24/7 In-Line Monitoring Filter System

Porticos, a product design and product development engineering consulting firm in Morrisville, NC, continues to revolutionize manufacturing, with a filter system that uses a series of in-line sensors to monitor fluid condition and filter performance 24/7. This system is not only beneficial to the manufacturing sector, it opens the door for product design/development of similar types within any sector of the industry.

The filter has been engineered to include data 24/7, meaning that consumers will never again have to monitor filters beyond what data is made relatively available to them. Cloud-based software then translates this data into easily understandable information, which reduces the amount of time needed to determine what the system is trying to convey. The filter also maps current conditions against historical trends, process variables, and predictive algorithms—another innovative product design decision.

The filter has also been designed to alert the user when the filter needs maintenance, and the RFID technology streamlines maintenance, verifying health and remaining life of filter. For many users, a product designed to take care of itself while doing the job it’s been tasked with doing is not only cost-efficient, but time-saving. This enables users to keep a close eye on the health of their manufacturing systems, without the hassle and inefficiency of weekly or monthly fluid testing.

Product Development Process

To create this filter system, Porticos’ engineers created a 3D print prototype of the filter, incorporating a RFID tag reader, RF-coupled antenna boards, LED ring status lighting, and an electrical box that gathers and communicates data wirelessly to the cloud. This prototype was then used to test electrical and software components, and Porticos’ engineering team developed several sizes of 3D models for injection molding, based on customer-requested design updates.

Porticos is proud to have been involved in the development of this innovative technology, and is responsible for the prototype, testing, and final product.

Your Product Design and Development Engineering Consulting Firm is Growing. And 3D Printing.

With great support from our customers, employees, and partners, Porticos continues to grow. Here are some new things you might see around our office.

New Capabilities and Equipment

Every year, Porticos adds to our infrastructure to support upcoming projects.  In the last few months we have deployed:

  • Google Cloud “Virtual Machine” to speed up simulations. This virtual computer boasts up to 96 CPUs running in parallel, which dramatically accelerates Computational Fluid Dynamics and Structural FEA simulations.
  • Three-axis CNC machining center. Fabrication of Proof-Of-Concept prototypes no longer relies on manual machining or outsourcing.  We can now go from CAD to physical part in the same day.
  • Laser Cutter. This machine has been used every single week since we installed it in January.  It can cut shapes from most non-metal materials up to ¼” thick.  We’ve used it to make custom rubber seals, structural mounting plates, and alignment jigs.
  • 3D Printer. We’ve added even more 3D printing capability with a benchtop unit that can print up to 5 materials in a single model.

New Knowledge – No Rest for the Learned

We’re proud of our extremely well-credentialed staff.  Of course, every employee has an engineering degree, but some have gone further:

  • 6 have Master of Science degrees
  • 2 hold a Professional Engineer license
  • 8 have advanced CAD credentials (e.g., Certified Solidworks Professional)
  • Several have additional degrees including Mathematics, Physics, Material Science, Environmental Engineering, and Economics.
  • Plus a host of technical certificates like Six Sigma, Systems Engineering, Refrigeration, etc.

On top of all that learning, our top three inventors are named on 30, 27, and 24 issued patents.  Porticos employees now boast 115 issued patents, with more slated to issue later this year.  We are going to need a bigger wall…

Porticos Patent Wall
The Patent Wall at Porticos

Growing is a Pain!

Almost 12 years ago, Porticos purchased 7500 square feet at the Copeland Oaks office park.  It’s been our home and Global HQ ever since.  Back then it was more space than we needed.  We leased one third to another firm, and installed a pool table to take up floor space (and lunch breaks.)

Then we expanded.  We had to turn the “spare” bay into a workshop.

Then we grew again, banishing the pool table in order to add more offices.

Now the office and the workshop are both at capacity, and we are looking forward to continued growth.  What does the future hold?  A second site?  A mezzanine?  A new pool table?  Stay tuned…

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin

Collaboration on Medication Monitoring Device: Porticos and Porticos Asia

Porticos, a product design and product development engineering consulting firm in Morrisville, NC, and Porticos Asia, its manufacturing partner, recently collaborated on a medication monitoring device that helps patients and caregivers keep track of medications via a smartphone app.

The device can be attached to prescription pill bottles at the pharmacy, and it tracks the weight of the pills with a high-precision sensor to determine if they are being taken as directed. The device then communicates via Bluetooth to the patient’s smartphone app. Downloading the app brings the patient into the device eco-system, providing the patient with medication reminders and providing their caregivers with a complete record of their medication compliance.

Product Design and Manufacturing Partnership

Porticos worked directly with Porticos Asia to rapidly deliver 2,500+ units for user trials on a tight schedule, working throughout weekends and holidays to meet deadlines.

Headquartered in Hong Kong and working with suppliers in the Shenzhen region, Porticos Asia is in the advantageous position of being able to provide low cost, high quality production to customers who may otherwise not have access to such capabilities. The focus on production services will include part, sub-assembly and full production manufacturing, supply chain management, cost reduction, quality control and order processing.

Product Design Challenges

Porticos is proud to have been involved in the conceptual design and development of concept of operations and device feasibility, and was responsible for the definition of requirements, the research of available sensing technologies (capacitive, resistive, strain gauge, etc.), and the proof of concept performance testing of sensing technologies.

Porticos also designed and built a fixture to efficiently program and test PCBAs during inline assembly testing, and designed and built a fixture for end-of-line checkout of devices with initial device calibration.

Porticos is proud to have been chosen for this project. For more on Porticos’ engineering consulting services, click here for a services list.