CEA was founded in 1997 as Rhode Flux, (short for Rhode Island Magnet Flux) and was focused on developing electromechanical/magnetic devices. Our early work included the development of writable magnetic rollers for the electrophotography market. The same technology was later used to produce custom magnetic actuators for Bose. Other projects included aerospace actuators and custom motors, one of which was patented by Oreck Vacuum Cleaners. As our company grew we migrated into product development and worked in the consumer electronics and medical device areas. Most notably, we did the mechanical work for the first 3 successful Bose headsets.
Over the years we have developed a rather extensive machine shop, acquired substantial fabrication know-how, and can now produce show-ready, functional prototypes, sometimes called technology demonstrators. In one instance we designed a headset to demonstrate a newly developed technology for quick-turn earbud tips that were made to match a customer’s unique inner ear. We designed and produced 200 units of this new headset from injection molded components for CES in 6 weeks and an additional 150 units a few weeks later.
At its core, CEA provides integrated technical solutions for complex mechanical problems. There are many products that can be produced with run of the mill technology, for which are we not needed; however, there are many others that require some finesse to work. It is the latter category where we excel. Sometimes we enhance the design, sometimes we develop a process, or typically a little of both.
We are focused on the hard-core engineering needed to make products work. We call this the infinitesimal layer between the rubber and the road. We tend to work closely with R/D and, on many occasions, built table top machines to produce prototypes for R/D. These table top machines often serve as a valuable stepping stone to factory scale automation. In one instance we developed 4 different apparatus to support a single product; two for bonding, one for trimming and another for testing.
Medical devices have additional challenges presented by quality requirements and the extremely long duration of the product cycles. CEA takes the quality requirements as serious as any other, and design components and machines to be fully compatible with needs of the customer’s quality department. We work hand in hand with the validation department and quality department to get the equipment qualified. We truly try to make it as easy as possible on people. To facilitate calibration, we have design equipment with redundant electronics and custom software to lead the technician though a “guided” procedure. This method both improves quality and ease of use. We also understand the need for medical equipment to be truly future-proof. We use quality components form reputable vendors and design in serviceability from day one. One of our machines was nearly completely destroyed by and unknow electrical event, and we were able to fully repair it 8 years after its initial release to the exact same performance level.
CEA is a good team and is happy to be an extension of your own, working both to develop the products and equipment and supporting them over the years. We take pride in providing fully working solutions to our customers.
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