Why we adopt a consultative approach when designing our rugged hardware

We take quite a unique approach when it comes to dealing with the projects our customers bring to us. Although our products are available and “off the shelf”, we take our fully rugged computers and tailor them to suit specific project needs without adding lead time or NRE costs. We pride ourselves in our ability to be able to fit any connector and interact with any interface whilst still maintaining the ability to survive the harshest environments. This is all done by GRiD, at GRiD, here in the UK.

We do this because we believe that we can better serve our customers by providing them with a solution that is tailor made to solve their specific problems. That’s why we take every new project through our consultation process so we can ensure that you get exactly what you need, designed with the perfect interfaces and connectors so that all you have to do is plug and play.

So how do we work? Let’s take a look into how a ‘typical’ project is developed.

Initially, we delve into project specifics and work out how a product needs to be configured so that it can easily slot into any existing set up you may have and that it can provide everything you need. We do this in two ways;

  • The first is to do with the connectors. As standard, we let you choose the connectors and the number of connectors required (dependant on the size of the product, of course). They can be anything from a range of military specification D38999 circular connectors (which we tend to use as standard) to Fischer, Glenair, Lemo, ODU or even commercial ports sat behind a fully sealed Aluminium Door. The type of connector used depends on the interface, speed of the interface, number of pins required and the environment it is operated in.
  • The second is the interfaces that we use within our products. We pride ourselves on being able to fit any interface so that you are equipped with the right tools and can utilise whatever software (or external hardware for that matter) you want with our products, through a simple plug and play methodology. This removes the need for additional hardware, simplifying the system and reducing the cost.

Once we know what it is that you need and what you are going to need to connect to (don’t worry, we just need to know the connectors and not the actual specifics – we take both project and operational security very seriously) we can begin the design and build, involving customers as little or as much as they would like.

For smaller projects, it is often a simple build and subsequent checks to make sure that the device(s) work as they should and that every interface and connector on the system is functioning properly. This is a relatively quick process as our in-house team have streamlined the process to ensure quick project deployment.

With larger or more significant projects, we operate slightly differently due to the distinctive requirements that are usually associated with them.

When we are tasked with a significant project, we are often asked to support a Defence Programme Engineering Design Life Cycle which design reviews are held for technical and programmatic accountability and to authorise the release of funding to a project. This typically means supporting four different design stages to make sure that the customer is happy with the product and that it works perfectly for their specific requirements. The four stages are:

  • Preliminary Design Review (PDR): The PDR demonstrates that the preliminary design meets all system requirements with acceptable risk and within the cost and schedule constraints and establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design. This initial phase will show that the correct design options have been selected, interfaces have been identified, and verification methods have been described.
  • Critical Design Review (CDR): The CDR demonstrates that the maturity of the design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration, and test. CDR determines that the technical effort is on track to complete the flight and ground system development and mission operations, meeting mission performance requirements within the identified cost and schedule constraints.
  • Production Readiness Review (PRR): A PRR is held for Flight System and Ground Support Projects developing or acquiring multiple or similar systems. The PRR determines the readiness of the system developers to efficiently produce the required number of systems. It ensures that the production plans; fabrication, assembly, and integration enabling products; and personnel are in place and ready to begin production.
  • Test Ready Review (TRR): The TRR is the final stage and ensures that the product, test facility, support personnel and test procedures are in place ready for the device(s) to go through any tests that they require before they can be shipped and distributed to our customers.

After we have gone through the review stage and the build is complete, we often get asked to fully qualify the device to the required level defined by the customer. All of our products are MIL-STD-810 and DEF STAN 00-35 qualified as standard but often the customer may require specific testing to their exact specification. We appreciate that given the potential applications, there are certainly unique and often very stringent requirements that devices must be able to meet which is why we are always happy to work with you and ensure that our products meet these requirements.

No matter whether your project is a simple off-the-shelf build or a completely new set-up, from the initial design concepts to the components used and the entire build process, we carry out everything in-house (or qualified third-party UKAS Accredited Test Centres). Therefore no matter how long it’s been since your project was delivered, if anything goes wrong, or if you find yourself wanting more devices, we can quickly provide you with replacement parts or new hardware based on the original specification you gave us.


We are, and always will be, a team of engineers at heart. With this ethos in mind, there was only ever one way in which we could work, and that was providing a consultative approach to each and every project that we work on. We do this so that you can be comfortable in the knowledge that the same experts who design and build the hardware are also the ones who deliver your project and ensure everything is working the way it was always intended to.

We assign project managers to every project we take on so that our customers can relax knowing they will be kept up to date as often as they wish to be. That the technical aspects and day to day management of the build is run by someone with direct knowledge of our systems and the right skill set is available to bring everything together on time. All carried out in our Head Quarters in Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom.

The consultative approach that we use is for the specific purpose of providing a simple and easy experience for something that can more often than not, be incredibly complex and unnecessarily convoluted. It lets our customers focus on everything else without having to worry about the project at hand, reducing the costs as well as the time taken to go from project design to real-world implementation.

If you have a specific project you’d like us to consult on, or if you’re just interested in learning more about why we adopt a consultative approach to developing our rugged laptops, tablets and processors and how we can adapt our devices to suit your needs then give us a call on +44(0)1628 810 230 or send us an email at sales@griduk.com and one of our team will happily guide you through the process.