Montie Design Announces Participation in Major Defense Industry Expo

Montie Design has announced its participation in the First Annual Symposium and Expo April 19-20 sponsored by the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA). The state’s inaugural tradeshow of its kind is expected to draw thousands of innovators and defense industry vendors to the world-famous Pinehurst Resort, along with numerous high-profile, influential speakers such as North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco, and Lt. General Frank Helmick, the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commander. Continue reading “Montie Design Announces Participation in Major Defense Industry Expo”

Great Way to Look at Design

Sometimes design isn’t about studios and renderings.  Sometimes design is about letting the function dictate the form and then going from there.  In this video, the custom car building describes how he does just that.

[vimeo]19874684[/vimeo]

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  The end result was one really great car!

Cheers,
Montie

Active Discussion Breaks Out at Lunch and Learn

Jeff Smith presents “Who’s Your Product? Putting the Right Name on What You Sell”

Wednesday, February 2 saw business owners, marketing professionals, and product design peers engage in an energized breakout session at the second Montie Design/RTP Product Development Guild Lunch and Learn of 2011.

Following on the heels of a successful kickoff Lunch and Learn on military contracting featuring Barry Cox of Wyle Labs (see below), this week’s event turned toward branding with Jeff Smith of Montie Design and Trajectory Business Services. Jeff put forth a step-by-step guide through the product naming process during his presentation, “Who’s Your Product? Putting the Right Name on What You Sell.”

Wednesday's crowd was engaged

Jeff’s presentation actively involved attendees, leading to an energetic post-event discussion focused on utilizing product naming elements to help one of their own who was having a problem settling on a name for a product to reflect its benefits to the end user.

The Lunch and Learn series was 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. Lunch is provided at each event in addition to plenty of time for networking and discussion before and after each presentation. Proceeds of each Lunch and Learn are donated to Post 7383 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

An audio clip of Jeff Smith sharing insight on product naming can be found here:

Montie_Design_Feb2_Jeff_Smith

Upcoming Lunch and Learns include:

Wed, Feb 16
Raising Capital and Cash Flow Enhancement in the New Economy
Featuring Susan Hasty, BCF, and Phil Apostolico, Guardian Ins.

Wed, Mar 2
Protecting Your Company’s Intellectual Property: Non-disclosure Agreements
Featuring John Slaughter, Moore & Van Allen

Wed, Mar 16
Steps to Increased Sales: Creating a Dependable Sales Funnel
Featuring Pam Cardozo, The Ultimate Sales Connection

Wed, Apr 6
Advantages of Manufacturing with Waterjet
Featuring Al Ely, ADR Hydro-Cut

For information on attending any of these events, email Jeff Smith at Jeff@Montie.com.

Montie Design President Gives Talk on X-Rest Development and Marketing on 1 Feb

(Morrisville, N.C.) Montie Roland, president of collaborative product design and development firm Montie Design, will be leading the discussion, “X-Rest – The Process of Going from Concept to Consumer” February 1st as part of the RTP Product Development Guild Speaker Series. The event will be hosted at multimedia and mobile messaging firm Tekelec from 11:30 – 1:00 p.m.

The presentation will take attendees on a visual tour through the development process for the X-Rest, a unique portable shooting accessory conceived, designed, and distributed by Montie Design. Since Montie Design began selling the X-Rest in the Spring of 2009, it has seen distribution grow from local to regional to national.

“We felt very strongly that by utilizing our design facility as a learning laboratory to conceptualize, build, market and distribute our own product we could learn where we needed to tighten our process and strengthen our capabilities to better serve clients,” Roland said, adding, “The opportunity to understand first-hand how companies launch new products into the marketplace, and what challenges that brings and how they relate to the design process is invaluable.”

Attendees at the February 1st event will follow Montie Design on its quest to take the X-Rest from concept to market, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the integrated design, public relations and marketing process. Prototypes of the X-Rest critical to the development of a simple product will be on-hand, as will samples of the finished product, to give professionals in the design and product development industry a better understanding of the entire process of getting a product to market..

Designed to meet the needs of all shooters as well as most firearms, the easy-to-carry X-Rest weighs less approximately one pound and disassembles easily in three pieces, fitting neatly into a small carrying case. Unlike conventional bench rests, which are heavy and complex, the X-Rest  — made of sturdy yet lightweight aluminum — provides steady support for different sized long guns ranging from  semi-automatic and bolt action rifles to shotguns, carbines and pistols.

The X-Rest was the second “test” product designed and distributed by Montie Design in 2009, following the firm’s innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) detector card which was released in January and is now being sold throughout the U.S. and seven foreign countries.

Both the RFID detector and the X-Rest are produced in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina, using local manufacturers. The event sponsor, the RTP Product Development Guild, is a local group of engineers and designers working together to improve the regional economy.

To register online visit http://xrest.eventbrite.com/. Cost to attend is $15, which covers lunch. A video demonstration of the X-Rest is available online:

http://www.youtube.com/user/montieroland#p/u/3/XeRrmbh7-Vk

For more information visit http://www.rtpproductguild.com.

About Tekelec
Tekelec, a global leader in core multimedia session control, mobile messaging and network intelligence, ensures scalable, secure and highly available communications. The company’s market-leading signaling solutions enable the interworking of different network applications, technologies and protocols, providing a smooth transition to next-generation networks. Tekelec has more than 25 offices around the world serving customers in more than 100 countries, with corporate headquarters located near Research Triangle Park in Morrisville, N.C., U.S.A. For more information, please visit www.tekelec.com.

About Montie Design
Montie Design is a collaborative product design and development firm with core competencies in industrial design, mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing a client-centric approach in taking products from concept to marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading technology, resources and innovative thought.  Visit Montie Design at www.montie.com.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

RTP Design Resources Map is Now Live!

RTP Product Design Resources Map(Morrisville, N.C.) The RTP Product Development Guild and NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op have launched a new interactive map to connect out-of-state business professionals with quality Research Triangle Park-area manufacturing design and production talent.

The RTP Design & Prototyping Resources Map, accessible via www.rtpdesignmap.com, enables visitors to click on business locations highlighted on a visual map of the RTP area or filter product design resources by 34 categories. The results include details on each participating business’ specialty, physical location, contact information and website URL.

“RTP is one of those unique tech-heavy areas throughout the U.S. where you can literally get off a plane, rent a car, and in five minutes be at the front door of any number of companies to support the development, manufacturing, and marketing of a new innovative product,” Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild, said.

According to Roland, the map’s development comes from the queries he has been receiving over the past year from entrepreneurs and innovators looking to tap into the RTP area’s well-trained workforce and rich business development resources.

“People contact the Co-Op and the Guild looking for info on professionals who might be able to support their product development needs, but they don’t know who is here and whereabouts they are located,” he said, adding, “When they find out how many are located within a stone’s throw of RDU airport it blows them away.

“The physical representation of the sheer number of sought-after companies on the map helps drive that point home for those unfamiliar with the area,” he said.  “It also shows seasoned engineers where they can find vendors that are often right down the street.”

According to Roland, the map is the only one if its kind in North Carolina.

Launched in late December 2009, the RTP Product Design Resources Map currently has 63 companies listed, representing industry sectors such as product design, rapid prototyping and manufacturers providing much needed parts for products designed by startups. Members of the Guild and Co-Op can get listed for free; non-members can submit listings for a fee of $49 per year.

Founded in 2007, the RTP Product Development Guild is a community of designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, inventors and other professionals devoted to helping the RTP regional economy, clients, members and businesses prosper through technological product innovation. Together with the NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op, the Guild has hosted numerous educational and networking events throughout 2009, in addition to an annual Street Faire in September bringing hundreds of attendees and exhibitors together in a relaxing, family friendly atmosphere.

For more information about the Guild or Co-Op visit www.rtpproductguild.com or contact Montie Roland at 919-481-1845.

The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

Merry Christmas!

Montie Design Update

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  Two thousand and nine has been a year of ups and downs for just about everyone.

We’ve had some successes and challenges.  I would like to thank our clients for your patronage of Montie Design.  I would also like to thank our contributors and staff for helping make those successes happen.

While we were designing products for clients, we were also able to release three Montie Design-branded products this year.  One is an RFID troubleshooting tool.  The other two are shooting rests for rifles, shotguns and pistols.  These products are laboratory for us.  These products give us the opportunity to experience the trials of bring new products to market, which in turn sharpens our skills in helping clients do likewise.

The RFID Detector tool allowed us to release a simple product that has now been sold to users in over seven countries.  When we started the project, I really had no idea that Montie Design would have to become an exporter.

Introducing the X-Rest (lightweight version shown above) required a systematic public relations, sales and marketing campaign.  The experience was such an eye opener that we have put together a presentation about the process we used to design and market the X-Rest.
Of course, testing is an important part of developing any product.  Repeated testing helped us improve the product as we worked through the design process.   It was also a lot of fun.
We’re mostly done with our move to the new office.  Our goal is to be completely settled in by January 1st.  Our new office gives us a significantly bigger shop area, a second conference / focus group room, incoming inspection area and dedicated work areas for projects.  Our new address is:

100 Dominion Dr., Suite 101

Morrisville, NC 27560

Give me a call, or send me an email, if this was helpful or if you have topics that you would like to see in future updates.  Don’t forget to call when you are ready for us to contribute to the success of your project!

Cheers,
Montie Roland
President
Montie Design
800-722-7987

About Montie Design

Montie Design is a collaborative product design and  development firm with core competencies in industrial design,  mechanical engineering and fuzzy front end services. Implementing  a client-centric approach in taking products from concept to  marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in  realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle  Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading  technology, resources and innovative thought. For more  information, visit www.montie.com.


Join Us at the 2009 RTP Product Design Street Faire on Saturday, 12 Sept!

Scene from the 2008 Street FaireThe RTP Product Development Guild – a local group of engineers and designers working together to improve the regional economy – is hosting its third annual RTP Product Design Street Faire Saturday, Sept. 12  from 3:00 – 6:30 pm at 400 Dominion Drive in Morrisville. This fun, outdoor networking and educational event will feature exhibits and demonstrations by leading Triangle-area product designers and affiliated professionals showcasing the technological innovation that makes North Carolina a hotbed of state-of-the-art manufacturing design and production talent.

Admission to the Street Faire is free but requires pre-registration online at RTPStreetFaire.com.

Barbeque, drinks, popcorn, snacks and other treats will be served throughout this family friendly event which will include an inflatable kids’ play area and plenty of shaded space for business networking among peers.

“The Street Faire is a great way for area businesses and manufacturers to get to know product design and prototyping professionals right here in RTP,” Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild, said, adding, “Why spend hours on conference calls or travel overseas to work with vendors when you can find the resources you need right down the street? I think people will be surprised at how competitive the region has become in the global marketplace.”

According to Roland, each year has seen increased attendance and vendor participation at the Street Faire, with well over 200 attendees representing a diverse range of business professions and 26 vendors last year. Vendor spaces are still available for this year’s event; pricing and information is available at RTPStreetFaire.com.

Sponsors of the 2009 Product Design Street Faire include Montie Design, the RTP Product Development Guild, Studio Hagler and Trimech, with Gilmore Global as a contributor.

The annual Street Faire is one of many educational and business development programs conducted by the Guild, which also hosts networking meetings, lunch-and-learn seminars, and other events at member locations throughout the year.

“We love our craft and do a lot of different things to promote it, share leads and resources, and build essential working relationships,” Roland said.

For more information visit RTPStreetFaire.com or call 919-481-1845.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

Customer Feedback – Up-Close and Personal

Product reviews (especially online) are increasingly important in helping customers make purchasing decisions. A study by CompUSA and iPerections discovered 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. According to a Forrester study, 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content.

The beauty of the internet is that even small companies can integrate online reviews into their website. Companies such as RatePoint (www.ratepoint.com) provided neutral, third party management of online reviews. They also provide tools (called Widgets) that simplify the integration of the collection and display of customer reviews into the seller’s website. We use RatePoint as a way to give our clients an outlet to rate the services and products from Montie Design.

Customer reviews are a great way to encourage sales, especially of a new product. However, you have to have sales to have customers who can write the reviews. Strategic users are the early adopters (often cultivated by the product manufacturer) who test the product and write a review. These reviews help drive customer sales and they also help encourage resellers and distributors to carry the product.

Strategic users can include writers and product evaluators for magazines and blogs. Thought leaders in the industry are also candidates for strategic users. Anyone who is in a position to influence the opinion of the marketspace is a possible strategic user. Carefully selecting the strategic users and getting product in their hands is an effective to way to begin to shaping the opinion of the marketspace as early as possible. The reviews generated by the strategic users should be a planned part of your public relations strategy. Excerpts from the reviews can also be used in your advertising campaign. The links from published reviews also help drive traffic to your website. A potentially bigger benefit occurs as the links drive up the PageRank of your website and help potential customers find the product through search engine results.

Earlier this year we launched a product called the X-Rest. Part of our launch strategy for the X-Rest shooting rest involved identifying strategic users to evaluate the product and help form a positive opinion of the X-Rest within the shooting community.

Here are some rules for soliciting reviews from strategic users:

* don’t interfere with the review process, it has to be honest and genuine
* stay open to criticism, not all reviews are 100% positive, bad reviews can lead to great product improvements
* look for new ways that users interpret how they should use the product and find new markets
* have faith in your customers, they have a perspective that can help you create even better products

The following is an example of a review from one of our strategic users:

FIELD-TESTING THE X-REST
By: Peter J. Kolovos

INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND:
Peter J. Kolovos, was a Deputy Sheriff with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois, before retiring.  He has been involved in the shooting sports for well over 40 years.  He is currently the Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Training for the North Suburban Police Pistol League, Inc.  With over 200 members, the NSPPL, is probably one the largest police shooting clubs in the country.

His credentials are many but my most noteworthy are the following: Pete is a highly competitive rifle and pistol shooter.  He is Certified as a Rifle Coach (Level-2) and a Pistol Coach (Level-3) with the National Rifle Association.  He is a NRA Training Counselor and Certified Instructor in several shooting disciplines.  Pete has been certified as a Police Firearms & Sub-Machinegun Instructor with the State of Illinois.  He attended the FBI’s Sniper/Observer School in 1994, and shot a perfect score during the final qualification course.  He has hunted extensively in 15 states including Alaska, and has hunted in Canada.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The first thing I noticed when I received my sample of the X-Rest, was how compact and light weight the unit was.  Made of Aluminum, it came nicely tucked into a 14.5” x 4.5” digital Camo carrying bag with a draw string closure.  The disassembled unit was approximately one-inch thick.

Each of the unit’s three legs measured out at  9” x 1.5”.  The legs join together through a rectangular slot in two of the sections and are held in place by the third leg which has a half-round section with a hole in it, and a pin which is attached to the main section via a split ring affixed to a short length of plastic coated wire cable.  This system virtually guarantees that you’ll never lose the joining pin even in rough conditions.  I also liked the fact that it was made in the USA.

Once the three sections are assembled, the rest seemed extremely steady.  The cross sections, where you’d lay your rifle measured out at approximately six-inches high, making it best suited for either Bench or Prone work.  Both of the cross-sections that actually formed the cradle seemed to have an ample amount of a protective rubber coating applied them to keep the rifle steady and to aid in protecting the rifle stock from being damaged during recoil.

INITIAL RANGE SESSION:
On Sunday, May 31, 2009, I took the “X-Rest” to the Racine County Line Rifle Club which is located in Racine, Wisconsin.  My club was holding it’s monthly F-Class rifle match, so I would be able to better evaluate the rest at distance from the Prone position.  The weather was overcast as we had a lot of precipitation during the last week.  The ground was still somewhat soft from all the rain we had, so these conditions would prove interesting for the “X-Rest”.

RANGE SESSION EVALUATION:
Being that I would personally use a this rest for Predator hunting, I chose a Remington Model 700 Varmint, bolt-action rifle chambered in .223 Remington for the evaluation.  This particular rifle was equipped with a 6.5 x 20 power Leupold target scope.

I set up the “X-Rest” at the 300 yard line, placed a small sand bag near the toe of the stock, took careful aim and fired.  Since I wanted to be totally impartial from the get-go, I decided that if I muffed a particular shot I would not consider it as part of the evaluation.  I would only consider the shots that I felt I broke cleanly.

I fired twenty (20) rounds at this distance and put all of the called shots just under a minute of angle (three-inch group at 300 yards), which is exactly what I was hoping for.  I only muffed two of the rounds.  Several other members then gave the rest a try and we also quite impressed with it’s construction and how steady the rest was.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS:
This neat little rest is simple, well made, and quite solid when assembled.  I feel it definitely has some law enforcement and military applications, as well as the civilian market.  This is a nice item for someone who’d like to have a portable rest available but not necessarily have a Bi-pod constantly attached to their rifles.  This would be a most excellent tool for a Rancher, or a Predator hunter.  It is also a very nice item for the casual shooter who’d like to have a solid rest to sight in their rifles but don’t necessarily want to pay several hundred dollars to do so.

If I were a school teacher I’d give the X-Rest a solid “B+” for it’s innovation, light weight, ease transport and of assembly.  My only recommendation would be to dip the lower part of the legs in some type of non-slip coating to resist scratching a vehicle’s paint-job if it were placed on top of the roof or hood.

Submitted by:
Peter J. Kolovos

——— End of Review ———–

Reviewers can connect with potential customers in a very intimate way through an honest evaluation of the product.  Reviews build trust in your product.  Small flaws in grammar or composition in the review help convince that the reader that the review was not a corporate fabrication from a paid talking head, but rather an honest evaluation from someone they can trust.  Less than stellar reviews are often more believable that glowing reviews.  Customers understand that no product is perfect and can be suspicious when reviews are overly flattering.

Product reviews are part of the precious dialog between you and your customers.  Embracing user reviews can give you an advantage over your competition.  Finding strategic users is the first step in encouraging the creation of third party reviews.  The next step is to get your product in their hands for them to test and evaluate.  Trust them to take it from there, using their reviews they create as a part of your website, public relations and marketing campaigns.  After all,  you worked so hard to get that product out to the market, now is the time to let the strategic users tell potential customers what a great product you’ve created.

Give me a call, or send me an email, if this was helpful or if you have topics that you would like to see in future updates.  Don’t forget to call when you are ready for us to contribute to the success of your project!

Cheers,
Montie Roland
President -Montie Design
montie@montie.com
800-722-7987

About Montie Design

Montie Design is a collaborative product design and  development firm with core competencies in industrial design,  mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing  a client-centric approach in taking products from concept to  marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in  realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle  Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading  technology, resources and innovative thought. For more  information, visit www.montie.com.

New Portable Shooting Rest Released by Montie Design

Xrest Testing(Morrisville, N.C.) Collaborative product design and development firm Montie Design announces the availability of its unique portable shooting rest, the second original product conceived, designed, and distributed by the RTP-based company in the last nine months. Designed to meet the needs of all shooters as well as most firearms, the easy-to-carry rest weighs less than two pounds and disassembles easily in three pieces, fitting neatly into a small carrying case. Unlike conventional bench rests, which are heavy and complex, the novel Montie Design model — made of sturdy yet lightweight aluminum — provides steady support for different sized long guns ranging from semi-automatic and bolt action rifles to shotguns, carbines and pistols.

“There’s nothing like this on the market,” said Montie Roland, president of Montie Design and active shooting enthusiast. Roland, who used to shoot competitively and has a daughter on a local junior rifle team, said he got the idea for the product after tiring of carrying around a conventional combination of a heavy rest and sand bags for recreational shooting.

“I realized that a lighter weight version would serve the recreational shooter better,” he said.

Karl Frank, business development manager at Montie Design, received positive feedback on the portable shooting rest at a recent Special Operations trade show in Fayetteville, N.C. “It’s clear this product has military or police applications as a training tool for the long gunners in the squad, and for sighting in and maintenance operations,” Frank, whose background includes development of tactical equipment for military applications, said.

Roland said the idea for the product came not only from personal experience but also from what he saw as the market prospects for such a product. Nationally, approximately 200 companies are actively involved in the U.S. firearms industry, combining for an annual revenue of $2 billion. In the Triangle region of North Carolina there are more than five shooting ranges and multiple firearms retailers, not to mention major chains selling guns and ammo to hunters and competitive shooters.

The design and distribution of the shooting rest comes on the heels of Montie Design’s innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) detector card which was released in January and is now being sold throughout the U.S. and seven foreign countries.

“Sometimes there is no better way for a design firm to find the next client than to show off a simple, well-designed product to a potential client and say, ‘we did this in our spare time, imagine what we could do for your product line,’” Roland said, adding that concrete examples like the RFID detector and portable shooting rest show initiative, leadership and capability to his clients

Both the RFID detector and the shooting rest are produced in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina, using local manufacturers.

“The Triangle is full of not only thousands of ideas for great products, but many innovative, quality firms with talented professionals who can produce, market, and distribute those products throughout the world,” Roland said. ADR Hydrocut, a Morrisville company that waterjets the parts for the portable shooting rest was instrumental in the development of the product.

According to Frank, ADR Hydrocut provided prototypes and extremely valuable input. “Having the manufacturer literally just down the street made the development process much easier and convenient. We call this approach ‘Made Right Here,’” he said.

Future plans for the portable shooting rest include releasing drawings and design specs as open source in addition to designing an adjustable, pistol-oriented version of the product.

To learn more, or purchase the new shooting rest or RFID Detector, visit www.montie.com.


About Montie Design

Montie Design is a collaborative product design and development firm with core competencies in
industrial design, mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing a client-centric approach in taking products from
concept to marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and
robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading technology, resources
and innovative thought. For more information, visit www.montie.com.

Media Contact:

Montie Roland
montie@montie.com
800-722-7987
919-412-0559 [cell]

Montie Design Begins Internation Distribution of New RFID Detector Card

RFID Detector Car in Use(Morrisville, N.C.) Collaborative product design and development firm Montie Design is now actively selling its innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) detector card to domestic and international clients. Small enough to fit into a shirt pocket or clip to an ID badge, Montie Design’s product enables users and installers to detect whether an RFID reader is actually sending out a signal.

“We have sold cards in six foreign countries and have interest from distributors in Japan and Sweden,” said Karl Frank, Montie Design’s Business Development Manager. The $20 cards were released for purchase just two months ago. “We have also sold cards to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and users of every kind from research labs to system integrators across the United States,” Frank added.

Manufacturers and retailers utilize RFID tags heavily in supply chain management for identification and tracking purposes to improve efficiency and save costs. They are growing in popularity as replacements for barcode tags due to their ability to be read at a distance without contact. Every RFID tag attached to a product contains an integrated circuit and antenna, and is dependent upon the functionality of a corresponding RFID reader to effectively read and record the information encoded on the tag.

According to Montie Roland, his company’s product – assembled by GRT Electronics in Raleigh, N.C. – helps determine if an RFID reader might have suffered a hardware failure, a triggering sensor may not be working, or communications with a back-end system may have been interrupted.

“The first question during setup or troubleshooting of an RFID system is whether the system is radiating a signal from the reader’s antenna,” he said.

Installers or users need simply move the RFID detector card towards the RFID reader antenna; if the RFID reader antenna is actively radiating a signal, the center of the card will activate a bright blue led light. Depending on the antenna and the power level radiated by the RFID system, the card will illuminate as far as two feet away from the antenna.

The Montie Design card works with European and Japanese RFID frequencies as well.

To learn more, or purchase a card, visit www.montie.com.

About Montie Design
Montie Design is a collaborative product design and development firm with core competencies in industrial design, mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing a client-centric approach in taking products from concept to marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading technology, resources and innovative thought. For more information, visit www.montie.com.

Media Contact:
Montie Roland
montie@montie.com
800-722-7987
919-412-0559

Good News

RFID Detector / RAT (Radiation Activity Tester) by Montie Design
RFID Detector / RAT (Radiation Activity Tester) by Montie Design

If you turn on the TV or listen to the radio, you hear a lot of bad news.  Today we have some good news about a product designed and produced locally.   We were featured today on RFID Journal. The article is about our RFID Detector card. This is our first Montie Design-branded product. You can view the article at:  http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/4646

You can purchase the card through our website (www.montie.com and click on the “Products” tab).

The text of the article follows:

——————————————————————-

RFID Detector Offers Low-Cost Troubleshooting Device

The device illuminates an LED upon sensing RFID transmission from a UHF reader, thereby offering a low-cost tool for installers and RFID reader owners.

By Claire Swedberg

Mar. 2, 2009—A new device from Montie Design, a newcomer to the radio frequency identification market, will enable RFID users and installers to detect whether an RFID interrogator is operating properly during or after installation. The $20 device fits into a pocket or clips to an ID badge, and is currently being marketed to RFID installers and users.

The idea for the device originated with a friend of one of the company’s designers late last year, according to Montie Roland, CEO of Montie Design, a two-year-old design firm located in Morrisville, NC. The company typically designs industrial and mechanical products, such as bike rental stations, solar panels and encasing for RFID transceivers and other products. Roland says his seven-engineer staff comprises “generalists” who develop a variety of items that are then marketed and distributed by the firm.

It took approximately two months to produce that product, Roland says, which consists of an LED and an antenna integrated into a PCB. The product is assembled by GRT Electronics, located in Raleigh, NC.

Thus far, says Karl Frank, Montie Design’s business development manager, the firm has sold units to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as to several RFID equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and installers. Manufacturers or integrators can have their logo silk-screened onto the detector, Frank says, which they can then utilize as promotional tools, such as providing them to customers during installations.

To operate the detector, a user holds it several inches to several feet in front of an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) reader antenna. If the device detects an RFID transmission from the reader, a blue LED in the center of the device illuminates. If the interrogator is not transmitting, the light remains non-illuminated. The device is designed to be inexpensive and small enough to fit into a pocket, Roland says. It does not measure the quality of transmission, but simply detects whether transmission is present.

Roland envisions systems integrators employing the detector to confirm that new readers being installed are functioning properly, and by end users conducting troubleshooting after installation. He indicates he has received a surprising number of enquiries regarding whether the device could be utilized in public places to determine whether readers were attempting to skim information off of RFID tags in licenses, passports or loyalty cards. The detector, he notes, would not be very effective because it must be located within a few feet of the interrogator in order to detect its transmission, and since it only detects UHF transmissions.

“That was very unexpected—the interest in using a device like this for privacy,” Roland says. “We realize now that there is a very large market for that, and we have such a product on our product road map.” It will be several years before the device is launched, he adds, noting that it would need to be an active RFID detector, and thus would require a battery. It would also be more expensive than the $20 RFID detector, which contains no battery and detects only transmissions from passive reader systems.

In the meantime, Roland says, the company is developing another version of the existing RFID detector for the 865 to 867 MHz range—the UHF band used in Europe—and another to detect high-frequency transmissions.

NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op Forms

I thought this might interest you.  The RTP Product Development Guild is working with local design and prototyping companies to form the NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op.   Here are a couple of pictures from the event:

Here is the press release:

The RTP Guild Launches New Initiative with Local Companies

Lunch and learn outlines elements of forming product design and prototyping co-op

(Cary, N.C.) The recently launched RTP Product Development Guild – a local group of engineers and designers working together to improve the regional economy – held its first organizational meeting January 29 to discuss the creation of a product design and prototyping co-op.

Eighteen technology-oriented industry professionals gathered for the 90 minute lunch-and-learn presentation and discussion which led to setting co-op organizational goals, objectives, and timelines, in addition to the first membership commitments from local companies.

“Clients sometimes have a hard time identifying local product design resources. On top of that they don’t know exactly who to trust. We want to promote local design talent who have worked together to build economic momentum in conceptualizing RTP as a product design and development hub,” said Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild.

In providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment, Roland said the Guild, through the product design and development co-op, is intended to focus local resources on creating products with regional, national, and international applications instead of having local companies look elsewhere for assistance.

Al Ely of ADR Hydro-Cut, Inc. is a member of the product development community attending the January 29 luncheon who decided to join the co-op. “It is my hope that we can convince customers that we have the talent and facilities here to handle the entire product design and development process from idea to prototype then we can keep as much business as we can here in the Triangle,” he said, adding, “If we can pull it together, we can all keep each other busy with a lot of quality work.”

According to Roland, part of the driving force behind forming the co-op as a group within the RTP Product Development Guild comes from peer professionals like Ely.

“This is shaping up to be a difficult year within the design industry. Working together allows us to reach a broader market space than we could individually,” Roland said, adding, “A parallel to what we’re trying to do is a volunteer fire department, which is contracted with the community to protect the public interest. We are in essence contracting with the RTP business community to improve the regional economy through launching product-driven companies and helping existing companies launch new products.”

The co-op – a part of the Guild – is currently accepting queries from prospective new members and is holding a series of get-to-know each other meetings at area businesses over the next six weeks. For more information contact Montie Roland at (919) 481-1845 or montie@montie.com.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

All You Ever Wanted to Know about Rapid Prototyping (Educational Video)

The RTP Product Development Guild, working the Rob Connelly at Fineline Prototyping; has released a five part video series on rapid prototyping. It is a great way to learn about the science and art of rapid prototyping. Much thanks to Jaime Vodvarka (Guild Intern) for putting this together. Please note that there are five parts to the video. The Youtube video screen has an interface at the bottom that allows you to select which part you would like to watch.

Bill Seil’s Thoughts on the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

This past September, the folks at Montie Design hosted their annual Product Design Street Fair. It had the flavor of a tradeshow as it brought professionals together in an interactive environment, but by it?s design it was a little different. It offered the same unique advantage any typical street fair or block party would have, giving companies in the area an opportunity to interact on the local level. Newcomers got the chance to meet companies that were right down the street. The folks who returned from previous street fairs, found a chance to stay current with the local product development community and get acquainted with new contacts.

Montie Design works with the attending companies in one way or another, the intent of the street fair is to bring them together in an interactive environment (Download Event Guide / Program or Watch Video). This benefits the design and development community by strengthening communication in a fun and easily accessible way.

Bill Seil
Industrial Designer
info@seil.us

Preview of the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

RTP Product Development Guild?s Second Annual Product Design Street Faire set for Sept. 13

MORRISVILLE, NC ? The RTP Product Development Guild?s second annual RTP Product Design Street Faire will be held Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008 from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The faire will be held outside of the Guild?s office, which is located off of Aviation Parkway at 400 Dominion Drive in Morrisville, N.C.

?Our street faire is intended to build a stronger product design community by providing a relaxed, family-friendly environment in which vendors, clients and potential clients can get to know each other,? says Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild. ?In addition, the event allows attendees to celebrate the product design and manufacturing profession in the Research Triangle region.?

?Last year?s event saw 140 attendees and 16 exhibitors come out,? Roland added. ?We hope to build on last year?s success by increasing both vendor participation and the number of attendees at this year?s event.? We currently have 26 vendors showing off a wide variety of products and services.

There is no cost to attend the event, but pre-registration is required. You can pre-register for the event at: http://productdesignguild.eventbrite.com.

In addition to the RTP Product Development Guild, the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire is being sponsored by Montie Design, 101Machine, Trimech, Torque Transmission and Incodema .

The RTP Product Development Guild is a private, for-profit corporation located in Morrisville, N.C. The Guild?s mission is to improve the regional economy by providing a structured environment for product developers and vendors to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This type of open collaboration helps entrepreneurs, early-stage start-ups and corporate spin offs get products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding or professional guidance. Guild membership and project submission information is available at: www.rtpproductguild.com.