Product Design

Hill Engineering specializes in product development for original equipment manufacturers that need to supplement their in-house staff. We are skilled in integrating our extensive knowledge of mechanics, materials and manufacturing processes to produce effective designs that can be produced economically. The firm performs all aspects of the mechanical engineering design of new products. From assistance with the product design specification through the synthesis of creative solutions, layout, detailed design and engineering analysis, Hill Engineering will provide fast, accurate service.

  • We like to solve difficult problems. Come to us if your staff is struggling with a problem that is consuming too much time or does not look solvable. We will take a fresh look at your problem whether it relates to the product itself or the manufacturing of the product. We have a proven record of determining the root cause of problems and designing new approaches to avoid the problems.

  • We are often called upon to invent while designing. Any invention made on your job is routinely assigned to you. We can assist in the process of obtaining patent protection if you desire.

  • We can improve existing product designs that are not meeting expectations. Often we are asked to improve designs so that they can be produced more economically. For instance, we are adept at estimating production cost of a new product design manufactured in your plant even before detail design is complete. We also improve designs so they conform to the requirements of a particular manufacturing process.

  • We donít design parts in a vacuum. We can help you locate and qualify vendors to make the parts we design.

  • We use the latest version of SolidWorks to model and document designs. We pride ourselves on the complete and accurate documentation packages we produce to accompany your new product design.

  • Besides designing your new product, we are equipped to fabricate, assemble and test prototypes rapidly in our in-house prototype shop and laboratory. We also maintain an extensive network of local vendors that are ready to supply prototyping services we donít have in house (sheet metal, plating, etc.).

  • If you need help with aspects of building the new product we designed, we have that covered too. We can design tooling, jigs and fixtures (and build them if necessary) used for special in-house manufacturing processes (such as adhesive bonding, welding or machining). We also design jigs and fixtures for assembly and inspection operations.

  • We coordinate with your electrical and software engineers to define product specifications and areas where mechanical design will interface with their design activity (front panel controls, connectors, power requirements, etc.).

  • We often find ourselves in the role of guiding or mentoring your in-house engineering staff. We welcome the opportunity to share our experience with your staff in all types of forums.

  • At Hill Engineering we generally work on a fixed price basis as opposed to open-ended time and materials contracts. We break a job down into phases. At the beginning of each phase we will all know exactly what is expected as an end result, how long it will take to complete and how much it will cost.

Product Design -- Areas of Expertise

Summarized below are some specific areas in which we have significant experience. Contact us at to find out more about our qualifications for your project!

  • Design for high volume production processes such as injection molding, die casting and stamping.

  • Design of functional prototypes for rapid confirmation of operation to specification.

  • Interface with industrial designers regarding external appearance and ergonomics of new products.

  • Design of sheet metal components and enclosures.

  • Pneumatic and hydraulic system design, design of custom rotary and spool valves.

  • Gas separation devices, nitrogen and oxygen concentrators, especially pressure swing adsorption (PSA). Sorption compressors and vacuum pumps.

  • Design for adhesive bonding including hermetically sealed structures such as pressure vessels and riv-bonding, the combination of rivets and adhesive in a joint.

  • Design, analysis and testing of fans, blowers, compressors, and pumps.

  • Design of flexures and compliant mechanisms that completely eliminate all rubbing contact between parts and the possibility of fretting corrosion. Included are living hinges in plastic and flexural pivots.

  • Design for fatigue resistance in low or high cycle applications to specific probability values

  • Mechanism design, from detailed kinematics to dynamics. Example devices include scotch yokes, four bar linkages and over-center toggle linkages.

  • Seals, both static and dynamic. Experts at applying O-rings in all types of static and dynamic seals. Pressure balanced face seals as well.

  • Welded joint design and process/material specification.

  • Design of unfired pressure vessels for internal or external pressure. Oceanographic instrumentation, buckling analysis.

  • Refrigeration system design from normal to cryogenic temperatures, including vapor compression systems, Stirling and pulse tube machines and thermoelectrics.

Here are some things Hill Engineering canít help you with:

  • Provide bodies to fill chairs at your location

  • Project management

  • Production drafting

  • Electrical engineering, computer engineering or software production

  • Civil engineering or structural engineering (of buildings), design of HVAC or other building engineering

  • Expert witnesses in litigation (we can work behind the scenes on failure analysis, etc.)

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