In electronic manufacturing, rapid prototyping is the quickest and most seamless way to reduce the speed to ramp. Electronic products need to be thoroughly tried and tested before they can be launched to market. We provide customers with a working version of their Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) so that they can check functionality and meet the design specification. Our prototyping, however, goes beyond PCBs; we produce entire complex multi-level system products for our customers, including racks and cabinets.
Key benefits to rapid prototyping include:
1. Maximise efficiency
When we produce rapid prototypes, we support our customers by engaging early on in their design process with our New Product Introduction (NPI) team. We take time to determine their exact product requirements and we never cut corners in terms of quality, measurement or process. This approach means our customers’ products are made with long-term efficiency, life and cost-reduction in mind, at the point where the design is still fluid and changes can easily be made.
2. Built-in contingency
Wherever possible, we build-in attrition and contingency plans. This means that if anything goes wrong, we can monitor progress and still deliver the full amount of product requested. However, our strict governance protocols and processes are designed to eliminate the risk of problems or failings at every stage, using automation to eliminate human error and increase efficiency.
3. Smooth transition to large scale production
The equipment we use for prototyping is the same we use for volume production. Prototypes are initially created in optimal batch sizes according to each customer’s requirements, which avoid any wastage. When the product is ready, we ensure a smooth transition to large scale manufacturing.
4. Generate accurate labour costing
We have developed sophisticated labour estimate algorithms which allow us to generate accurate and rapid labour costing based on the construction of specific items. Actual process times are measured with set KPIs against these estimates, meaning we can stay on top of progress and ensure everything is realistic and sustainable.
5. Establish baseline costs with smart software
We have a custom-developed programme which compares a customer’s bill of materials against our in-house stock base, before filtering this out via APIs to various distributor networks. This is a rapid and effective way to establish baseline costs and sets us apart from many of our competitors, who approach this process manually.
When a technology start-up from the US came to us for help in manufacturing its cutting-edge AR helmet, we relished the challenge. The product design was still at an early stage so we were able to quickly implement robust processes and deliver the product from concept to ramp in the shortest of timeframes.
For more information read our Daqri case study.