The electronics industry is one of the most competitive and fast evolving. Electronic contract manufacturers understand the importance of introducing innovative devices to gain a competitive edge. These devices must perform to the best of their efficiency and be one of their kind in the market. To achieve these goals, the electronic contract manufacturers must follow streamlined manufacturing processes and focus on their time-to-market capabilities along with branding and advertising. Sometimes, the complexity of designs challenges them to compromise on the quality and miss the timelines. This is where the best practices of New Product Introduction (NPI) can help. This post focuses on different aspects of NPI, including its best practices, customer benefits, and importance in any product development.
An Overview of NPI Manufacturing
New Product Introduction refers to the activities involved in producing the improved or new product. NPI focuses on all micro and macro aspects of manufacturing including, design, development, prototyping, and product launching. NPI aims to deliver the final working prototype to the market much faster than most other techniques. A designer engineer plays a key role in the success of NPI by revising the design concepts until the final product is ready for production and subsequent market introduction.
Best Practices of New Product Introduction Analyzed
A contract manufacturer performs these six best practices to build an efficient product.
- Define: In this phase, the engineering team performs risk assessment, and offer material specifications.
- Feasibility Analysis: In this step, the engineering team at the contract manufacturer’s end try to address the product’s worthiness for their client. As a part of this, they assess feasibility, and options testing.
- Development: The developers and designers focus on the most efficient production processes. They focus on prototyping and validation plans to check if the chosen protocols meet compliance and QA requirements.
- Validation: The prototype is validated against the set standards in this phase. Here engineers perform prototype analysis and manufacturing process validation. Under prototype analysis, they evaluate the prototype and make improvements until the desired results are achieved. Additionally, during each stage, they confirm if the production process is efficient, cost-effective, and produces the expected results.
- Implementation: Generally, in this stage, the first production run is set up and manufacturing refinement takes place. The processes are refined or fine-tuned before engaging in full-scale production.
- Evaluation: Did the product serve its purpose? In this step, the production teams analyze if the product meets expectations and compliance requirements.
Six Benefits of New Product Introduction
A well-defined and designed new product introduction process offers several benefits to electronic device manufacturers. The following are the top six among them.
- Improved Process Efficiency: A NPI process requires in-depth considerations. Most electronic OEMs partner with trusted contract manufacturers to get it done. Most efficient product designers and engineers are assigned the project at the manufacturer’s end. They leverage experience and best practices to minimize errors, reduce production costs, and boost productivity.
- Improved Time-to-Market Capabilities: Contract manufacturers are well-equipped to meet the production demands of their customers. They expedite the production schedules to maintain their lead in the competitive marketplace. This helps OEMs improve their time-to-market capabilities.
- Reduced Production Costs: Last minute design changes, validation testing, and revisions are a few factors that add to production costs. DFM helps maximize the efficiency of production processes, which when combined with the voice of the customer (VOC) in the development stages, helps the design engineers to make all required changes in the early phases itself. Minimal errors and expedited production times help reduce production costs and boost customer satisfaction.
- High Product Quality: With streamlined processes and consistent inspection and testing at each manufacturing phase, you can be assured of high product quality.
- High Customer Satisfaction: As said in the beginning, today, electronics OEMs are competing to improve their time-to-market and eyeing better market shares. What if they can introduce a product to the market faster than their next competitor with a better cost advantage? This sounds amazing and reads like a satisfied customer! Again, a quality product will impress their end customers and influence their buying decisions, resulting in overall high customer satisfaction.
How to Mitigate Challenges of NPI?
As with every manufacturing and assembly project, NPI also comes with challenges. Here, communication and collaboration are key to success. All involved parties must practice the following to avoid risks:
- Be ready with alternatives
- Be equipped for last-minute changes
- Meet deadlines and maintain a sense of urgency throughout the project
- Ensure the availability of resources, including materials
- Ensure competitiveness by choosing the aptest materials and designs
- Adopt design for manufacturing in the product development stage
- Accelerate the production process by selecting the aptest product design
- Avoid unnecessary feature additions
- Ensure consistent testing and broad inspections at every stage of manufacturing
- Adopt lean manufacturing processes to minimize product waste and improve the efficiency of the manufacturing environment
- Embrace the best NPI processes to ensure product quality, competitiveness, and profitability
You can realize these benefits and more by partnering with experienced PCB assembly services specializing in NPI manufacturing like Suntronic, Inc. The company has several years of experience in NPI and prototyping. From product development to PCB prototyping, full-scale production and after-scale support, we serve clients above their expectations. Get in touch with the team at Suntronic to discuss your NPI requirements.