for prospective employers.


Finally A Way to Hang Your Hand or Bath Towels to Dry


Towels and Sponges Kept Off the Ground to Dry


Finally A Way to Dry Your Silverware and Untensils after Washing


Silverware and Untensils Hanging to Dry

Sit by the Campfire in Style!

Prototype Bench – yes, the seat is a single board 16″ wide by 1-3/4″ thick!


Prototype Bench – come by and give it a test sit

 

We Can Help!  Call Today

Want to talk product development or need help with a project?  Don’t hesitate to contact Montie Roland at 919-481-1845×103 or montie@montie.com.-7987

About Montie Design 

Montie Design is an innovation and commercialization firm with core competencies in mechanical engineering and industrial design. Active in the product design, defense, and technology sectors, we leverage years of industry leadership and extensive technical capabilities to help clients take products from concept to marketplace that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. Montie Design is a North Carolina company headquartered in the Research Triangle region with clients across the country and overseas. We are dedicated to economic development throughout our home state and furthering excellence in design and engineering. For more information, visit www.montie.com or download the capabilities statement in PDF format here.

Intern Project – Campfire Bench

coco and her assignment

I am coco, an industrial design graduate student at NCSU. I am an intern at Montie Design this winter. I am now working on the outdoor wood bench design. This bench design focuses on the customer need which has a hanger for people to put their back packs and their coat when they feel hot and a hook for people to hang on the garbage when they talk with their family member and take some snacks.

sketching

The following picture shows how the concept developed.  Fist I have three different ideas about the bench and then narrow down to one idea. Secondly I started to have different styling about the concept and at last I decided the assemble method.

Sketching / Ideation Process

final design

This is the outdoor bench. In order to matches the whole environment, the design comes from the tree branch and also matches the function of it.

The higher one on the right is the hanger of the coats or backpacks. The small one on the left is hook for people to hang on the garbage bag or other paper or plastic bags. The first purpose of this bench is setting around the camping fire. So at the bottom of the bench, there is a shelf for people to store the fire wood.

Montie Gear Campfire Bench

Montie Gear Campfire Bench

Montie’s Product Design Podcast: Designing for the Prepper Marketspace

[audio: http://www.montie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012-Designing-for-the-Prepper-Marketspace.mp3|titles=2012 – Designing for the Prepper Marketspace]

In this podcast I share how to dig in and  understand a marketplace.  Understanding is key to designing products that fit with the needs and desires of a specific market.

This prepping series of podcasts came about through a lot of research.  Understanding your customer on this level helps you better design and engineer products for that customer and avoid mistakes that occurred because of a lack of understanding of the customer and market.  This prepper market is very interesting.  I hope this podcast is engaging on a personal level and gives you great examples of how to put a market into a context that helps you design better products for that market.

If you like how we think at Montie Design; please give me a call or email so we can help your company with your next product or prototype!

Have a great weekend,
Montie
montie@montie.com
800.722.7987
www.montie.com

Luncheon Continues String of Educational Outreach Events to Manufacturing Sector

(Morrisville, N.C.) Montie Design, an innovative concept-to-marketplace product design and development firm, is continuing a string of educational outreach events by hosting a November 15 Lunch and Learn featuring Paul Tome with EPEC Technologies. Tome will be leading a discussion called the “Secrets of Flex Circuit Design” at the Montie Design studios located just off Aviation Parkway in Morrisville. The event is free but requires advance registration online at https://www.eventbrite.com/event/2434228844. (more…)

Montie Design’s Summer of Design Comes to An End – Part 2

Earlier in the year we sponsored a student design contest for students in NC and Virginia. Josh Little was the first place winner. Josh is an Industrial Design student at NCSU. It worked out that Josh was able to spend the first part of the summer commercializing his entry, a locking rack for assault rifles. His design allows owners to safetly exhibit their rifles while keeping them secure and out of the hands of unauthorized users.

autolever_450px wide

We don’t have a prototype to show you yet but the document below helps explain where we are headed with the design.