The Consultative Approach: Translating Value via Engineer-to-Engineer Design

In highly technical settings, engineer-to-engineer partnerships are often a primary source of design innovation. Recognizing this significance, KNF has seen an evolution from the traditional “sales call,” to a consultative, performance and value driven process. This approach assists OEM design engineers by defining application performance needs and minimizing the trade-offs often required as a project moves down the development timeline.

Early Communication Yields a Better Solution

Engineers Working with EngineersCommunication during the early stages of OEM manufacturer product design cycles offers the best opportunity to develop a solution optimized specifically to the needs of the application. These early conversations often result in recommendations allowing the OEM design engineer to choose a pump—along with other instrument components—to better meet the overall goals of the system.

For example, discussions may reveal the desired pump performance can be achieved with lower power requirements than initially assumed. This knowledge can influence other component needs, often enabling the OEM designer to reduce instrument size, weight, and audible or electric noise. Pump modifications incorporated to decrease power consumption can also lead to increased life of the pump and the entire fluidic system.

Discovering this lower power requirement early on in the design phase allows adjustments to be made while there is still time for changes to the overall design. If this same conversation occurred further along in the design process, it could be too late for such adjustments – even though doing so would improve the overall product performance.

The consultative process also contributes to risk mitigation. In often unpredictable and changing environments, engineer-to-engineer collaboration helps minimize unknowns and increase early detection of potential issues. In part, this helps drive down financial
risk, while the costly rework, or dreaded “start from scratch” scenario is virtually eliminated.

The earlier a KNF engineer is introduced to the vision of an OEM’s new product and its performance specs, the more opportunity there is for us to bring value to the overall product design, deliver a fully-optimized pump, and minimize risk. Our goal is to provide exceptional
fluidic engineering support, thus freeing customer OEM design engineers to focus on the big picture of throughput optimization, monitoring and detection, power delivery, or whatever your particular application and customer base demands.

Bringing Custom to the Customer

So we’ve consulted on your needs. Now what?
Over 80 percent of all KNF pumps sold are “Project” pumps, i.e., optimized and purpose-built for a particular application for a particular customer. Your project starts our project to develop your pump for your needs. Sounds simple, and it is, but KNF has put in place many procedures, best practices, and lots of prototyping, testing, and manufacturing capabilities over the years to ensure it actually works simply and effectively.

One of the practices that allow KNF to efficiently design, build and optimize so many pumps for so many applications is our modular product design. This unique approach reduces the number of modifications otherwise required to customize a pump system. Customer benefits include faster prototype, first article turnaround, and ramp-up for manufacturing. Modular product design also allows us to better meet small-scale orders. Therefore, customers can purchase one or two individualized pumps without the hassle of a “minimum order.” The key is our ability to provide optimized pump systems without letting “custom” turn into “costly.”

To recap, KNF prides itself in providing design engineers with advance, consultative support. From the start of the project through completion, we provide a solutions-based, engineer-to-engineer partnership. The way we see it, our job is to apply our pump and fluidics
expertise to help bring the vision of OEM design engineers to life.

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