Designing a product that is easy to manufacture at a minimum cost is a delicate exercise. Poorly thought out industrialisation is a recipe for disaster in a few months, even if your product is a commercial success!
You won't be able to produce and deliver and while you'll be consuming your energy and cash trying to produce quality, you'll be annoying your sales people and your customers who will have to wait to benefit from the promised offer.
Methodical and rigorous industrialisation allows you to avoid these pitfalls. It starts as soon as the proof of concept is validated and ends when production becomes routine.
A well-managed industrialisation starts with three key areas:
Take a look at your needs without forgetting the regulatory constraints.
An industrial product, no matter how simple, must comply with European standards and regulations in order to be CE approved. European directives are complex and increasingly demanding.
If you plan to market your product outside the EC area, find out about local regulations. Technical standards are generally unified, but acceptance thresholds differ from region to region.
Choose an industrial scenario in line with your ambition and the skills you have.
If your expertise lies in the design of the product but not in its manufacture, it is better to think about subcontracting the manufacture from the start. Some partners can even handle the entire supply chain for you.
And be clear early on about the fundamentals: production capacity, production batch size, seasonality of demand.
Also be careful not to be too dependent on your subcontractor, it is important to consider alternative suppliers from the start.
Do not hesitate to go through simulation and prototype phases.
It is the late changes that cost the most. They will be all the more easily absorbed if you have created a climate of trust with your supplier.
Once these projects have been carried out, you will have to succeed in increasing the rate of production and moving on to mass production.
Think about managing risks to minimise setbacks throughout the development process. Experience has taught me that Murphy's Law still applies: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.