Тhe goal of each project is to pass through „Product design & Development” step by step. It starts with designing in the stages of “Conceptual Development” and “3D Modeling”. It continues with the development of the “Models and Prototypes” stage, through experimental models and functional prototypes, depending on the characteristics and objectives of the project. The previous three stages are very important for organizing and developing the fourth final stage – “Adaptation of Manufacturing”.
Stage: Adaptation of Manufacturing
Analysis of Stage: “Models and Prototypes” and development of the final stage of the project process – Stage: “Adaptation of Manufacturing”. Collaboration with profile specialists, manufacturers and subcontractors in different fields. Selection of manufacturing technologies and materials for manufacturing of pre-production prototype. Exploration and selection of manufacturers – consultancy, determination of production cost and adaptation to production requirements. Development and main analysis of pre-production prototype.
1.Collaboration with specialists:
Intensive communication, consultation, preparation and collaboration with specialists, subcontractors and manufacturers in different fields is performed, while adapting the product of manufacturing. There is an intensive joint activity with manufacturing, sales and marketing departments of companies, subcontractors and specialists in the respective fields. Feedback is obtained from a wide range of profiled specialists, independently whether they are engineers, design engineers, technologists, marketers, economists, managers, academics, hardware and software specialists, subcontractors, manufacturers and others. It is necessary to communicate, consult and collaborate with external companies and specialists, different from the client’s team or company.
2.Manufacturing technologies and materials:
Selection of production technologies and materials. Analysis and discussion of different types of materials and their characteristics – purpose, mechanical properties, usage of the product, etc. After selecting the type of material, selection of manufactures technologies is made. The production requirements of the respective technology are discussed and analysed – adaptation of the product to the engineering and technological requirements of the manufacturers and the types of machines, materials, processes, etc., used by them. Additional modification and product preparation towards the requirements regarding the type of mold tooling, quantity of production (manufacture type), assembling of the product, etc. is performed.
3.Research and selection of manufacturers:
Research, inquiries and consulting with the aim of discussion and analysis of production requirements, bidding and determination of production cost of the product etc. Communication with manufacturers and discussion of the product: type of manufacture and specification of technological characteristics; selection of materials by specification; compliance with standards and requirements; discussion and development of mold tooling; optimization of production stages and finishing processes; production cost determination, etc. Receiving feedback from manufacturers and analyzing the production process of the product with the assistance of their departments – commercial, engineering and manufacturing. After the communication, main selection of manufacturers is made, which extends the joint activity and further develops the process of product adaptation into manufacturing.
4.Development of pre-production prototype:
Development of a pre-production prototype, in the form of a single production, to come close as close as possible to the technical characteristics and parameters of the final product – structure, function, materials, styling and others. The pre-production prototype differs from the main prototype, from Stage: “Models and Prototypes”. In the main prototype, the identity to the real product can reach 50%, where in the pre-production prototype the critical and unacceptable limits are 50%. The pre-production prototype should achieve an identity of not less than 80% – of the technical characteristics and parameters of the final product. Any compromises that are likely to be made and will not significantly and tangibly take away from the main product characteristics and parameters of the pre-production prototype are discussed and analyzed. Only then begins the process of development. Of course, the desired maximum result is always 100% identity compared to the final product. This is achievable, but further discussions take place on the set priorities, opportunities and objectives of the project. In the main prototype, compromises and experimentation with technologies, materials, structure, functions, etc. are allowed, while in the pre-production prototype, the technical parameters of the real product – structure, functionality, ergonomic, styling, usage of the product and others, have to be maximum close. In the process of development of pre-production prototype, very often is necessary production of more than one product – from single to small-scale production of products, in order to justify the investment, expenses, the reached production cost and the complete preparation of the production process. In many instances, small-scale production of products is used for various purposes: providing customers with the product and using the product in real-life conditions; usage as an economic and marketing argument to investors; usage in campaigns еxample: crowdfunding – to raise capital, attract customers during the campaign, and potentially finding partners; for presentations in exhibitions as opportunities for potential markets, distributors and partners; for promotional campaigns and events that promote and present the product, etc. Such small scale production usually vary in the range of 50 to 250 products, still it is possible to reach higher quantities, depending on the previously set objectives and priorities of the project. In the process of pre-production prototype often is used mold tooling, as well as ready details, elements, accessories; they are adapted to the potential implementation, at the relevant small scale production, from which further processes occur – such as assembling. In most cases, the manufacturing of pre-production prototype is performed by several subcontractors. When having appropriate opportunity it is preferable to produce the product with potential manufacturers, with experience in small scale production and mass production. Manufacturers, who have technological capacity and resources for product implementation – single production, small scale production or mass production, they also have the potential for production of models and prototypes.
5.Analysis of the pre-production prototype:
Main analysis, discussion and review of the pre-production prototype – of basic structure, components, details and elements. Usage of the prototype in real environment and conditions – based on that a detailed analysis of its functionality is carried out and what impact it has on its overall structure, components and details. Individual analysis of all the components, details and elements that build the pre-production prototype. All major areas of the structure are tested – they are put to intensive loads, which determine the characteristics of the materials and their physico-mechanical characteristics. This is an extremely intensive process that establishes the real characteristics and index of the pre-productuction prototype – functionality, usаge of the product, materials and others. The prototype is put on aggressive impact, it is assembled and disassembled to determine what would be the changes of its structure. Possible upgrades, modifications and corrections to the 3D models (files) are discussed, with the aim to optimize the product: design and change of structure; details and parts development; upgrade of functionality, usаge of the product and assembling; material changes, ergonomics and styling features – textures, colors, info zones, usage of the product and application, etc.
IMPORTANT: It is necessary to carry out a preliminary basic analysis and discussion before undertaking any further actions, related to the launch of Stage: “Adaptation of Manufacturing”. If the assignor of the project (team, company, etc.) has a commercial department, marketing department, engineering department, R&D department and manufacture – a process of communication, consultation, discussion and joint activities is held, with the respective specialists: engineers, design engineers, technologists, marketing specialists, economists, managers, software and hardware specialists, academics and others. If the assignor does not have a team and specialists for consultations and development of the product, such are being selected for the project. This has to be discussed in order to prepare the project to go through each of the stages of the project process – “Product Design & Development”. All of this is done immediately before the start of the first stage of the project process – Stage: “Conceptual Development”. After the completion of Stage: “Adaptation of Manufacturing”, the project enters the processes and stages outside the current project process stages of “Product Design & Development”. These are processes related to different stages for the further development of the product: manufacturing processes related to product implementation stages; processes for organizing the manufacturing and achieving production costs; management of economic processes and optimizing different types of costs; processes for quality control and compliance with standards; creating of marketing strategies, advertising campaigns and events for product presentation; offering and selling the product on the market; organization of distribution and logistics, etc.