Launch startup Stoke Space deploys software tool for complex hardware development
Stoke Space, a company developing a fully reusable rocket, has unveiled a new tool for hardware companies to track design, testing and integration of parts. The new tool, Fusion, targets an unsexy but essential aspect of the hardware workflow.
It’s a solution born out of “pervasive pain in the industry,” Stoke CEO Andy Lapsa said in a recent interview. The current status quo of part tracking is marked by cumbersome, balkanized solutions built on piles of documents and spreadsheets. Many existing tools aren’t optimized “for field startups,” but for finance or procurement teams, or even the C suite, Lapsa explained.
In contrast, Fusion is designed to optimize simple inventory transactions and part organization, and it will continue to track parts throughout their lifetime: as they are integrated into larger assemblies and go through testing. In an extreme example, such as hardware failures, Fusion will help teams link abnormal data to the exact serial numbers of affected parts.
“If you think about aerospace in general, there’s a need and a desire to be able to understand the parts pedigree of every part number and serial number that’s in an assembly,” Lapsa said. “So not only do you understand the setup, you understand the history of all these pieces that goes back forever.”
While Lapsa clarified that Fusion was the result of an organic internal need for better parts management – designing a fully reusable rocket is complicated, after all – making it a salable product was a decision the Stoke team made. very early. It’s a notable example of a rocket startup generating revenue streams while its vehicle is still under development.
Fusion offers particular relevance to startups. Many existing tools are designed for production cycles — not the fast-paced research and development environment that many hardware startups find themselves in, Lapsa added. In these environments, speed and accuracy are paramount.
Brent Bradbury, software manager at Stoke, echoed those comments.
“Parts change, people change, processes change,” he said. “It allows us to capture it all as we go without a lot of extra work.”
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