Bringing a product from an initial idea to a mass-market rollout means traversing a long, winding road touching every aspect of business as you work through the engineering design process. One of the lessons you’ll quickly learn? That you can’t do it all yourself.
That applies to just about any facet of the business which may be out of your wheelhouse, but it’s especially relevant in the prototyping and proof-of-concept stage. This is the point at which you’ll start turning ideas into real, tangible examples of your vision, and you’ll need a partner if you’re to make that happen without the risk, expense, time, and hassle of tooling up for an unproven product. Enter design engineering firms.
The companies falling under this umbrella term may offer design, production, engineering, testing, prototyping, and other similar solutions for companies that can’t do this kind of work in-house. Whether you’re running a fledgling startup that’s bringing your dream to life or working in an established company exploring a potential new product idea, a design engineering firm can dramatically streamline and expedite development efforts. They have the right tools for the job and the design engineers with the expertise needed to work through common design challenges while adhering to core design principles.
To help you choose the right design firm for your needs, we did some extensive research to find some of the industry’s top providers. Curating this list meant analyzing countless design firms to review their ratings, services, awards and other parameters. Keep in mind that there’s no single design engineering services firm that’s the right choice for every company or every product. One company may have particular expertise with similar projects, or one may be more suitable for your needs based on proximity, budget, or other factors. Thus, the companies below aren’t ranked or rated in any particular order. With the data crunched, let’s look at which firms made the cut.
The Hendey Group stands out for a few reasons. For one, there’s the tenure of its staff: the top three employees alone have over 75 years of cumulative experience in the field. Then there is the broad array of services offered, which go well beyond prototyping to encompass processes like robotic automation, engineering support, hardware and software development services, and more.
Between their experience, scope, and impressive case studies, The Hendey Group leaves us impressed.
IDE has been in the business of design engineering since 1985 and bills itself as “one of the longest-lasting independent product design and development firms in Silicon Valley.” This group operates in the heart of America’s premier tech-startup sandbox, leading them to work with many prestigious technology firms and budding startups.
Their location, coupled with their long history of exceeding expectations and delivering a wide array of service offerings, has helped them to cultivate an enviable reputation. The several awards they’ve received – spanning different niches, products, and judgment categories – speak to the quality of their work.
Developing functional prototypes and even commercial-scale products of an industrial nature requires having the right precision parts. That’s where Scojet comes in. This firm has carved out its specialty in the realm of product design and precision machining, focusing mainly on smaller parts used in larger, complex equipment in industries like aerospace and automotive.
Scojet also offers complete contract manufacturing solutions, so you can work with them to provide ready-to-go parts and systems that have been sourced, built, packaged, and shipped by their team. Factor in their 20-plus years in business, and their inclusion on our list becomes clear.
WSP offers significant expertise, global talent, and large-scale design solutions. They work in a variety of fields, including automotive, aerospace, metal, and process industries. A constant across all these niches is the broad level of solutions offered by WSP, which range from testing individual components to designing full-scale facilities. In size, scope, and service, WSP is a powerhouse.
KBR is another global leader in the realm of design engineering. In fact, this multinational firm is known for its work across several service lines, including programs management, operations and plant maintenance, and cybersecurity, to name a few. Their engineering arm comprises 16 subcategories, including test and evaluation, value engineering, fluid dynamics, and detail design.
KBR has been noted for its work and clientele. Recently, the firm won prestigious NASA awards for its work with small businesses that are aligned with the space agency. It’s also won several other awards over the years. Between their vast network of resources, breadth of engineering solutions, and award-winning business practices, KBR is an easy standout.
With electronics and smart devices now pervading just about every facet of our lives, semiconductors play an outsized role in today’s product development pipeline. Synergie Cad responds to the need for engineering solutions in this arena by offering specialized services related to the conception, development, and testing of these critical components.
Unlike many other firms on this list, Synergie Cad is a specialized operation, doing little outside its niche. That focus has made them a leader in their field, and with offices worldwide, they can work with clients from just about anywhere to meet their needs. This, along with their 30 years in business, makes them a natural choice for electronics design engineering.
Evocativo is another specialized firm, working primarily with clients in the medical, dental, and veterinary industries. They’ve been in business for 40 years and counting and handle some of the largest engineering needs of the niches they focus on. They offer mechanical, electrical, software, and manufacturing services to clients ranging from inventors to corporations.
To ensure the quality of their employees, they are selective in where their talent comes from. Many of their employees have worked for some of the largest and most well-known companies in business, including Ford, SpaceX, NASA, and GM. Their pool of talent and defined niche earn Evocativo a place on our list.
Aria Group is an end-to-end design engineering firm that works in technical industries such as automotive, transportation, and aerospace. They offer prototyping, project management, design, and a host of other diverse solutions for the industries they target. They can also manufacture both one-off and series production items at their state-of-the-art facility.
To showcase its engineering might, Aria Group has developed its own production supercar, the Aria FXE. Other firms simply engineer individual parts; Aria Group challenged itself to manufacture a complete car to go against the very best in its industry. The effort is a testament to the firm’s skill, creativity, and innate understanding of the primary market they serve.
Want to work with one of the biggest engineering design firms in the world? Give Jacobs a call. This firm boasts a staff of about 60,000 and revenue well into the billions of dollars. The company’s size and scope enables it to offer the full spectrum of services for both government and private clients. Jacobs is one of the segment heavyweights, bar none.
Aside from its size, Jacobs is also notable for its business practices. It placed on the Dow Jones 2022 Sustainability World Index and was also considered one of Wall Street Journal’s 250 Best-Managed Companies for 2022. This recognition only reasserts the firm’s leading position in its industry.
The Florida-based Bay Area Innovations offers design, prototyping, and production expertise across a wide range of industries. With over 75 years of combined expertise and a focus on four core tenets – quality, experience, communication, and teamwork – the firm has earned a reputation for living up to its values and exceeding expectations across all its lines of service.
Feedback and reviews demonstrate their dedication to delivering excellence. Customers have noted their understanding of complex engineering challenges, expertise in a variety of design mediums, and focus on collaboration. Their high marks from customers secure them a spot on our list.
Whether you’re looking for a full-scale design engineering service or assistance with one or two facets of the engineering design process that you can’t handle in-house, these leading companies are worthy of consideration for any project.