Our designs and processes are not just aimed at getting a product successfully to market but helping our clients be profitable and achieve their business goals.
Design for manufacturing is heavily integrated into our entire process. Even in a concept phase, when we are just thinking about a system in an open manner, the concepts will get narrowed down to the possible and buildable. We still look at designs that may include innovative manufacturing processes, but this is done with a more conservative manufacturing plan as a backup.
It is important for us to know early on the expected volume for a product or machine, even if this is just a best estimate, because this influences the materials and processes we use when creating a design. For instance, in the case of a machine where the customer only expects to build one or two (say for an industrial process at a specialized factory) , then a design that uses machined parts or even 3D printed parts becomes an good option and we will look at designing components around using those methods that minimize tooling and other upfront costs. In contrast, if the design is for a consumer product that would likely sell millions, we then look at designs that include injection molded or stamped parts that have larger tooling costs but would result in lower overall part costs.
However, we don’t just look at the design methods in terms of how easy it is to manufacture; we look at a design in terms of how it works for your business. Having been through the design to market process many times, we are very aware that many times there are budgetary restrictions and time requirements that don’t always align with the optimal end manufacturing processes. We are also aware of how our design costs works into the overall budget. Our goal is not take as much as we can for our customers early on without regard to their bottom line, but to form long term partnerships with our clients and help them reach both their manufacturing as well as their business goals. To this end we often help client by creating designs where the manufacturing will scale as client begins to realize sales and minimizes risk if sales fall short. We measure our success in the profits of our clients and as a result often build return relationships that are beneficial to all parties.