Driving Innovation and Growth with Sustainable Design Engineering

8 June 2022
Driving Innovation and Growth with Sustainable Design Engineering

Engineering, as we all know, is the solution that forms an interface between the trifecta of design, implementation, and production. Taking this further is Sustainable Design Engineering, an engineering subset that’s based on principles that support the sustainable design and development of products. This is further enhanced with the introduction of Technology Readiness Levels or TRL. TRL is a method for understanding the technical maturity of a particular technology in its many phases.

One idea that stands out in TRL is the term ‘Valley of Death’, which represents the neglect of key processes such as the validation of technology in the R&D lab and relevant environment that it is supposed to be in, as well as the testing of a technology or prototype in an operational environment that it is supposed to be used in. The ‘Valley of Death’ presents to us the issue of wastage, as many technologies, although promising, do not survive till the manufacturing and deployment phase. In fact, at the ‘Valley of Death’ stage, it is hard and costly to redo and redesign things. This then begs the question; how can businesses drive innovation and growth and at the same time maintain a certain level of environmental consciousness? The answer lies in Sustainable Design Engineering, whereby sustainable solutions are considered and implemented to technology development and its ensuing technical problems, and the subsequent efforts to scale up.

Let PCI show you how innovation and growth can be possible in tandem with sustainability.


Product Design

To fully understand how Sustainable Design Engineering can aid innovation and development, let us first take a closer look at a product's lifecycle and the many parameters and safeguards that ensure that there is no wastage of resources.


Stage One

Every product begins its life cycle as a product design. This is further emphasised in designing modern-day electronic products such as telematic antennas. It requires extensive technical knowledge and vast experience to fully comprehend the complexity of a client’s requirements, such as high-speed signal integrity and complex RF signal characteristics. When the main considerations are in place, the manufacturer can proceed in developing sophisticated firmware and embedded software before moving on to the mechanical design itself.

Stage Two

The first phase of design ends when all the required product features are clearly defined and listed in the Product Requirement Document. In this regard, Product Owners and Engineering Artists do not have an easy job - they must consider the user interface, electrical parameters, electromagnetic compatibility, safety, and other regulations. A complete Product Requirement Document also implies that the second phase of a product’s life cycle can commence, which is the validation of a prototype and testing it in the market before it is produced.

Stage Three

What ensues is the New Product Introduction phase - a cross-departmental effort which involves cooperation between the Research & Development and Manufacturing Engineering teams. The collaboration goal by these two teams is to obtain a viable product which possesses sufficient features to satisfy early adopters.

Stage Four

The last stage of this life cycle is manufacturing. Having received guidelines from the Construction Department, Production Managers establish the main standards and resources to start production. Depending on the client’s requirements, here at PCI, we are capable of low- to medium-volume manufacturing of your products.

The whole process of bringing your ideas to life is properly supervised to eliminate the risk of creating a non-compliant product. Fully encapsulated in our newly introduced Stage-Gate Process, each step requires specific technical documentation and fulfilment of checklists.


Prototypes Ready for Market Testing

There is no proper design without prototyping and simulations. Everything begins with cost estimations by the Senior Engineer and the Project Manager. At the same time, the Senior Engineer prepares a High-Level Design document, which describes the basic principles of operation, the technologies involved, the proposed architecture, and the key components. Stringent tests and inspections are conducted to ensure that the product is only delivered after confirming its reliability, quality, and functionality meet or exceed expectations.

At PCI, a suite of analytical tools such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), traceability systems, Production Part Approval Processes (PPAP), and Ongoing Reliability Tests (ORT) is being deployed. By constantly getting ourselves apprised of the industry’s best practices to ensure compliance, as well as constantly evaluating and updating our certifications, we endeavour to meet and lead in industry standards.


Manufacturing – Low and Medium Volume

As the final stage, manufacturing is given the green light after receiving the guidelines from the Construction department. Our Mechanical and Electrical Engineers define the production process, and the Production Managers establish the main standards while identifying the necessary resources required. This product implementation process is closely monitored by the Manufacturing and Construction Engineers responsible for the project.

PCI’s manufacturing processes are personalised and tailored to each individual project. Our Quality Control team ensures that each stage of the process – the collection of requirements, design, prototyping, manufacturing, logistics, and service – is properly supervised to eliminate the risk of creating a non-compliant product. We leverage on highly-automated manufacturing technologies and employ innovative manufacturing techniques to realise our clients’ concepts.


How can PCI be of Service

Always by your side in your journey towards innovation, we are excited to help turn your ideas into scalable designs. With over 40 years of experience, we ensure our global clientele receive the quickest time-to-market solutions possible at the right cost without forsaking any performance points. Make your innovations a reality through our industrial design capabilities, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and firmware engineering offerings, as well as our cross-industry expertise to help you take advantage of the latest technologies.

Here at PCI, our clients are able to experience a full suite of solutions, from new product introduction to full systems assembly, along with flexibility in scale that ranges from low to high volume and high variability assembly. In addition, through the adoption and implementation of Kaizen and Lean Six Sigma methodologies into our manufacturing capabilities, we consistently make products of the highest quality at optimal efficiency. 

If you're interested in what we can do, contact us today. You can either email us or call us to discuss a project, and we'll outline what we can do for you, how much it will cost, and the timeline in which we'll have it completed.



Sustainable Design Engineering ultimately leverages stringent processes and innovation to reduce the possibility of a failed design and product. In this dynamic global landscape, which places heightened importance on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, and the development of sustainability to reduce waste, it is certain to see the ever-growing need for Sustainable Design Engineering. In the context of engineering and manufacturing, there are many avenues for improvement in a product’s life cycle - from product design to prototyping and manufacturing. Progress can be made by fine tuning these processes and with the help of Sustainable Design Engineering at PCI, you too can benefit from the value of innovation.