Odds & Ends

What’s Your Favorite Engineering Tool? Featuring Moxxly’s Santhi Analytis

What’s your favorite engineering tool? is a Q&A series where we explore how some of the most successful leaders at startups and large companies use their resources to accelerate their product development. This week we’re featuring Moxxly’s Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer Santhi Analytis.

Santhi Analytis is CTO and co-founder of Moxxly, Inc, a San Francisco based startup designing products for women. She completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering as an NSF Graduate Research Program Fellow. Her experience includes developing a percutaneous heart valve replacement, and evaluating localization sensors for a robotic catheter system. She has also designed products and devices for the developing world.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ENGINEERING TOOL?

Verification Plan & Protocols! It might not sound exciting at first, but verification plans and protocols are totally necessary for having a way to evaluate designs against product specifications and to ensure performance and reliability.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE TOP CHALLENGES THAT VERIFICATION PLANS HAVE HELPED YOU AND YOUR TEAM ADDRESS?

Having a plan to verify our product has been essential in identifying issues and potential risks. The protocols help us evaluate on an even playing field how a design stacks up to a previous design, in case we need to justify changes. This is especially important for keeping up a proper quality management system for FDA-regulated devices.

HOW HAVE VERIFICATION PROTOCOLS HELPED ACCELERATE YOUR DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS?

A verification plan provides a quantitative method to check if product specifications are met, with a deliberate purpose, protocol, expected results, and pass criteria. As a side benefit, our verification plan also ensures that our product specs are actually written clearly and objectively. It has forced us to make test rigs and gather measurement equipment to evaluate our product quickly and consistently.

Jake and Santhi setting up the life tester at the manufacturing site in China.

HAVE YOU USED A VERIFICATION PLAN IN AN UNCONVENTIONAL OR CREATIVE WAY TO ADDRESS YOU AND YOUR TEAM’S NEEDS?

At Moxxly, the verification plan has led to a lot creativity in terms of building custom systems to test our product. We have set up pressure logging systems, breast pumping models, air-leakage testers, lifecycle testers and boiling fixtures, etc. for gathering benchtop data to help us know how our product will perform in the field.

ARE THERE WAYS IN WHICH YOU’D LIKE TO ITERATE ON YOUR VERIFICATION SYSTEMS?

Verification plans are specific to companies and their products. For us, iterations will be based on methods to make our evaluations more objective, measurable, and consistent. Furthermore, we want to be able to mimic real-world situations as closely as possible. This means more tests based on quantified research and user data.

 

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