The company founders (husband and wife) being educated in electrical engineering and business, worked in their respective industries for more than 7 years. With a passion to start their own company, ProtoDesign Inc. (PDI) was incorporated in 1991. The intent was to provide an embedded design service with turn-key prototypes. The first year they worked exclusively from their home. Engineering was on the main floor and production in the basement. The work environment consisted of a desk, computer, a work bench with a PCA flip rack, a soldering iron and a deck top etcher to fabricate 2 sided PCBs. PDI’s first job involved designing and building an automotive production test stand using a stepper motor and microcontroller. Soon afterwards, through “word of mouth marketing,” they secured additional work and added 4 work stations down stairs and a few part time employees who parked in front of the house. Shortly thereafter, they moved to a 1,000 sq. foot facility in Harrison Twp. where the jets at Selfridge Air Base shook the windows when they took off and landed. They bought a used wave soldering machine and hired their first full time employee who, 27 years later, is still working for the company as a pcb/hardware designer.
PDI continued to grow and after another short period, they moved into the facility where the business currently resides and expanded the engineering department with the hire of their first embedded design/software engineer. After 30 years and multiple expansions PDI now has high tech fully automated assembly lines, building mid/high volume assemblies, a vastly skilled manufacturing dept., a fully staffed engineering department, a management team running operations and a President focused on growing the business and keeping customers happy. The owner’s son graduated as an electrical engineer and is now working for the company. The owners continue to be involved in business activities.