4 Things You Should Know Before Starting the Product Development Process
Product development is an exciting process. You get to witness the birth of a new product from conceptualization to realization, but apart from limitless creativity, it is even more important to have a reality check and make sure that your design can be manufactured. Otherwise, you will always just have a good idea, but not a good product.
Here we are helping you to avoid some common mistakes that might get in your way.
Who is Your Target Client?
People tend to think that defining target clients is only important for design and marketing, but in fact, it is equally crucial for engineering and production. How do we decide on product specs if not knowing who the end users are? Will the final product be able to pass through customs and meet government requirements of your target markets? What types of certifications are needed? These are the things that should be on your checklist BEFORE you start the engineering work.
Define Your Product
Now you know who will be using the product. The next step is to consider all the possible user scenarios. Does the product have to pass a drop test? Or does it need to be waterproof and shock-absorbent? Is being super light-weight one of the essentials? Will it affect the product structure and limit the space for components? Do you have to adopt medical grade materials? We can name the requirements on and on. It is necessary for engineers and designers to work hand-in-hand to define product specs thoroughly.
There are many factors to be taken into account for manufacturing, from the technology and method used in the process, CMF selection, estimated time and cost, to quality control. It is essential that engineers help designers identify which part of the product needs to be modified and enhanced in order to fill in the gap between prototyping and mass production. Usually, the most feasible solution is the most “effective” one, meaning the best quality within allocated budget.
Improve First Pass Yield
First Pass Yield may be new to beginners in product development, but it is a common measure that indicates the percentage of items moving through the production process without any defects on a first trial. That is to say, the higher the yield, the better the quality and lower production cost, which will ultimately determine your success. Here are few suggestions to tick off on your list: 1) make your CMF (color, materials, finish) choices wisely; 2) define and optimize manufacturing tolerance; 3) prototype, test, and iterate; 4) cost-effective tooling; 5) know your ex-factory price and retail price.
We hope you find this article helpful and get to pick up some useful insights into production. Please let us know what you think and which phases of the production process you would like us to elaborate more. We may answer some of your questions in our next article!