What Is The Product Development Process Of Mechanical Engineering?

When your company needs to transform ideas into products, the team has to rely on a product development process. While this process offers a framework to lead teams through different stages, it also fosters innovation, ensuring that the product is designed as per industry standards. Once organizations start following a systematic approach, they can optimize the use of resources and control associated costs. Moreover, they can also drive collaboration among product design engineers when the product is being developed. 

Key Takeaways:

In this article, you will know more about the steps involved in the product development process.

 

The Product Development Process includes

 

Step 1: Identification of Problem, Product Idea And Market Research

First and foremost, you need to form a concept in your mind and conduct thorough research for the development of a certain product. At this instance, you have to define the problems that individuals face in the market so that you can develop the product effectively. Once you’re able to comprehend customers’ needs, competitors, and various market trends, you can refine the concept and gain some insights that will guide you on how you can develop the product. 


Step 2: Skill Identification for Project Planning

Before you commence developing the product, make sure you present a detailed project plan. Apart from timelines and roles, the plan should also cover dependencies so that everyone is on the same page. If you don’t have a team at your workplace, then get in touch with an experienced partner who is capable of taking the project forward. Moreover, you should consider connecting to the cloud or many devices to enable collaboration among engineers and designers. Forming a cross-functional team can also help streamline the entire process and facilitate communication between teams. 

Industrial Design Engineers

Whenever you’re developing a product as a solution to customers’ problems, you have to define the software requirements and functionalities depending on the concept. You also have to ensure that software developers are working proactively to create a user-friendly interface. These professionals should also be responsible for implementing the desired features and optimizing the overall performance. By gathering regular feedback, you can also improve the features of the software when the Npd product development is in progress. 

Electrical Engineers

As you are moving ahead with the development process, you need to engage electrical engineers to design and integrate electronic components. Besides, the engineers should also play their roles in designing circuit boards and developing power management systems. While you work closely with electrical engineers, ensure that the electrical specifications are defined properly. It’s also important to choose suitable parts and ensure compatibility with numerous system elements. Regular and consistent communication with the team is also important to ensure integration and synchronization between hardware and software.

Mechanical Engineers

Soon after considering the electrical engineering aspects, you will have to involve mechanical engineers to focus on the product’s structure, overall functionality, and mechanisms. Once you coordinate with these engineers, make sure that the product and mechanical components are designed as per industry standards. As the development gathers momentum, ergonomics, ease of assembly, and durability are some factors that you need to consider. To improve mechanical design and engineering you will also have to build a prototype and test it from all angles. 

Software Developers

Now, you need to take care of the industrial design, which comprises user experience, product appearance, and branding. As soon as you collaborate with industrial designers, check whether the team has created a visually appealing design that meets the target audience’s desires. During this stage, industrial designers have to work with the mechanical engineering team to confirm if the product can actually be developed at the organization. But, when the design is manufacturable, be certain that the functionality and quality are not compromised for any reason. 

 

Step 3: Cost Optimisation with Continuous Improvements

Developing a product with the budget in mind is important for customers’ adoption and project success. Here are the following strategies you can consider during the design phase.  

Design Validation

This process refers to confirming whether the product meets the requirements and functions. It also ensures viability by designing the features as per the customer’s expectations. As a result, professionals can reduce the risks of flaws whenever they are creating an ideal product.

 

New Product Development (NPD)

New Product Development

New product development (NPD) is known to be the process of introducing a new product to the market right from the basic idea or concept. As professionals are busy during product development, a series of steps are not only aimed at designing the product but also launching it in the market. Now, let’s take a quick look at what ‘Design for Assembly’ and ‘Design for Manufacturing’ mean in the manufacturing industry.  

DFA – Design for Assembly

Under this phase, the product design has to be optimized to reduce the number of components and simplify the assembly. Additionally, professionals can also consider design standards to reduce production time. While designers streamline the steps for an assembly, they also ensure that components can be disassembled for repairs in the future. 

DFM – Design for Manufacturing  

While you proceed with this phase, designers have to design components with manufacturing processes taken into account. For efficient production, professionals have to optimize parts for their structures, tolerances, and selection of suitable materials. Moreover, the team has to check out areas where they can standardize and use complex tools to a lesser extent. 

Selection of Materials

When it’s time to choose materials for the product, observe the quality and the price. However, you should be meticulous while selecting materials with the production volume in mind. Make sure that you can also source materials with ease and at the best price. As you strive for sustainability, you must also evaluate the environmental impact of the materials that you’re going to select.  

Supply Management

If you want to get an idea regarding lead times and costs, then it’s important to engage suppliers early in the Npd process. As you collaborate with suppliers, make sure that the design is aligned with various processes. Leveraging the supplier’s expertise will also help optimize manufacturability and seek ways to save costs.  

Design Scalability

At this step, you should predict the significant increase and decrease in production by developing the product with batch manufacturing taken into consideration. Besides considering a modular design, you should use standard components and look for areas in which you can incorporate automation. This will help to scale up the production process without falling back on quality. However, if you’re working with an experienced organization, then consider numerous factors before commencing the initial phase of development. This will considerably reduce the time spent marketing the product and unnecessary guesswork. 

 

Product Prototype Design And Testing

Step 4: Product Prototype Design And Testing

This step involves creating prototypes and testing them repeatedly to identify manufacturing flaws and challenges. Once the prototype is tested for different parameters, it can help detect and rectify issues at an early stage. This can thereby reduce the overhead costs that may arise for resolving problems during mass production.  

Validation & Testing

As the product is led through the validation and testing steps, organizations can confirm whether they are building the right product. Usually, validation involves gathering feedback and checking if the product addresses the customer’s problems. On the other hand, testing involves the execution of several tests and fixing issues to ensure the product’s quality. It’s also important to note that professionals validate and test the product repeatedly to improve its quality. 

 

Step 5: Commercialization

Commercialization is always known to be the phase in which the product is promoted in the market. Subsequent to product development, you have to run marketing campaigns to create product awareness. You may also think about relaunching the product multiple times whenever technologies advance and the design is improved in the future. 

Product Launch and Sustainability

As and when the product is manufactured, it has to be launched in the market. This step is called product launch, and it involves many activities that aim at creating awareness and generating sales. Way ahead, product sustainability aims to reduce negative impacts on the environment and add to long-term economic viability. 

 

Product Cost Analysis & Cost Optimisation

Step 6: Product Cost Analysis & Cost Optimisation

In the case of optimizing several costs, you will have to evaluate manufacturing costs and seek areas where optimization is possible. With this in mind, you have to look for alternative manufacturing processes and substitutes for materials. You will also have to alter the design to reduce expenses associated with production. But, before you proceed with design modifications, check whether the design will negatively affect the customer’s experience. If individuals don’t like using the product, then it can impact the organization’s reputation and lead to inventory overflow. 

Manufacturing Scale and Support

Soon after the launch of the product, you have to involve your team in determining the scale of production to meet market demand. This step is associated with the term ‘manufacturing scale’. Through effective management of manufacturing scale, you can ensure that the product is created cost-effectively and at a volume to meet the customer’s demand. In addition, your team also has to offer support or assistance if customers are finding it tough to use the product. While your team is dedicated to offering support, they should also be able to address customers’ needs in the best way.

Post-Sales Support

In the end, you have to offer post-sales support along with your team members. Such support refers to lending assistance to customers who have already purchased the product. It’s crucial to offer post-sales support because it can help resolve issues regarding the product and build long-term relationships with customers. 

How to Choose an Experienced Design Company to Launch Your Product

Finally, it’s always important to partner with an experienced design company when you’re planning to develop a new product. While you evaluate the organization’s expertise and capabilities, observe whether product design engineers are following certain strategies for design assembly and manufacturing. You must also find out whether the company is recognized for its resources and infrastructure to manage all aspects of the product development process.  

If you wish to transform a product idea into reality, then the team at Technosoft Engineering will be more than happy to assist you. While you embrace our engineering expertise, we focus on laying the right foundation for product development. We are also agile with prototyping for testing in different conditions. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and Thermal Studies are some of the techniques that we employ for ensuring product performance. 

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