Tips to Consider Before Moving from Prototype to Production
Tips to Consider Before Moving from Prototype to Production –
Do you have a working prototype? Congratulations to you, because many designs never get off the drawing board. Are you happy with how it works? Is it passing customer inspection? Then you’re ready to move to mass production and the mass market. Here are a few considerations for moving from working prototype to production.
Check out what are the tips to consider before moving from prototype to production as below –
1. Total Price of the Item –
A surprising number of engineers use the parts list with some margin for overhead as the estimated cost of making the item. In reality, you have to take assembly labor, testing and shipping into account. If you’ve never built anything like your prototype before, it may be difficult to accurately predict how much labor is necessary to build and test it.
A contract manufacturing service can give you a more accurate prediction of parts and materials. They can also leverage their existing supply chain to get parts at a lower price than you would, if you aren’t building your prototype out of parts you already use in your existing product line.
Aim for a total price per item that is somewhat below the customers’ acceptable price point, when you’re producing it by the thousands instead of tens of thousands. Then you make money if the product doesn’t take off like you hoped. If you’re working for a nonprofit, the lower cost per product allows you to serve that many more people.
2. Delivery –
You don’t want to make something in mass and simply fill up a warehouse. You need processes in place to receive, fill and ship orders. You might have a fulfillment center process the orders for you while storing the products in their warehouse. You might work with a contract manufacturer that builds items to specification when the orders come in. You could have a contract manufacturer make the items stored in your warehouse, while you handle the logistics.
The key point is that you come up with systems to ship it while you’re making it. And you need to test these processes before your product launch becomes a disaster. Verify that your shipping boxes and packing robots can handle the product without damaging it. Make certain that your packaging protects the product during shipment without taking up too much space.
3. Certifications, Licenses, and Intellectual Property Concerns –
If you’re building a product based on your own intellectual property, you won’t have to pay royalties to anyone else. However, you may need to make certain that the product meets various industry standards before you ship. One obvious example is ensuring that food products meet food safety regulations before you provide it to the public. You may need to submit prototypes or first run items to certification bodies to prove that it meets various industry standards.
Be careful about using software and firmware off the internet, since you could be sued for putting open-source software in a mass-produced item. Be careful about copying your competitors’ products too closely if your new prototype is reverse engineered, as well. Just adding a new feature or two is not sufficient legal protection.
On the other hand, you need to sure that your contracts with your contract manufacturers or any consultants brought in protect your intellectual property rights. You don’t want someone to create a cheap mass-produced version of your product, ship you the first batch, and then sell the manufacturing instructions to a third world conglomerate that will copy it without paying you.