For the inexperienced organisation or individual, the journey that is product design may appear to be either a simple task or something so complex that they suffer from the paradox of choice and the product fails to move forward from an idea to reality. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in both of these cases that is a shame, as with some thought, planning and the right partners – product design is achievable and your ideas can become products.
The old adage “proper planning prevents poor performance” is still true and certainly applies to product design. At LX we have our own six-stage planning process that has yielded in success for all of our clients. Let’s examine these stages in more detail.
This stage involves several areas, including intended market research, deciding on product specifications, basic prototyping and setting up the team to work together. The more information you can gather about the intended market for your final product, in conjunction with an understanding of the technology available – the better the final results. This step is crucial – you can’t go back in time to change features based on initial research – and redesigning from scratch will destroy your budget.
After conceptual development the initial versions of the product can be constructed. This will involve several versions, and testing by the internal team. If the product requires embedded software many iterations may be necessary to meet the design requirements. Furthermore any industrial design for such things as enclosures or mounts will also need to take place in conjunction with the final physical design of the product.
Finally, during this stage you will be preparing for commercialisation assistance, and possibly external financing. Having some working beta version prototypes and marketing data created during the first two stages will assist in this.
However this is also an exciting stage, as you can see the birth of your product and understand the reality of it. As part of electronic product design you should consider the LX Hardware Compiler – a system designed to save money and an incredible amount of development time.
Testing, Verification and Certification
During this stage you have the opportunity to test the product, not only for operation but also to comply with any relevant compliance standards and gain required certification for the target markets. Failure at this stage may render the product unsaleable in some markets and possibly lead to product recall or legal action. Furthermore all levels of hardware and software must be verified as working to specification otherwise the project will incur expensive re-designing and tooling costs. You will also need to finalise planning for moving from the laboratory to manufacturing, your organise the production team, suppliers and manufacturer.
Here you will design the process for manufacturing, working with the manufacturer to prepare the production line, such things as test jigs, organise the required parts from the supply chain, run a small batch of pre-production items to test the factory processes and quality control – and generally be satisfied the product is ready for manufacture. Furthermore when dealing with offshore manufacturers it is important to confirm with them that the processes, procedures and suppliers decided upon after pre-production will be adhered to for the full production run. Finding a production partner you can trust can be a journey in itself, especially for those without any contacts or past partners in the industry.
Finally you can start manufacturing the product at full speed. However you can’t stand back and watch, a constant vigilance needs to be maintained with regards to quality control, meeting customer orders, logistics and also the quality of secondary items such as packaging, documentation and customer support vehicles needs to be taken into account.
Even after selling thousands or more of your product, there will be times when software needs to be upgraded, new compliance standards introduced that will require a slight redesign, and new information from your marketing team that may required possible upgrades or changes to the final product. All these and more can and will require changes that require revisting the previous steps of the design process, and cannot be ignored otherwise the success of your product and reputation will be at stake.
When working through all the stages listed above, and more things that you may not even have considered, it will pay you to consult an organisation that has brought a wide variety of products to life in all fields of operation. And here at the LX Group we can be your partner and guide through the entire process – from an idea to the delivered product.
Bringing the right product to market at the right time and on budget can be done, and by not selecting the right parter you leave your organisation open to budget problems, production delays, quality issues and any manner of related problems.
So if you have an idea or prototype and not sure about how to move forward with your planning, inexperienced with product commercialisation and manufacturing – or would like to have an experienced organisation take care of everything – we can “make it happen”.
Simply contact us for a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.
LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design. https://lx-group.com.au
Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.