The OEM Product Engineering Guide

Introduction
In the business landscape, every original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has a unique set of products. Professionals working at the organization may also follow unique product engineering practices. However, regardless of the industry in which the product is produced, the principles of product engineering continue to be the same. So, if your company is an OEM, you need to understand product design before launching it.

 

Table of Contents 

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. What Is Product Engineering?
  3. OEM vs. ODM
  4. What Are The Types Of Product Engineering Services?
  5. How Third-Party Providers Design Products?
  6. Partner with Technosoft Engineering
  7. Closing Thoughts

 

Key Takeaways
In this article, you will know more about OEM product engineering and the steps that engineers follow till the production stage. 

 

What Is Product Engineering?

Product engineering involves turning an idea into a component. The entire process related to product engineering involves designing and optimizing a particular product to ensure that it’s as per the customers’ needs and market demands. To streamline the product development process, product engineers use tools and certain approaches along with CAD software. This supports prototyping and different testing procedures. 

With a focus on user experience, the team also integrates aspects of engineering, design, and manufacturing. But, in the case of the production of connected devices, engineers may follow two different processes. While the first process designs the product, the second one develops software to make it work as needed.

 

OEM vs. ODM

OEM vs. ODM

As a manufacturer, you may have come across the abbreviations ‘OEM’ and ‘ODM’. These terms are used in the manufacturing sector to describe different roles between companies. While OEM stands for ‘Original Equipment Manufacturers’, ODM stands for ‘Original Design Manufacturers’. Now, before getting into the differences, let’s check out the roles of OEM and ODM. 

An OEM manufactures products or components depending on the specifications and designs offered by the brand owner. As the team focuses on manufacturing, the brand owner and his team are involved in product design and development. Once the product is manufactured, it is sold in the market as if it were a product of the brand. But an ODM is a company that takes up the responsibility of designing and manufacturing the product all by itself. As soon as the product is manufactured, another company purchases the finished product and sells it under the brand name. Let’s check out a few examples to know more about the roles.

In the case of a computer brand, the organization may design laptops through its in-house team. But it can rely on an OEM for the production of certain components, like the battery or the motherboard. However, a fashion brand might work with an ODM who designs and produces an extensive range of apparel. The fashion company will later take these garments from the ODM and sell them in the market. 

Let’s look at the types of product engineering services. 

 

What Are The Types Of Product Engineering Services?

What Are The Types Of Product Engineering Services?

Many factors are taken into account when a product engineering team offers certain services to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Here’s a list of services that the product engineering company is proud to offer. 

Design

When experienced engineers offer design services, they take the product idea to the next level and present it in a visual format using CAD software. The engineers can also present the product idea visually, even if they have a rough idea regarding its appearance. Moreover, if your organization already has the details, then engineers are capable of designing auxiliary parts. For instance, when your organization is planning to manufacture specific equipment with a control interface, an engineering company can help design the panel as per the specifications. 

Prototyping

Soon after presenting the part in digital format, professionals move ahead with the prototyping stage. This prototype helps to observe the quality and how the product will function when it’s manufactured. But, as professionals have to spend a lot of time creating the prototype, the OEM gets in touch with an organization that offers prototyping services. If there are any changes, then product engineers can incorporate them by creating another prototype. After the prototype gets approved, the company will come to an agreement with your organization. 

Change Implementation

Change implementation in OEM product engineering refers to the systematic planning, execution, and management of modifications to components or products. These stages help to integrate the improvements into the workflow without disrupting the production line or quality. Once professionals identify the need for change, they evaluate the impact, obtain approvals, and update the product designs and manufacturing processes. They may also carry out tests under different conditions to gauge product quality. Hence, when the changes are implemented effectively, they can meet evolving client requirements and enable organizations to stay ahead in the competitive market. 

 

How Third-Party Providers Design Products? 

Whenever third-party providers are about to design products, the team focuses on meeting the preferences of the target market. Professionals also try to adhere to standards or any other requirements. Before proceeding with the conceptualization stage, professionals conduct market research to comprehend the target audience. This involves an analysis of the preferences and pain points of customers. 

 

Let’s check out the different steps in product engineering.

Important Steps in Product Engineering

Important Steps in Product Engineering

Regardless of whether you collaborate with a product engineering company or execute the task at your company, the process encompasses numerous phases. 

Product Concepts Ideation

Once you are pretty sure about the target market, you have to come up with different product ideas. These will help you know which idea can be an ideal solution for the problems. For instance, you can come up with a solution that can help you upgrade certain panels or assemble the shell of equipment to make it stronger. Product conceptualization, on the other hand, can also be useful when the team is trying to develop a product better than its predecessors. A bit later, you have to use expertise and knowledge to transform the idea into reality. 

Development of Product Architecture

Next, you have to get in touch with the product engineering team. As you communicate the idea, the professionals will present the concept visually through Computer-Aided Design (CAD). If the design is not as per expectations and the concept is not taken into consideration, then changes have to be made to the visual representation. However, if complex concepts have to be represented, then it will take a long time to present the product digitally. Hence, even when CAD software has simplified the product design process, organizations have to be patient till engineers present the final design. 

Prototyping

During this stage of product engineering, engineers transform the concept and make it appear as it would in real-time. They proceed with the prototyping stage only after the approval of the rendering. When the prototype is ready, the team can review the design to check whether it meets the demands and business requirements. Most of the time, product engineers create one or more prototypes. However, if there’s a need for additional prototypes for the purpose of testing, then you have to ask for them well in advance. 

Testing & Validation

As the name implies, testing and validation refers to running tests to check the potential of the product. While the team is evaluating the product, it checks how the product can solve the problem and whether it’s meeting the end user’s needs. During this phase, engineers make a note of the overall performance under different conditions. The information related to performance is later used in case changes have to be made to the design. In addition to the usual tests, engineers are also involved in carrying out regression testing to check the impact of changes on performance. 

Production Scale Up

Production scale up usually involves expanding the manufacturing capacity to meet the increase in demand. While engineers move ahead with this stage, they may reorganize the production line, implement automation, and streamline workflows. To increase the production capacity, professionals may also purchase additional manufacturing equipment and tools. Planning and scheduling production processes will also help to optimize the use of resources, meet customer demand, and reduce downtime. But, while the team is carrying out the activities, it ensures compliance with certain standards and regulations.

Product Review & Feedback

After the company launches the product, the team gathers feedback from customers. This type of information helps to understand the experience of customers while they use the product. Once engineers go through the feedback, they can think about various ways to improve the product. This can include adjusting the product’s functionality or adding totally new features. Moreover, engineers will also test the feedback-driven changes to confirm that the changes don’t lead to new problems. 

Product Improvement

This is the last stage of the product engineering process. During this phase, the organization makes enhancements to address usability issues, improve the user experience, and enhance performance. As the stage progresses, the team will assess every type of improvement and create a plan for implementation. Through an iterative design process, professionals will further implement improvements incrementally. This may include prototyping, testing, and refining product design, depending on the customer’s feedback. Professionals will then be able to ensure that the product is as per the users’ expectations.

Partner with Technosoft Engineering 

At Technosoft, a team of engineers and product developers can assist you in translating ideas into customer-centric products. By leveraging our Value Analysis and Value Engineering (VAVE) expertise, you can certainly optimize the product’s performance while reducing costs. We also help you develop innovative solutions and efficient prototyping with the help of advanced tools, along with 3-D modeling and finite element analysis.

 

Closing Thoughts

Finally, product engineering is soon going to evolve tremendously with the emergence of new technologies. Organizations will significantly use technologies to optimize product design and drive innovation. A focus on sustainability will also lead to the adoption of eco-friendly materials. Agile approaches and collaborative development processes will also help customize products, ensuring better customer satisfaction.

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