Blog_Teamwork drives product success

Teamwork drives product success!


TEC - The Energy Conservatory and Brownlie Design

Introducing the DG-1000 Digital Gauge

TEC, The Energy Conservatory, began in 1980 with the introduction of their Minneapolis Blower Door, a system for testing the air tightness of homes and buildings. Dramatic increases in the importance of energy efficiency allowed TEC to expand production and add other testing systems to their product line.  

This growth, along with emerging competitive pressure, led TEC to enlist Brownlie Design to lead an effort to create a product brand identity that would visually and functionally connect their product line.  Drawing on their wide range of product design experiences, Brownlie Design proceeded with a team approach to tap the extensive industry knowledge and experience at TEC and that of their current and future customers. 

The team’s preliminary research led to the focus on the DG-700 gauge. The DG-700 was the central component in all of the TEC systems. With new capabilities being developed at TEC, it was time to introduce the DG-1000.

Through concurrent work on the gauge housing and UX design, a breakthrough concept was recommended: to rotate gauge orientation from vertical to horizontal. This change offered many advantages including improved tubing and cable management, maximized touch screen accessibility, better display of data, and superior stability when handling the gauge.

Initially, this recommendation met with resistance. Ultimately, product testing proved an overwhelming preference for the horizontal design and the team moved forward to make the product a reality. Collaboration between the TEC and Brownlie teams allowed for the preservation of the aesthetics as we addressed the realities of component layout and manufacturability. The resulting design met or exceeded all design specifications including an 8’ drop test.

The outcome of the project was not only the development of the DG-1000, and the creation of a compelling new product brand language, but the long lasting relationship our two companies have established through our teamwork.