Our work in the consumer products industry
We help the products we all use perform better, last longer, and operate more safely.
Dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, irons, food processors, coffee makers.
Glassware, garden hoses, fans, chairs, shelves.
Brakes, tires, trailer hitches, floor jacks.
Strollers, cribs, monitors, carriers.
Infant toys, bath toys, electronic learning and gaming devices.
Skis, kayaks, scuba gear, hoverboards, bikes, helmets, weights, treadmills.
Partnership for the Long Term
From the drawing board to the testing lab to the real world, Exponent assembles the right experts for your unique challenge. We provide a one-stop shop through connected teams spanning multiple disciplines such as human factors, biomechanics, materials, and more.
How we help our clients
The cost of bringing consumer products to market — and keeping them there — is high, requiring continual innovation and iteration. Exponent's experts provide holistic research and development support, including guidance on the right materials, manufacturing processes, product development testing, and more, for any application.
Our experts also have decades of experience in how high-use consumer products perform and fail — and they can help ensure your products perform as intended throughout the product lifecycle.
Discovering design flaws before they become costly problems requires an experienced perspective on the numerous ways things can go wrong. Exponent is a world leader in failure analysis, and we leverage this expertise to go beyond standard performance testing techniques, giving you the confidence needed to boldly create new and differentiated products.
Our experts in fields like mechanical engineering, materials engineering, chemical engineering, batteries, adhesion, and corrosion collaborate extensively to ensure your physical products are well designed and thoroughly tested. From the parts themselves to how they are assembled, we are experts at finding and fixing flaws, both in designs and finished products.
Custom Prototypes & Testing Plans
Our state-of-the-art labs can simulate an extensive array of stresses on your product, covering all aspects of product performance. We base our custom testing plans on industry standard principles, including regulatory testing and national and international standards, and accelerated test programs such as Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS). Additionally, we can help guide you through testing processes to make sure that any third-party tests conducted are answering the right questions.Case study
When the incidence rate of diagnosed mild traumatic brain injuries spiked, Exponent conducted a critical evaluation of the efficacy of headgear in certified and non-certified sports equipment.
To achieve optimum product design, companies must understand how their products perform in the real world. Exponent is a pioneer in the measurement and analysis of product data to drive improvements.
Our experts have extensive experience working with companies to develop custom testing programs that collect data unobtrusively while products are in use, even while skiing, running, or fighting fires. We've combined product data with user data, such as heart rate, weight, and strength to understand the true range of stresses on a product.
All the innovative technology a company pours into its products may be negated if humans can't intuitively and safely use them.
Exponent's highly credentialed user experience researchers help design your product to be user-centric and data-driven, leveraging multidisciplinary teams with broad industry experience across human factors, cognitive and perceptual psychology, biomechanics, and data science.
Our methodologies are custom tailored and scientifically rigorous, combining scientific tools, physiological measures, full-body motion capture, and other techniques to understand users' psychological and cognitive experiences during product use. We go beyond widely used, subjective, self-reported measures that tell only half the story to dive deeper into fully understanding user behaviors and experiences.
Our insights ensure products meet the needs of most customers and also account for unexpected use cases across diverse populations. Beyond the products themselves, usability testing includes ensuring instructions and warnings are easily understood, helping to limit your product liability.
Executing on safe, efficient, and exacting manufacturing processes is mission-critical in the product lifecycle, especially for items produced at high volume, where even small errors quickly add up. Exponent's multidisciplinary teams can assess performance from every perspective, encompassing the building and machines, the humans around them, and the processes used to make your products.
Our assessments include addressing the environmental impact of your operations and products with expert scientific guidance. Our environmental scientists can give you a clear understanding of how your activities may affect the air, soil, and groundwater near your facilities and through your products.Case study
A major battery manufacturer setting up a new technology needed to understand how new processes would impact worker safety and turned to Exponent for a broad multifaceted assessment.
While recalling a product is never a manufacturer's first choice, it's sometimes the right choice. Exponent can help you decide when it's necessary to alert the public and take corrective actions.
We conduct rigorous analysis to ascertain:
- How often does the problem occur?
- What are the consequences when it does?
- Are there ways users can avoid the problem?
Determine What Went Wrong
We start with understanding the problem in the real world by reviewing consumer complaint databases or conducting primary research with product users or focus groups. Whenever possible, we examine incident units to gather clues from actual field failures. We then recreate the problem in our laboratory testing facilities, gathering scientific data on how and (most importantly) why the problem occurs. In our labs, we can drop products, crush them, immerse them, cycle them, and subject them to myriad other stresses and strains.
Our analysis doesn't stop at identifying the cause of failures. Our experts formulate and test solutions. Would a different material help? Stronger adhesive? Better instructions or clearer warnings? We help you quickly and thoroughly work through potential solutions that minimize impacts on consumers (and your reputation).
Failures are sometimes related to specific circumstances in manufacturing, such as excessive temperatures during molding, insufficient cure time or heat treatment, impurities in raw materials, or careless or untrained workers. In some cases, we can narrow a recall scope to a particular time frame and range of product serial numbers when we discover the root cause, limiting the scope of the potentially impacted population of products.
Communicate with Confidence
Our extensive experience allows us to also help clients interact with regulatory agencies, specifying what to communicate, when and how, using scientific data and proposed solutions as the basis for a Corrective Action Plan. We are with you every step of the way, from the initial investigation to providing additional testing or guidance on follow-up questions from regulators.Case study
Following incident reports that included battery packs sparking, smoking, catching fire, and even exploding, Exponent's clients asked for help determining the root cause of hoverboard failures and how to minimize the future risk.
Clients turn to Exponent when they need to objectively understand what went wrong and why. Whether you're dealing with questions related to how a product is used, what it's made of, how it should be tested, or the results of examining a failure, Exponent brings principled science to the task — telling you what you need to know, not what you want to hear.
Exponent scientists and engineers represent the science at dispute proceedings by bringing clarity, precision, and a unique ability to explain complicated topics in understandable ways.
We provide assistance across all phases of disputes, including pre-litigation, fact-finding, litigation expert testimony, and arbitration.