RapidPro discuss the benefits and convenience of digital manufacturing. Manufacturing is the stage that requires the great investment of time, money and energy. In this pivotal phase, digital manufacturing gives the small business the option to:
- Make its product with little investment
- Make inexpensive changes to the product while in production
- Deliver products to market faster than traditional manufacturing techniques
From first concept model to first commercial shipment, digital manufacturing protects the small business’ valuable assets, time and money. By the time companies are ready to begin manufacturing they have invested large sums of money and countless hours of labour. They have balanced the financial, time and quality equation to reach the last step in the product development process, manufacturing.
Manufacturing is the last stage before realising profits from the sale of the new product, but it is the stage that requires the greatest investment of time, money and energy.
In this pivotal phase digital manufacturing gives the small business the option to make its product with little investment and lots of flexibility, while getting products to market faster than traditional manufacturing techniques. The reality is traditional manufacturing methods require a large financial commitment to initiate the production of a new product.
With such a large financial commitment required, there is no room for doubt and uncertainty in the product’s design, performance or market appeal. Any miscalculation can result in devastating consequences that can kill a product introduction. At the onset of manufacturing, the company is committing to the product’s design, manufacturing methods and to annual production volumes.
The small business will often realise how committed it has become to the product’s design when it submits requests for quotations. Unless design for manufacturability (DFM) was rigorously applied, vendors will offer suggested design modifications intended to reduce part cost or improve quality and performance. Now, the company is faced with a major decision. It could elect to repeat the design, prototyping and testing phases to accommodate the suggested modifications or opt to retain the design and commit to tooling that produces an inferior product with higher cost.
Digital manufacturing caters to the basic needs of the small business, money and time. Its most obvious advantage is that it eliminates, or delays, the capital outlay for expensive tools, moulds and dies. For those that have the cash but are battling the clock, digital manufacturing offers a lead time of one day versus the 8 to 12 week wait for production tooling.
Digital manufacturing is a suitable tool for the small business with big dreams. It accommodates the inherent uncertainties that come with a new product launch. Digital manufacturing enhances the commitment to product designs, manufacturing practices and sales projections. Digital manufacturing enables the company to react and respond to new insights, shifts in preferences and increases in sales volume. Used wisely, digital manufacturing can translate to greater sales and higher profits, which can fund the development of the next product innovation.