Good design - Rapid prototyping - Prepared for efficient production
NewTracks supplies all types of Power Elements and spring connectors for circuit boards, both for SMD and through-soldering, packaged in accordance with the customer's needs. Standard components and specially designed precision components directly from the factory, with material certificate or measurement report if desired.
Product development is about turning an idea into a product. We want to meet the customer’s needs, but first of all choose the features that the customer is willing to pay for. We want to optimize for efficient production and logistics. We want to make the product profitable!
How to create a profitable product?
Often, there are no correlation between manufacturing cost and value for the customer. Features of the product that the customer is willing to pay for can have small impact on production cost. So, it is important to include the features that provide the most value to the customer and least cost to you.
It is said when we buy a product, we buy 30% functionality and 70% adventure.
The adventure around the product are those things that has no functional value, like the brand, sales channel, product design, material selection, packaging, etc.
Why is product design important?
Good design can give added value for the customer without a corresponding cost in production.
What is good design?
If you have two alternative designs of a product, present them to relevant people and ask – Which one of these do you think is the most expensive? People tend to have a more objective idea about what is expensive, ie what others are willing to pay for the product, as opposed to the subjective – What do you like?
We want to develop the most profitable product. Therefore, the best design is what the customer is willing to pay the most for.
The value of good prototypes
Prototypes are an important part of the development process. With 3D printing, you can quickly get a working model and can test alternative solutions. For technical function, this is perfect.
Communication with customers is something else. If the goal is to sell, the product must look as if it were mass-produced. A half-decent prototype in bubble wrap creates uncertainty for the customer. If you start the meeting by bringing out a perfect product, with perfect packaging, the meeting will have the right focus.
Read more about product development and prototypes.
Choice of materials for the product
Often the choice of material is determined by other factors, but sometimes we are freer to choose between different materials.
We did an experiment for a customer; An electronics product needed an enclosure, and we considered cast plastic or machined aluminum. We made prototypes of both, so both products looked like mass-produced ones. The aluminum cabinet was naturally heavier and straighter at the edges, brushed, gray anodizing. The plastic cabinet was lighter and rounder in design.
The result surprised: People who did not know the product assumed that the aluminum version was at least twice as expensive as the same product in plastic. Others believed that the two products could not possibly have the same function!
Involve the customer in the development process
If you can, involve customers in new product development. This increases the likelihood that you will develop something salable, and you can carry out marketing during the process.
Customers can provide important input into what the market wants and what it is willing to pay for. But beware, because along with useful advice, you get a lot of "nice to have" features that no one really wants to pay for. As a developer, you must always analyze cost versus willingness to pay.
Product design should also include packaging
Packaging is far more than protection for transport. Packaging is part of the product experience and is the customer's first impression of your product.
If you buy a phone, PC, watch or game console, you see ha lot has been put into the packaging and to give you a good "unboxing experience". The reason is simple – the price the customer is willing to pay is higher than the cost of the packaging.
Read more about why is the packaging an important part of the product?
Product development and production
The product development process should take place in close collaboration with production, or with someone who knows production well. Adapting the product to the right production process can provide major savings and increase product quality.
We at NewTracks work closely with our manufacturers and can contribute input into the product development process and prepare for efficient production and logistics.
Calculate time for the development process
Time is an important factor for a good product development process. Give a realistic expectation of when the product will be ready.
But, good plan does not mean good time. There must be some stress. There must be a high degree of progression in development to maintain enthusiasm.
Development of Nomad – aluminum enclosure for electronics – for Bridge Technologies
Development of Plug & Play solution for PLC – for BS Teknikk
Design of self service check-in desk for Frankfurt Airport – for BB Computerteknikk
NewTracks is your partner in product development
We help our customers throughout the process from idea to product ready for market. In several projects, NewTracks collaborate with industrial designers who focus on the product design, while we take care of engineering and industrialization. We can make prototypes and photo-realistic presentations, so the customer can do marketing long before the production has started.
With good resouces we can make the product ready for production faster, and we will choose the right production process based on production volume. As sales increase, we can move to other production processes prepared for higher volume.