As our world becomes more connected and technology advances at a rapid rate, businesses must focus on developing products that can meet the needs of company growth and consumer demand. This refers to the term scalability.
In this article, we will discuss how the success of a new product directly correlates to the design for manufacturing that goes into that product when it’s time to ramp up production.
Scalability in Product Development
When designing and developing a new product, scalability is essential to its success. It allows businesses to seamlessly expand their operations to meet the needs of their customers. To ensure a higher potential for success in the market, your product must handle increased demand without negatively affecting its performance, quality, or reliability. This is where design for manufacturing comes into play.
Designing Your Product with Manufacturing in Mind
What is Design For Manufacturing?
Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a critical aspect of product development that directly affects a product’s scalability. DFM is the process of designing products that can be efficiently and cost-effectively manufactured. By designing with manufacturing in mind, businesses can optimize their production processes and reduce the cost and time required to bring a product to market and into customers’ hands.
DFM involves considering various factors such as material selection, part design, assembly processes, and quality control. By designing products with these factors in mind, businesses can ensure their products are scalable and can be manufactured efficiently at high volumes.
Choosing Materials for Scalability
One key aspect of DFM is material selection. Choosing the right materials for a product can significantly impact its scalability. Materials that are difficult or expensive to obtain, process, or manufacture can limit a product’s scalability, as they may not be available in the quantities needed to meet increased demand. With the global supply chain issues that have plagued the world over the past few years, this is inevitable. Choosing the wrong materials can postpone production for months, if not years.
Additionally, materials prone to defects or inconsistent properties can negatively affect a product’s reliability and performance, making it difficult to scale. By choosing materials that are readily available, cost-effective, and have consistent properties, businesses can ensure that their products can scale without sacrificing quality or performance. Materials that are easy to work with, readily available, and affordable are typically the best choice for scalable products.
Product Design in DFM
The design of your product is fundamental when you’re looking to scale. How each component interacts with one another, the spacing between individual parts, and how quickly it can be assembled all impact the ease of scalability and production time. Parts that are overly complex or difficult to manufacture can limit a product’s scalability, as they may be time-consuming or expensive to produce at high volumes.
On the other hand, parts that are simple and easy to manufacture can be quickly and efficiently produced, allowing businesses to scale their operations as demand increases. It’s essential to the success of your product to utilize highly skilled product designers with DFM expertise to ensure you do not waste time and money getting your product into production.
Assembly Process for Efficient DFM
In conjunction with a product’s design, how your product gets assembled directly ties to its success. Assembly processes that are overly complicated or time-consuming can limit a product’s scalability, as they may be unable to keep up with increased demand. Products that require human touch to assemble often take valuable minutes to produce. Multiplying these minutes by the number of units produced will extend your time to market by months.
By designing products with manufacturing and scalability in mind, businesses can optimize their assembly processes and ensure they can scale efficiently. Often, companies will outsource their manufacturing to a partner with the machinery and processes in place. This will save you time, money, and an added layer of assurance.
Finally, quality control is a crucial aspect of product development but is often overlooked when it comes to DFM and scalability. As a product scales, maintaining quality control becomes increasingly challenging, as there are more opportunities for defects and errors to occur. By designing products with quality control in mind, businesses can implement processes and procedures that ensure consistent quality, even as demand increases.
Successfully Scaling Your NPD Through DFM
Scalability is not only crucial for the growth of a business, but it also plays a critical role in the success of a product. Products that can scale efficiently can meet the demands of their customers and adapt to changing market conditions. Additionally, scalable products are often more cost-effective to manufacture, allowing businesses to remain competitive and profitable.
One example of a company that has successfully designed scalable products is Apple. Their products, such as the iPhone and MacBook, have scaled to meet the demands of millions of users worldwide. Apple’s design philosophy focuses on simplicity, ease of use, and reliability, which has allowed them to create products that are not only scalable but also highly desirable.
Apple’s products are also designed with manufacturing in mind, allowing them to be produced efficiently and cost-effectively. By choosing readily available materials and designing parts and assemblies that are easy to manufacture, Apple can produce its products at high volumes while maintaining consistent quality. All these things have helped elevate their products and brand to the high-quality status it is known for today.
Choosing a Partner with DFM Expertise
In conclusion, scalability is a critical aspect of DFM in product development. It ensures that a product can grow with demand, making it more successful in the market. By partnering with a company with advanced DFM expertise, you will ensure your product is designed with scalability in mind.
Pivot has over 50 years of experience bringing products to market. We have a team of engineers that work closely with our company-owned manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. To learn more about how we can help design your next product, contact us today.