In the Popular Science stories describing the energy-saving products that the Bresslergroup
designed and were honored by the widely read magazine's Best of What's New awards
, the Philadelphia industrial design firm isn't even mentioned. For the Bressler team, however, working behind the scenes is nothing new. Neither is working on transformative innovations.
"We're as much an engineering firm as a design firm, so Popular Science is sort of a nice holistic recognition of what we do," says managing partner Michael Flanagan. "We make it look great, work great and feel great."
The products Bresslergroup designed--the Thermal Leak Detector
for Black and Decker and the Sole Power Tile
for Pennsylvania-based SRS Energy
--were among 100 products chosen by Popular Science editors that have a positive impact on the world and challenge the future's possibilities. Not surprisingly, both products are green technologies that have been in existence for several years and required Bressler's design ingenuity.
The Leak Detector is a hand-held device that helps homeowners detect energy leaks around the house, helping save 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. The Sole Power Tile combines photovoltaic electricity generation with actual roofing tiles, an aesthetic victory over bulky solar panels.
Awards are nothing new for Bresslergroup, which boasts at least 80 of them since its founding in 1970. The company, which employs 22, has also authored more than 100 patents.
While the company maintains a diverse client roster among the medical, consumer, commercial and industrial product lines, it has flexed its muscles recently with green and medical product development, even during the recession. While Bresslergroup has survived the recession, it grew used to double-digit growth prior to the downturn and looks to resume that growth through expanding its workforce and targets in 2010.
"We have strategic bullseyes," says Flanagan. "It's been a conscious effort to do more and talk more about sustainable product development. We're good at medical as well, and we've chased it with the economy sputtering."
From a tactical perspective, Bresslergroup has really made its mark in product usability--like making a GPS or smart phone more compatible with its digital interface. For example, Bressler has developed a kiosk in use at a gate in Boston's Logan Airport that allows users to download movies and entertainment content while waiting for their flights or pick-ups.
"We're merging industrial and interface design," says senior designer Mathieu Turpault. "A lot of times, you can tell if they're disjointed. We try to pull all those touch points together."
The company works with plenty of corporate big guns, like GE, Motorola, DuPont and Hewlett-Packard, and also has a stable of Pennsylvania companies, like Nielsen Kellerman
in Boothwyn. Bresslergroup is even working to build a better mouse trap, with Havahart
"We may see the continuation of optimization work, for cost and to chase away waste," says Turpault. Source: Michael Flanagan and Mathieu Turpault, BresslergroupWriter: Joe Petrucci
: Top, Michael Flanagan; Bottom, Mathieu Turpault