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Whitepaper

August 2023

 

Accelerating development to get to market faster

An Axxicon philosophy; 

Bringing a new product to market can be an exciting and rewarding process, but it can also be a challenging one. Companies need to stay ahead of the competition by delivering high-quality products to customers faster than ever before. This is especially true for toolmaking and injection moulding, where timely delivery of high-quality products can make all the difference.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for accelerating product development, toolmaking, and injection moulding, so you can get your product to market quick and efficiently.

Start with a Clear Plan

Starting a product development journey with a clear plan is a fundamental step that significantly contributes to the success of a project. A well-structured plan provides a roadmap for all stages of development, guiding the team’s efforts, resources, and activities towards achieving the desired goals. This not only enhances the efficiency of the development process but also reduces the likelihood of costly errors, delays, and misunderstandings.

We know this makes sense, but from our experience, it often gets skipped or handled badly. One of the common reasons is the enthusiasm of product developers or startups. While enthusiasm is a crucial driving force behind innovation, it can sometimes lead to hasty decisions and the neglect of essential planning processes. Startups, in particular, might be eager to dive headfirst into development due to their passion for the idea and the desire to see their vision materialize.

A clear plan serves as a navigational tool, guiding the development process, minimizing risks, and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. It ensures that the product’s journey is not just driven by passion but also grounded in strategic decision-making, leading to a more sustainable and impactful end result.

Use Rapid Prototyping Techniques

Rapid prototyping is a dynamic and iterative approach that plays a crucial role in the product development process. It involves creating early-stage, scaled-down versions of a product or its components to quickly visualize and test various design concepts. Rapid prototyping techniques, can significantly accelerate product development. With our proto moulds, you can quickly create prototypes and test them for form, fit, and function. This process can help you identify design flaws early in the development process, saving time and money down the line.

Prototypes provide a tangible medium for communication between team members, stakeholders, potential users or investors. Instead of relying solely on abstract descriptions or sketches, prototypes offer a tangible representation of the product’s design and functionality. This enhances clarity, reduces misunderstandings, and facilitates more effective feedback and collaboration.

 

Partner with a Reliable Toolmaker

Partnering with a reliable toolmaker is crucial for accelerating your development. Look for a toolmaker that has experience with your specific product and can provide fast turnaround times. A reliable toolmaker can help you avoid delays and ensure that your tools are of the highest quality.

All in one benefits;

Having engineering, toolmaking, and injection molding capabilities under one roof fosters seamless communication and collaboration. The proximity of these disciplines allows for direct and immediate interaction between experts, minimizing miscommunication, delays, and misunderstandings that can occur when dealing with separate entities.

Integrated capabilities enable rapid iterations and adjustments. When engineers, toolmakers, and molding experts work closely together, design improvements and modifications can be implemented swiftly, which benefits the leadtime.

Having toolmaking and injection molding capabilities on-site allows for better control over quality. The partner can monitor the entire manufacturing process closely, ensuring that the molds and components are produced to specifications and meeting the desired quality standards.

When all capabilities are consolidated within one partner, there’s a single point of accountability for the entire product development process. This reduces the risk of miscommunication, finger-pointing, and delays that can arise when dealing with multiple vendors.

In essence, collaborating with an integrated toolmaker optimizes efficiency, innovation, and quality, contributing to a successful product development journey.

 

Choose the Right Injection Moulding Process

Selecting the appropriate injection moulding process is a crucial decision in the manufacturing of plastic components. The right process ensures that the end product meets quality standards, cost targets, and design specifications effectively. Let’s have a look at some of the criteria;

  1. Quality and Consistency: The right injection moulding process ensures consistent and high-quality parts. Factors like material choice, temperature control, and mould design impact the final product’s integrity, durability, and appearance.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Different moulding processes have variable costs associated with tooling, setup, and material usage. Selecting the right process could minimize waste, reduced production time, and leads to overall cost savings.
  3. Design Flexibility: The choice also influences design possibilities. Some processes are better suited for complex shapes, thin walls, or complex geometries. Selecting the right process empowers creative design while maintaining the manufacturability.
  4. Material Compatibility: Different materials respond differently to various moulding techniques. The right process ensures compatibility between the chosen material and the moulding method, optimizing material properties and performance.
  5. Production Volume: The production volume required can influence the choice of injection moulding process. High-volume parts might benefit from processes like high-speed injection moulding, while low-volume runs might lean towards other methods like proto moulding.
  6. Cycle Time and Throughput: The speed of production matters. The right process balances cycle time and throughput, maximizing the number of parts produced within a given timeframe.
  7. Environmental Impact: Certain processes might be more environmentally friendly due to reduced material waste or energy consumption. The right choice can align with your sustainability goals.
  8. Regulatory Compliance: Different industries have specific regulatory requirements. Selecting the process ensures compliance with standards related to materials, safety, and quality.
  9. Consistency in Scale: If scalability is a consideration, choosing the right process ensures that the production can be ramped up smoothly without compromising quality.

Streamline your Supply Chain

Streamlining your supply chain significantly enhances the efficiency of the development and production process. By optimizing the flow of materials, minimizing delays, and reducing unnecessary steps, businesses can ensure that production operates seamlessly and without interruptions. A well-organized supply chain ensures that the right materials are available when needed, reducing downtime and preventing production bottlenecks. This leads to smoother operations, faster production cycles, and ultimately, a more efficient process that maximizes output while minimizing costs.

Leverage Digital Technologies, Rely on Expertise.

Digital technologies, such as CAD software, can significantly accelerate development. With CAD software, you can quickly create and modify product designs, reducing the time it takes to bring your product to market. Additionally, it can improve communication and collaboration between team members and suppliers.

Digital technologies bring agility, precision, and innovation to the product development cycle. Advanced simulations allow engineers to virtually test designs, identify potential flaws, and optimize performance before physical prototypes are produced. These technologies collectively cut down on development timelines, reduce costs, and bolster competitiveness.

While digital technologies offer impressive capabilities, their effectiveness hinges on the skill and knowledge of the individuals wielding them. Expertise in applying these tools accurately, interpreting results, and making informed decisions is paramount. Engineers and designers who understand the nuances of simulations can extract valuable insights that guide design refinements. Skilled operators of automated processes ensure optimal setup and maintenance. Without the right people equipped with the right expertise, the potential of these technologies can remain unrealized or even lead to misguided decisions.

The synergy between digital technologies and skilled experts is where true acceleration occurs. The technologies amplify human capabilities, enabling experts to test more scenarios, iterate faster, and innovate with greater confidence. Conversely, the expertise of engineers, designers, and technicians ensures that technology is applied judiciously, mitigating risks and avoiding costly errors.

In the journey of accelerated development through digital technologies, it’s good to remember that technology is a powerful tool, but expertise is the guiding force. The harmonious interplay between innovative tools and knowledgeable individuals boosts product development to new heights. The right people behind digital technologies are the architects of efficiency, the guardians of quality, and the pioneers of progress in the ever-evolving landscape of high precision product development.

 

Embrace Continuous Improvement

Finally, it’s essential to embrace continuous improvement throughout the development process. Look for opportunities to optimize your product design, toolmaking, and injection moulding processes continually. Regularly reviewing your processes and making improvements which can help you accelerate development and stay ahead of the competition.

 

In conclusion, accelerating development to get to market faster is crucial for success in today’s fast-paced business environment. Axxicon has all crucial disciplines in house for developing precision polymer products. We believe with in-house product development, toolmaking and injection moulding capabilities we can set the most efficient process to reach the end result and bring your product to market quick and efficiently.

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