New Product Introduction: From Concept to Reality


· PCB Assembly,Printed Circuit Boards
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Creating a new product can be overwhelming, with so many moving parts all shuffling simultaneously. Design, prototyping, engineering, and manufacturing all have to be in sync to ensure a successful launch of your new product.

New Product Introduction (NPI) is the process of establishing a clear plan to take your product from concept to its final form. The steps involved in this process may vary, but the end goals are always the same: reduce waste, avoid miscommunication, speed up production, and save money.

New product introduction vs. standard production and assembly.

There are hundreds, even thousands, of printed circuit board (PCB) assembly companies out there, but not all of them will ensure an effective new product introduction.

While a PCB assembly project may involve understanding and implementing instructions from a standard bill of materials and related Gerber files, an NPI is much more involved and requires specific experience related to every step in the process.

From idea to production.

There are benefits to working with an experienced partner on a new product introduction. They understand what it means to “design for manufacturability” and bring with them a dedicated team who can assist from conception to delivery.

Full design services.

In some cases, as with QualTech, a contract manufacturer will have a full-time electronic engineer on staff who can assist in designing for manufacturability. This person also becomes an extension of your engineering team to help proactively address potential challenges that may come up during the development process.

Working alongside the engineering and production teams, a contract manufacturer with a strong NPI background can help you create the necessary document package while you still maintain ownership of the intellectual property.

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An experienced NPI team can also assist in the design phase of the PCB, including the board layout itself. Working closely with the bare board and the Gerber files, the team can evaluate and provide insight into your design and engineering concepts to ensure the most effective and efficient end result.

Prototyping and “first article builds.”

After decades of experience, we have come to the conclusion that most contract manufacturers are either good at building prototypes (and “first article builds”) or good at full production runs, but typically not both.

A truly valuable partner in this industry will offer the best of both worlds–solid prototype development and quality production capabilities. A core benefit of this pairing is that a single company has knowledge of the design from the very beginning and can take that all the way to production and delivery.

Open communication leads to a successful NPI.

When it comes to new product introductions, communication is essential. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the process involves many moving parts. At QualTech, you will be assigned a dedicated program manager who will be with you every step of the way. The process will be clearly spelled out from the beginning and your PM will maintain open communication with you throughout the process.

We have created a simple, five-step process (using the acronym BOARD) that effectively explains the proven process we have developed to ensure you get exactly what you need with your NPI, from simple to complex…a few components to hundreds:

  • B - Baseline Information - We ask a lot of questions up front. Our goal is to fully understand not only your specifications but also how this build will be integrated with the finished product and what you need to ensure this project is a success.
  • O - Optimal Solution - The best solution may be very clear, or your project may require creativity and innovation in design, engineering, and production. We strive for the OPTIMAL solution, not just the easiest.
  • A - Alignment with Customer - As we are working with our customers to develop the best solution, we maintain open communication to ensure we’re always on the same page, from design and engineering to prototyping and production.
  • R - Ready Production - Whether you need a few prototypes to get your product off the ground or if you require full production and fulfillment capabilities, our size and flexibility position us to provide just what you need.
  • D - Delivery & Delight - We focus on delivering more than just a great product; we want your entire experience to be fantastic.

How Can We Help You?

Do you have a drawing on a napkin and need help with the next phase? Or maybe you’re in the early stages of a new product design and are looking for assistance in prototyping? In any case, you can start by requesting a free project review today, and we’ll reach out to you to learn more about your needs.In the end, quality is our focus. We hope to hear from you soon.

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