The Ultimate Checklist for Designing, Engineering, Producing, and Launching a New Product

· Printed Circuit Boards,PCB Assembly
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If you’re launching a new product, or introducing a new version of an existing product, it is crucial that everything comes together exactly as planned. One misstep could mean months of additional work and thousands of dollars in extra costs.

The process of a new product introduction (NPI) is different from a standard printed circuit board (PCB) assembly or PCB repair job. It requires specific knowledge and understanding of the entire NPI process, from engineering and design to manufacturing and delivery.

Most importantly, you need a contract manufacturing partner you can trust to help you manage your NPI from start to finish.

The first thing you need to clarify is the scope of the project. From the very beginning, having a clear understanding of your needs will ensure that you end up with a product that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Because this is the “Ultimate Checklist for Designing, Engineering, Producing, and Launching a New Product,” we’re going to get into a lot of details here. But, overall, there are few primary things that you really need to know:

  1. Size of the Build - how many and how often?
  2. Material Source - who is/will be supplying/sourcing the materials?
  3. Documentation - do you have a BOM (Bill of Materials), drawings, a sample product?
  4. Testing/Packaging - is testing needed? Any special packaging requirements?

As you go through this list, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. If you have questions along the way, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at (440) 946-8081 or email us at

NPI checklist


Here are some questions you need to be prepared to answer when starting a conversation with an electronics manufacturing partner:

  • What is/are the function(s) of your product?
  • What size do you have to work within?
  • Is your product a complete design? Or is it a piece of the supply chain of another product?
  • Are you reworking or upgrading an existing product? Or is it a brand new product?
  • Do you have all the engineering elements covered? Or will you need assistance in that area?
  • Do you have a complete Bill of Materials (BOM) and/or Gerber files?
  • What is your development budget (design and engineering)?


Once these top-level questions have been answered, it will be necessary to nail down all the details of the new product. It is essential to provide clear direction and help your contract manufacturer address these items accurately and efficiently.

  • Create the Bill of Materials (BOM) if one does not already exist.
  • What is the tolerance of the components?
  • What is the availability and sustainability of the components?
  • Was the product designed for manufacturability?
  • Is there an Approved Vendor List (AVL) that must be considered when sourcing components?
  • Create the documentation package.


It is difficult to draw a clear line between where the design and engineering stop and production begins. As you get further into the project, there will be some crossover. Production can include prototyping, which may lead back to tweaking the design, for example.

With that said, the questions you’ll need to be able to answer here include:

  • Will you need a prototype? And, if so, how many will you need?
  • What is your production budget?
  • Have you signed off on the:
  • Bill of Materials (BOM)
    • Schematic - how everything flows/connects
    • Gerber Files - the details
    • Assembly Drawing - the “map” of where everything goes
    • What is the timeline?
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Introducing a new product can be overwhelming and nerve racking. You don’t want to be left out in the cold after a product is launched. Your contract manufacturing partner should be there to ensure it goes smoothly, both during and after the launch period.

We have heard too many stories of companies being “held hostage” by their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) because they were so focused on moving a product to completion, they never considered what happens 30 days, six months, two years after a new product is launched.

  • Are there enough components available for manufacturing long term?
  • Are there plans in place for potential part obsolescence?
  • How will warranty repairs be addressed?
  • Is the production able to scale?

A new product introduction is not a one-time action. Whether you launch new products regularly or you need to maintain, update, or upgrade a single product, you will truly benefit from a partner who understands you and your business.

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 with prototyping? In any case, you can start by requesting a free project review today. We even have a Project Checklist we can share with you to help get things moving in the right direction.

In the end, quality is our focus. We hope to hear from you soon.

the ultimate new product introduction checklist