FAQ by The Pilot Group
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"We need a one-of-a-kind system. Can The Pilot Group build the system or do you just provide the design?"

It almost always works out better for all involved if we are responsible for both the design and fabrication. If you give us the opportunity to take a look at your project, we will tell you what we can and cannot do. We can often quote a fixed-price for a completed system including design, analysis, fabrication and integration at your location. If we don't think we can be competetive on price or lead time, we have no qualms about directing you to someone else or finding an off-the-shelf product that will suit your needs.

"I have drawings and schematics for most of the system but we mainly need assistance building to the prints. Can you make these precision parts and assemble to tight tolerances?"

The short answer is most likely "yes". While we prefer wider responsibility for the design, fabrication, assembly and test of a device or system, we can also build-to-print.

"Can you support my obtaining a patent for the design you will be building?"

We have lost count of the number of clients we have assisted in obtaining patents. Our assistance can range from evaluating the prior art and competing commercial devices to the drafting of patent documents.

"We would like to investigate the feasibility of the idea before we commit to building a prototype..."

For projects that involve some extension of the state-of-the-art, we will usually recommend a feasibility study to identify and evaluate the uncertain areas. As with most of our work, the study can usually be accomplished on a fixed-price basis.

"Would The Pilot Group be in a position toprovide engineering analysis and design assistance to us for this project?"

Again, the answer is often "yes". We can often provide the technical know-how to fill in the missing bits of analysis needed to guarantee the performance of a system. Assistance with structural, thermal, static, dynamic, optical, electronic, and fluids analysis is all available.

"How do I get started working with The Pilot Group on a project?"

The best way to start is to let us know what it is you want to do and where things presently stand. We sign NDA's all the time. With some understanding of the technical, schedule, and cost issues, we can tell you whether we are suited to the task. If the task is defined clearly enough, we will be able to provide a quote for the work. If there are uncertain technical elements, we'll likley recommend a study contract to clarify those issues.

Since we put our own interests at risk by quoting fixed prices for one-of-a-kind work, we will also tell you when we're the wrong ones for the job.