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Change Notice

Hosted by former Apple technical lead and Instrumental CEO Anna-Katrina Shedletsky. Join the conversation with product design engineering leaders on consumer electronics development, supply chain, and leadership.

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Episode 21: Former Apple, Amazon, and Google engineers tear down an Echo Show 10

On the next Change Notice: Unsnapped, we’ll reverse engineer the Echo Show 10 at our first in-person teardown! Join Team Teardown as they talk about design choices, circuit boards, EMI shields, and microphones. Lots of fun to be had, with surprises along the way!

The following is a recording of a live event – we hope you can enjoy the content despite the audio quality.

Episode 20: Former Apple, Amazon, and Google engineers tear down a Fitbit Ionic smartwatch

On the next Change Notice: Unsnapped, our teardown team will reverse engineer the recalled Fitbit Ionic smartwatch. We’ll be talking about the design decisions, manufacturing war stories, and engineering questions live. Our teardown team includes folks from Apple, Amazon, and Google – so don’t miss out on the exclusive insights they’ll be sharing.

Episode 19: Former Apple and Amazon engineers tear down a Mac Studio

On the next Change Notice: Unsnapped, our teardown team will be reverse engineering a Mac Studio live – with help from the engineers in the audience. We’ll be talking about the spaceship-style thermal management, the various and unique metal manufacturing processes, and the functionless yet overtly beautiful design decisions the Apple team made (as if they knew we were going to be taking it apart on camera). Our teardown team includes folks from Apple, Amazon, and Google – so don’t miss out on the exclusive design insights they’ll be sharing.

Episode 18: Former Apple and Amazon engineers tear down a HP VR headset

On March 17th’s Change Notice: Unsnapped, former Apple, Amazon, and Google engineers did a live teardown of the HP Reverb G2 VR headset. They talked magnets, molded rubber, connectors, controllers, antennas, and more. Watch the recording to gain exclusive insights into the design decisions and hear some manufacturing war stories from Instrumental engineers Chris Li, Tobias Harrison-Noonan, and Molly McShane.

Episode 17: iFixit, Apple, and Amazon engineers tear down a Nintendo Switch

#TeamTeardown is back at it in 2022 starting with a Nintendo Switch! Join former Amazon and Apple PDEs Chris Li and Tobias Harrison-Noonan for a live teardown with special guest star Taylor Dixon from iFixit. The broadcast will begin at 10am Pacific on February 3rd – sign up today and get first access to the recording.

Episode 16: iFixit, Apple, and Amazon engineers tear down a DJI Mini 2 Drone

Next up on Change Notice: Unsnapped, our team (Ex-Amazon PDE Chris Li and Ex-Apple PDE Tobias Harrison-Noonan) will tear down a DJI Mini 2 Drone. They’ll uncover exclusive design insights, share their own manufacturing war stories, and answer all your drone engineering questions live.

Episode 15: Remote X-Ray Analysis with Cloud-Based AI

Next up on Change Notice, Instrumental and Creative Electron will be sharing how top electronics brands are using X-Ray imaging to unlock the magic of non-destructive inspection.

We’ll review specific use cases, including how our teams collaborated with Puffco, the maker of cannabis consumption devices and accessories, to create a blind assembly process on a new consumer vaping product when traditional inspection techniques had become inefficient or impossible.

Join us to learn sophisticated new methods for leveraging AI, machine vision, X-Ray, and more on your lines to ensure you ship quality products on time on your future builds.

Episode 14: Logitech, Apple and Amazon PDEs tear down a Blue Yeti Microphone

On November 4th’s Change Notice, Adam Bennett, the mechanical engineering lead at Blue Microphones (a subsidiary of Logitech), joins former Amazon product design engineer Chris Li and Instrumentalist and former Apple product design engineer Tobias-Harrison Noonan as they tear down the popular Blue Yeti microphone.

Adam will share war stories from the production line, answer all your product design questions, and help our #teamteardown with their deep technical dives as we zoom in on components big and small. Don’t miss out on the fun!

Episode 13: A fireside chat with the VP of Operations from Density

Hosted by Instrumental CEO Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, Change Notice is where industry thought-leaders discuss topics relating to consumer electronics, supply chain, and manufacturing optimization.

This week’s Change Notice features Garrett Bastable, Head of Operations at Density. Garrett and Anna will be discussing Density’s unique approach to manufacturing their complex people counting sensors. Density designs and builds their devices in-house and domestically while leveraging international partners for specialized work.

Garrett has extensive experience across manufacturing and supply chain, including having led a portion of the original Apple Watch team.

Event Details
Reimagining the supply chain
Thursday, November 4, 2021
10am Pacific
Register for the event now to secure your virtual seat.

Episode 12: Former Apple and Amazon PDEs tear down a Shark ION™ Robot Vacuum

On this episode of Change Notice, former Amazon product design engineer Chris Li will tear down the Shark ION™ Robot Vacuum (RV750) alongside Instrumentalist and former Apple product design engineer Tobias-Harrison Noonan.

We’ll dive into IoT and vacuum-specific manufacturing choices, including sensor placement/seating, potential antenna challenges, connector configuration, and more. Geek out with us over design decisions, likely tradeoffs the Shark team had to make, and war stories from our past.

Episode 11: The future of hardware integrity in automotive fleets, from manufacturing to end of life

September 16th’s Change Notice featured Maik Duwensee, the Head of Hardware Integrity from Cruise, who has pioneered continuous improvement efforts at huge organizations including Tesla, Uber, Apple, and more and was eager to share his learnings with the Change Notice community.

Maik and Anna discussed the future of hardware integrity in automotive fleets, a concept which encompasses hardware testing, reliability, and data analysis, to ensure any and every issue that may impact a single vehicle within a fleet is both solved and traceable at every touchpoint before a fleet sees the world.

Maik is renowned for his strategic mindset, and is adept at guiding design decisions, impacting specification requirements, collaborating on material / process development, and defining and sustaining QA processes & controls.

Episode 10: Former Apple and Amazon PDEs tear down a Google Nest Doorbell

Next up on Change Notice, #teamteardown takes on the just-announced Google Nest Doorbell, which introduces new Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) and a new battery-powered option (whereas the previous model was limited to wired-only configurations).

Former Amazon PDE Chris Li and former Apple PDE Tobias Harrison-Noonan will be diving into Home IoT-specific manufacturing questions like camera placement/seating, potential antenna challenges, battery configurations, and more.

Episode 9: Former Apple and Amazon PDEs tear down a Sonos speaker

On this episode of Change Notice, former Amazon product design engineer Chris Li tears down the Sonos One (Gen 2) Speaker alongside Instrumentalist and former Apple product design engineer Tobias-Harrison Noonan.

We dive into acoustic-specific manufacturing choices, including speaker placement/seating, potential mic challenges, and more. Geek out with us over design decisions, likely tradeoffs the Sonos team had to make, and war stories from our past.

Special Episode: Adhesion Best Practices with BTG Labs

Adhesion materials and technology are evolving at a rapidly accelerated rate. Engineers who rely on glue and other adhesives for product development will need to stay up-to-date on the emerging chemistry, technology, and application processes that can impact their build timelines.

Instrumental and BTG Labs have joined forces to share the top three adhesion best practices for product design engineers. Join Instrumental’s Director of Solutions Architecture Tobias Harrison-Noonan and BTG Labs’ Application Expert Lucas Dillingham in an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, July 21 at 11am PT to learn everything you need to know about adhesion in 2021.

Topics include:

Main drivers of risk and failure during the product life cycle – learn strategies on how to manage surfaces during NPI.
How to select surface preparation tools
Common Contaminants to look out for


Lucas Dillingham (BTG Labs’ Applications Specialist) has had 10 years of commercializing inspection technology, implementing specifications for manufacturing, and solving production challenges in a variety of industries. His primary focus has been in the areas of process development, supply chain management, process troubleshooting, and rework / repair deployments of BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst surface quality inspection systems.

Tobias Harrison-Noonan grew up as a mechanical engineer at Apple, and experienced the waste and inefficiencies of hardware development as they brought multiple generations of Apple Watch and iPhones to market. At Instrumental, he sets out to solve those inefficiencies through a combination of assembly data, cloud infrastructure, and machine learning that help hardware engineers find and fix issues faster. And now, in the era of remote work, we’ve become essential to our customers’ development process.

Episode 7: Former Apple and Amazon PDEs tear down a PS5

On this week’s Change Notice, former Amazon product design engineer Chris Li tears down the Playstation DualSense PS5 controller alongside Instrumentalist and former Apple product design engineer Tobias-Harrison Noonan.

Geek out with us over design decisions, likely tradeoffs the PlayStation team had to make, and war stories from our past.

Episode 6: Product Design Engineering in the Age of Electrification with Remi Duquette @ Maya HTT

Electrification and digitalization have been accelerating over the last decade in ways we could have hardly predicted. Electric cars, buses, drones, trains and aircraft are disrupting transportation; while smart buildings produce their own electric power and feed it back to the grid.

This new age of electrification is moving us away from fossil fuels usage and is also fueled by another big trend: traditional companies moving toward computerized/digital products, from John Deere turning tractors into sensors on wheels, to IoT coffee mugs, to data digitization on manufacturing lines.

Maya HTT had to adapt its own electronic/mechatronic engineering and manufacturing simulation software suite, and extend its industrial AI services to address the impact of electrification and digitalization on product design, manufacturing, operations, and lifecycle management. The requirements for electro-mechanical system-level simulations, optimal design of wire harnesses, complex heat transfer simulations have evolved rapidly on the engineering side. The digitalization of manufacturing lines has brought about new AI-based and data-driven solutions such as Intrumental’s. Ongoing product digitalization and operations have brought disruptive new business models.

While these changes are great, members of product teams are still segregated by tools and software, increasing risk, errors, and frustration (and firefighting).

This week, we’ll talk with Remi Duquette, VP of Innovation & Industrial AI at Maya HTT, to discuss how a collaborative engineering approach built on solid data foundations is becoming the cornerstone of successful product development. We’ll get insight into how Remi brought his rocket science engineering background down to earth to power the electric future.

Episode 5: Best Remote Management Tactics For Hardware Teams In The Automotive & EV Sector

With the first half of 2021 almost complete, leaders and teams are embracing that for the remainder of the year, work will still include at least a component of remote working. Understanding and learning the best practice for managing hardware teams in remote settings is no longer a strategy for survival but instead a necessary skill for how the future of work will potentially exist.

On this week’s episode of Change Notice, Anna-Katrina Shedletsky will be joined by Pari Kumar, Director of Technical Operations at Chargepoint. They will discuss some of the best practices they have both observed and employed to effectively manage remote hardware teams in the last year, as well as how the automotive industry and remote work have been impacted by the current chip shortages. If you are interested in up-skilling on your remote leadership skills and discussing current industry topics, join us on Wednesday, June 16 5pm Pacific for Change Notice.

Pari Kumar, Director of Technical Operations, ChargePoint

Pari Kumar leads the Technical Operations team at ChargePoint, primarily responsible for developing and deploying manufacturing lines for new products.

He earned a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, but started his career with an interesting detour as a Software Technology Consultant at Deloitte. Eventually he found his way back to hardware at Apple, where he split his time between Cupertino and China as a System TPM shipping MacBooks. This was followed by a stint in the Display Incubation team scoping nascent technologies and mapping out their path to production. In 2019, he was ready for a new challenge and moved to ChargePoint to help define and grow their Global Technical Operations team.

Episode 4: How contract manufacturers can achieve remote work excellence with off the shelf tooling.

In today’s climate, adopting manufacturing technologies from third parties (rather than making your own) is becoming a best practice for contract manufacturers.

On this week’s Change Notice, Anna-Katrina Shedletsky will explore how and why contract manufacturers are adopting these technologies from third parties and which are the most frequently used tools. Joined by Pete Staples from Blue Clover Devices, this virtual discussion will dive into the tools teams are using to increase collaboration, efficiency, and optimize remote work arrangements. This event will be particularly useful for managers and leaders with teams based in the US and abroad.

Pete Staples, CEO & Co-Founder, Blue Clover Devices

Pete Staples is the CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Clover Devices, an ODM providing modern tools and services to hardware companies making IoT devices in a more nature-friendly way. Blue Clover’s flagship product is the award-winning, climate-neutral Production Line Tool.

Prior to Blue Clover, he worked as a systems engineer for Boeing Satellite Systems, designing communication payloads. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA where he studied entrepreneurship.  Pete also earned a BS in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and MS in electrical engineering at Clemson University, where his research was focused on wireless networks.

Episode 3: Chip Shortages

In this Change Notice event, Anna-Katrina, Andre, and Case will be discussing chip shortages and practical tips on the topic.

The global IC/semiconductor shortage (“chip shortage”) is impacting electronics companies in three ways:
1. Teams need to make their orders earlier
2. Parts are more expensive, increasing BOM (bill of materials) costs by 8-10%
3. Teams are being forced to build with the parts they can get, which sometimes means costly and time-consuming redesigns.

The panel of Anna, Andre, and Case will explore topics and practical tips related to these impacts.

Andre Neumann-Loreck

Founder & Managing Partner, On Tap Consulting

Andre co-founded On Tap Consulting in 2013. Here, he and his team support hundreds of hardware startups. Prior to this, Andre was the VP of Engineering, Manufacturing & Operations for Cisco Systems Consumer Products Division (Linksys and Flip Video). He also built and led successful teams at Pure Digital Technologies (Flip Video; sold to Cisco Systems) where he was C.O.O. He served on the Board of Santur Corporation which was sold to NeoPhotonics and has held executive positions at Fortune 500 companies and startups.


Case Engelen

CEO, Titoma

Titoma does end-to-end design & manufacturing of embedded electronics for B2B customers. Working closely with the supply chain in Asia, right from the architecture, results in better value and faster Time To Market (hence Titoma).

He has been working in Taiwan & China for some 25 years. After running an ID & ME firm in Taiwan for 5 years, he started Titoma in 2001. The company has offices in Taiwan and Colombia, and manufactures both in China & Taiwan, with a strong focus on reliability.

Episode 2: How eero rapidly evolved in 5 years

There’s no such thing as over-communication in product development. Especially in a highly cross-functional PD process, transparency is king to building trust across the org.

At eero, they pulled hardware practices into their software teams, and vice versa. Fascinating to learn about the process exchange, from using Github for design version control, to instituting stage-gate reviews in their software process.

During this week’s episode of Change Notice, Anna-Katrina is joined by Nate Hardison, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of eero, to talk about how he took his simple, reliable home WiFi system from concept to Amazon acquisition in 5 years.

Nate Hardison
CPO & Co-Founder, eero

Eero, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2014 by Nick Weaver, Amos Schallich, and Nate Hardison with the goal of making Wi-Fi simple to use, easy to install, and effective across many rooms in the house.

A Stanford alumnus, Nate currently leads eero’s product management, design, and engineering teams.


Episode 1: The common misconceptions of AOI

This Change Notice event is a masterclass on computer vision from Alex Lee. Alex is a 15 year veteran of Keyence.

During this episode, Alex explores the common misconceptions of AOI and how to set yourself up for success when selecting the right AOI solution for your company.

Alex Lee

Sales Executive, Instrumental

Alex Lee is an industry veteran with 14 years of experience in manufacturing, R+D, and biotech with Keyence. Here, he was responsible for launching the companies first medical research microscope division, lead automation teams, and was an early member of their industrial microscopy product team. Alex also graduated from The Citadel in 2005 with a degree in Physics.

Currently, he leads the Enterprise Account Executive team at Instrumental, Inc. where the team is making it easier to solve problems in manufacturing by closing and accelerating feedback loops in development and production.