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  • Writer's pictureJ Ross

Are You Making These 2 Disastrous Mistakes During the Product Design Phase?

Imagine you come up with a product idea that you believe will be the next big thing once it hits the market. Then, you go through the tedious process of creating 2D drawings, performing stack-up analysis, and communicating with the necessary suppliers (and manufacturers) all by yourself.

It all comes down to manufacturing your parts—and guess what—nothing works! From the design clearances to the interference and tolerances, your whole assembly is in shambles. And to make matters worse, you’re up to your neck in the new product introduction process and don’t want to miss your deadline for, say, Kickstarter. How do you avoid this?

This article will present the most common mistakes that businesses and product designers make when bringing a new product to the market. It will serve as a guide to help you make smart decisions and get your product done right the first time.


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Mistake #1 You Engage Only a Product Designer at the Beginning of Product Design

Without a doubt, product designers and CAD designers play an essential role in product design and new product introduction processes. But the truth is that most designers are not very well versed in manufacturing processes, GR&R (Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility), and GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing)—a tool for defining and communicating design intent and engineering tolerances between entities working together to produce your part.

So when they create a design for your product, chances are, they will not fulfill all the dimensional, gauging, and tolerance requirements you need to manufacture your product accurately and repeatedly. And for those who do meet these requirements, their designs are almost always impossible to manufacture using specific manufacturing processes like injection molding.

As has always been the case for most businesses and product designers, you’re likely to catch these mistakes late into product development (usually when you take the plunge with tooling and manufacturing).

For instance, you might realize that the design is not moldable, causing you to lose a lot of time and money. In the best-case scenario—and don’t ever count on the best-case scenario—you’re looking at a minimum of a month of development time for a small product or up to 8 months of development time if your design is part of a larger assembly.

It is vital to involve people with manufacturing and quality expertise early into the new product introduction process. The goal here is to have them look at drawings or be involved in the design process before the drawings are made.

Doing this will allow you to spot design flaws and tooling errors early, eliminating product delays, production line stoppages, and saving you a considerable amount of money down the road.

Mistake #2 Your Approach to Creating a Product Requirement Document (PRD) is Wrong

A Product Requirement Document (PRD) is vital to the success of your product in the market. It supports product development by outlining all the details about your product’s purpose, value, functionality, and critical to quality (CTQ) features (Related Post: What is Critical to Quality (CTQ) and How do CTQ Trees Work?).

Product designers and operations managers are generally aware of the importance of this document and that the PRD must be created at the beginning of product design. Yet, the PRDs that they create usually fail to deliver more often than not.

A significant reason for this failure is because many product designers and businesses fail to do extensive planning and research and do not involve major stakeholders when creating this document. The brand owner, designer, data analysts, manufacturing and quality experts, product manager, and suppliers all play a vital role in the success of the PRD.

For example, the data analyst can conduct research and give you data-backed information about trends in the market and the product features that drive quality in the eyes of your customers. In addition, your suppliers and manufacturing and quality experts will use their years-long experience to foresee and detect risks, manufacturing challenges, and compliance and regulatory issues.

New Product Introduction: Agile in Asia Can Help

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid when designing and launching a new product into the market, you’d agree that the solutions are pretty straightforward to implement. But one thing you might be worried about is the upfront costs associated with having the manufacturing and quality expertise in-house.

Many successful businesses and product designers engage an outside partner with highly qualified engineers, manufacturing and supply chain experts, and a track record of successful product design and new product introduction.

Agile in Asia is a leading provider of manufacturing solutions across Asia. We have a team of highly qualified engineers, manufacturing experts (covering a wide range of manufacturing processes), and supply chain experts who have been helping many businesses reduce their risks when designing and bringing new products to the market.

Unlike many other manufacturing solutions providers, our team will get your product done right the first time while reducing development time and costs.

Learn more about our New Product Introduction Services.

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