I put this first, because it is usually uppermost in the client's mind.
We do designs with one of three fee based structures:
Project based fixed price. This is the most suitable structure for a well defined project. You know up front what the product will cost and move forward appropriately.
Time and materials. This works best for more loosely structured requirements. As each design gate is reached, you can decide whether to proceed.
A mixture of the two. It is possible to use time and materials at the star of a project and then move to a project based price as the design matures.
You will if you have funded the entire design. All design outputs are sent to you including a complete documentation pack (these are rarely fully done due to internal time pressure)
Depending on the task, the documentation pack can have a complete manufacturing and engineering pack that includes assembly masters, fabrication masters and all the electronic files necessary to create the PCB and perform assembly including ODB++ outputs (which are preferred by some assemblers). The documentation meets the requirements of IPC-D-325. If you require a Declaration of Design Performance (DDP), we can discuss that when setting up the project.
All designs will have a complete set of design drawings and trade studies (used to decide what architectures and parts are most suitable for a design).
We use Altium Designer for all internal designs. We have experience in Cadence and Mentor tools, but the licence would need to be assigned to us for the duration of the design.
We have all the usual measurement tools.
The initial design phase where getting the requirements right is where I typically work at the client premises. We work closely with the client and will visit regularly to discuss progress.
Once we have all the necessary information, we do the work at our own office as this is more productive. One of the reasons to work this way is that we do not have the typical office distractions and am therefore more productive. Besides - it means you don't have to provide a desk and all that expensive office equipment.
Yes, but see my blog post on this subject.