product development

  1. Synectic is On the Road Again!

    We would like to thank all those who joined us at BIOMEDevice Boston and invite everyone to see us at MD&M East 2017. Stop by booth #1662 and enter our raffle for a chance to win a new GoPro Hero 5 Black. 

    The Specifics:

     

    What: MD&M East 2017

    Where: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY –  Booth #1662

    When: June 13th-15th

    Who: Synectic Engineering 

    REGISTER NOW!


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  2. How to Choose: The Truth About Resins

    By Scott Rishell, Design Engineer, Mack Molding and Kathleen Murray, Communications Manager, Synectic Engineering

    One of the largest advantages of choosing Synectic Engineering for your next project is its relationship with its parent company Mack Molding. As a leading custom plastics molder and contract manufacturer serving a range of markets – medical, industrial, transportation, energy/environment, computer/business and consumer – Mack’s customers are varied and so are their needs. Mack’s 95+ years of molding allows them to choose materials based on customer specifications, moldability of design, and cost. Choosing the right material early in the design process, streamlines the time and cost to market by picking the correct path every time. This a value add in the design cycle, for both our clients and our design process.

    To meet the diverse requirements presented by so many programs, Mack has vertically integrated services, including design, prototyping, supply chain management, machining, sheet metal fabrication, molding, painting, assembly, testing and even fulfillment. Working together, we are able to offer our client’s a full portfolio of services from concept to production. Synectic and Mack combined have over 130 years of knowledge and experience allowing us to stay competitive in an always changing market.

    One area where we often find the most distinctiveness is in resin selection. Mack has a wide portfolio of molded parts, and each is unique based on the customers’ requirements. Beyond aesthetics, like color, a material’s properties, processability and cost all play a key role in determining a resin’s suitability for an application. With thousands of grades to choose from, and new ones being developed to fill market niches, customers often turn to us to help them navigate the resin selection process.

    Here are some of our key considerations we weigh when making a selection:

    Mechanical Requirements
    A part’s strength requirements need to be considered as resin classes have various tensile strength, tensile modulus and elongation at break. Thermoplastic resins offer a variety of strength properties that can often be modified with fillers like glass or carbon fiber.

    Chemical Compatibility
    Many customers are concerned about how chemicals, including cleaning solvents and process reagents, interact with their resin selection. In these cases we consult published testing data from resin manufacturers that show a material’s performance in each chemical.  In some cases the data may not exist and testing with specific chemicals will be requested.

    Environmental Compatibility
    Parts that will be exposed to extreme hot or cold conditions need to be made with resins that are rated accordingly, making the long term service temperature and heat deflection temperature critical performance metrics. Other conditions to consider include exposure to UV light and high humidity.

    Commodity vs. Performance
    Whenever possible Mack strives to pair customer applications with commodity resin grades due to the inherent cost and availability advantages that come with higher volume raw material production.  Some projects call for specific properties – strength, heat resistance, etc. – which is where performance resins excel.

    Amorphous vs. Semi-crystalline
    Selecting amorphous resins can often be advantageous as they can provide wider processing windows and improved dimensional control due to their random molecular structure. They can be transparent and are compatible with many adhesives. Semi-crystalline materials offer improved mechanical and thermal properties but can be more difficult to process.

    Material Shrinkage
    The amount a resin shrinks during the molding process can have a huge impact on the ease of building a tool or developing a successful molding process. For this reason we try to select resins that have lower shrink rates whenever possible.

    Once all of these factors are accounted for, the list of suitable resins is typically cut down to a manageable number to consider. It is here that the Synectic and Mack team leverages its proficiency with particular materials, coupled with expertise in design and development, to make the final determination of a grade.

    Are you considering using plastic injection molding for your next project? Contact Synectic today and we will work with you to develop a product with the most optimal material selected for product performance and moldability. Let us show you how we can bring your ideas to life!


    Check out our other article in this series How to Choose: The Truth About Fixed-Fee vs. Time-and-Materials

    Learn more about our manufacturing capabilities

  3. Synectic Celebrates a Lifetime of Achievements

     

    It is with mixed emotions that Synectic announces the retirement of Vinny Mata, one of our most distinguished senior product development engineers.

    I was able to sit down with Vinny one last time before he left. Here is what he had to say about his time at Synectic.

    Vinny, you have such a rich engineering background, what brought you to Synectic?

    VM: I was originally introduced to the previous owner of Synectic, Jeff Stein, through a mentor of mine. Over the years I worked with him on various projects, as a contractor, before I went into medical device design. Then, about 10 years ago, I was looking to leave the company I was work at and I asked Jeff if I could use him as a reference. Well, he did way more than offer me a good reference, he invited me to come work for him. I had really enjoyed, working with him in the past, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Synectic offered the fun, family-like environment that I was looking for.

    I’m so glad things worked out the way they did. You have worked on some pretty amazing projects throughout the years. What were some of your favorites while working here?

    VM: One of my favorite projects was working on the 5mm laparoscopic stapler from Just Right surgical. The client challenged us to push the project to the limits with design and materials. Our team rose to the challenge and we were able to change the technology, making a significant impact in pediatric laparoscopic technology.

     

    Vinny, you have definitely left your mark on this place and I can assure you, you will not be forgotten.  What advice can you give to an engineering that is just starting their career?

    VM: I recommend finding a company that nurtures and encourages you to master every aspect of product development from engineering to manufacturing. Seek out an environment where you can simultaneously contribute and expand your mind. You want driven colleagues who have a willing attitude to learn from each other and gladly share their knowledge. At Synectic the senior engineers spend time mentoring the junior engineers, encourage questions, and are willing to try a new approach. Even with all our years’ experience, we are still open to learning from the younger generation just entering the field. Synectic is also great for those looking to go into medical device development. You are not just working on one project in one specialty all the time. We have to learn all the anatomical systems and the projects change quite often. We learn everything from cardiovascular to tissue management and must know how to tie that into mechanical engineering.

     

    Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. We are really happy that you chose to work at Synectic and we are sorry to see you go. What do you plan to do with your time now that you are retiring?

    VM: I am an avid fisher and boater and I plan to do a lot more of both.

    Good luck Vinny in wherever life brings you to next!

  4. Spotlight on STEM: Synectic at Polson Middle School

     

    What happens when you take a class of eighth graders, office supplies, and Synectic Engineering? You get the best STEM career day ever!

     

    Mac McMurray getting ready to speak with the students at Polson Middle School about product design

     

    Synectic’s Mac McMurray and Kathleen Murray visited Polson Middle School in Madison, CT for their Math and Science Career Day. They met with three classes of eighth graders to discuss product design engineering and put those concepts to the test. The students were given a scenario and some office supplies with the task of constructing a paper airplane.

    FDM printed 3D plane given to the winner

    Once complete, they were able to test and re-engineer their design, before competing against their classmates to see who could fly their plane the farthest. The winner of each class received a 3D printed stealth fighter from Synectic’s own FDM machine. Synectic wants to thank Polson Middle School for inviting us to talk about a rewarding career in STEM. We had an amazing time.

     

    Do you have a child who may be interested in an engineering career? Try out our airplane scenario at home and see where it may take them.

    • You will need:
      • Construction paper
      • Paper clips
      • Pencils
      • Tape
      • Scissors
      • Any other office supplies you want to add
    • Scenario: You need to get a message across a river using a paper airplane
    • Suggestions: Set a distance goal for the airplane that will be the river in this scenario. Have your child design what they feel is the ideal paper airplane using any of the above materials. Once they are done designing, they can test it out to see how far it can fly. Does the plane make it across the river? If not, discuss with them how they can make it fly farther. Talk to them about some physical and environmental challenges, such as wind and weight, which may prevent it from flying further. Have them re-engineer their airplane using the same piece of paper, and then retest. For an added challenge you can pretend that you are the client and give your child specifications for how you want the plane built, such as only using one piece of paper, two paperclips, and three pieces of tape. Does their plane fly better using the challenge items? Why or why not? Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

    Mac’s son Ryder with his paper airplane design


    For more STEM projects you can do at home click here

    To see what products the engineers at Synectic have designed and developed click here

  5. Just Arrived: Synectic’s Newest Product Design Engineer

    Synectic is growing and growing!  We welcomed Jeff Saller as a new Senior Product Design Engineer at the beginning of this year.  Jeff has a rich background involving multiple facets of engineering, including product design and development, bringing a lot to our organization.  A native of Milford for over 20 years, Jeff is excited to join a great team so close to home.  I was able to speak with Jeff for a few minutes about his background and here is what I found out:

    Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.  I know Synectic keeps you busy with all the new and interesting projects we have.  Can you tell me a little more about your background and what interested you in Mechanical and Product Design Engineering?

    • JS: My father was a chemical engineer and had a lot of influence on me.  My real interest started when I was 12 working on bikes and small engines.  I became a mechanical engineer and my first job out of college was at a small startup in Stamford.  When the company was sold, I transferred to Wisconsin and worked as manufacturing engineering on scientific instrumentation products for five years.  After that I came back to Connecticut and worked in manufacturing, product design, aerospace, and engineering management.  I gained a lot of experience and skills that have allowed me to grow as an engineer.

    Wow! You really have a varied background and must have worked on a variety of products over the years. Out of all the medical device development companies out there, what attracted you to Synectic?

    • JS:  I have worked for various start-ups in the past and I like the small team feel and fast pace.  Synectic offers this, but has experience and proven results that allow a constant stream of new projects and challenges.  In the short time I have been here, I have never been bored.  While I am learning new skills every day, I am also able to use my past experience working in manufacturing and production engineering to meet the needs of our customers.

    Jeff, since we can’t talk about what projects you are currently working on, what has been your favorite project you worked during your career?

    • JS:  I was part of a team that created a handheld spectrometer.  It had interchangeable heads to allow for a variety of sampling applications.  One of these was for detecting thermal damage to sections of an airplane, that had been struck by lightning, in order to identify areas needing repair.

    That is really cool!  You will definitely work on equally awesome projects at Synectic.  Now, enough about work.  What do you like to do when you aren’t designing medical products?

    • JS:  I’m an avid golfer and cyclist. I also like to play guitar. I’m married with two grown children and like to spend my spare time with my family and friends.

     

    To learn more about Synectic’s other Product Design Engineers click here

    Click here if you want to see medical products we have designed

  6. Come Visit Synectic at BIOMEDevice Boston 2017

    Synectic’s Mac McMurray and Adam Lehman will be at BIOMEDevice Boston at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA on May 3rd and 4th. BIOMEDevice Boston is New England’s largest medtech event and Synectic is proud to be a part of it. See how Synectic can help you bring your ideas to life at booth number 170.

  7. Meet Amanda, Synectic’s Newest Team Member

    Synectic is excited to introduce our newest Associate Design Engineer, Amanda Konieczny. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is currently working on her Masters in Engineering Operations Management at University of New Haven. Originally a native of West Springfield Massachusetts, Amanda is excited to begin her career as part of the Synectic team. I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda to learn a little more about her.

    Amanda, women working in engineering is slowly becoming more common, but you still don’t see them every day. What interested you in pursuing a career in mechanical engineering?

    AK: No one in my family is an engineer. When I expressed an interest, I was discouraged by my peers and mentors and basically told that I ‘couldn’t do it’ which in turn motivated me to succeed and to prove them wrong. It wasn’t easy, and I learned mostly by doing. I originally wanted to work in aerospace, but sophomore year of college, I switched to mechanical engineering because I wanted a broader experience. I worked at Synectic as a contractor and really enjoyed working in medical devices. A lot of the stuff Synectic works on is very interesting and challenging.

    How have you overcome some of the challenges facing you as a woman in a male dominated field?

    AK: During my junior year of college I spent 8 weeks in Himachal Pradesh India as part of my Interactive Qualifying Project. Our project was improving agricultural practices in farm lands in Mandi by technological intervention. My biggest take away was how different cultures interact, mainly in terms of male to male and female to female communication. Most times, traditional Indian males will not even shake a female’s hand. From that experience, I learned that in order to be successful as a female engineering you have to exude confidence and poise as well as speak with conviction. If you act shy, then your male coworkers will steamroll you.

    Amanda, out of all the companies you could have chosen to work for, what interested you the most about Synectic?

    AK: The projects at Synectic move at a quick pace and you always have a variety of things to work on. During my time here as a contractor, I learned so much more then I could have ever learned in school. You are constantly getting challenged from both your boss and the clients, so I am never bored and I have a lot of autonomy in my work. Best of all, the people at Synectic form a close knit team creating a great work environment.

    We are so glad that you chose to work at Synectic! Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What are your interests and hobbies?

    AK: I’m an avid swimmer. On the weekends I teach swimming to special needs children and adults. I also love to go to the gym. When I’m not swimming or at the gym, I like to spend time with my three dogs Sophie, Lexi, and Maggie.

  8. Synectic continues to Grow and Improve!

    SYNECTIC® ENGINEERING ADDS NEW CAPABILITY WITH PURCHASE OF STRATASYS DIMENSIONS ELITE “FDM” PRINTER

    Synectic® Engineering is a product design and development company, servicing client engineering needs for 35 years. In this fast paced market for design and engineering services, Synectic® is keeping up to speed with our clients’ needs. As we continue to grow our services, Synectic® has always looked at ways of improving our capabilities by reducing cost and lead times. One of the new tools in our portfolio to improve in-house industrial design and human factors modeling is a new FDM printer.

    WHY A 3D PRINTER?

    The purchase of the Dimension’s Elite FDM printer enables us to have a more iterative design process, putting human factor models in customers’ hands earlier in the process than ever before. Within a matter of days, we now have the ability to design a part, print a prototype, review the part’s design, make changes and print another prototype to validate the changes made. In the past, this process would have taken one to two weeks to complete using off-site suppliers. Using this rapid–prototyping technology on-site, Synectic® can now verify ergonomics and aesthetics, as well as functionality, early on. This will allow our clients to experiment with their design concepts and test their engineering limits, saving time and money while improving on overall look and functionality.

     

    If you have any questions about FDM process or you have a project that needs quoting, please forward request to: info@synectic.net  We look forward to discussing your next project with you!