Prototype design and development is conducted with the expectation that tweaks may need to be made following the sampling process. In most cases when a prototype tweak is needed, you find yourself waiting weeks for the next round of testing and all you may be waiting for is a .005” tweak to a boss diameter or a new material sample. Experienced prototype design experts will take probable changes into consideration when developing an efficient process. Here are three other reasons why prototype tweaks should not affect the timing of your part production.
Upfront Engineering - Your prototype design engineer should know your part’s application and develop an initial game plan. That plan should include what areas or features are expected to change and the mold designed accordingly. Knowing and anticipating tweaks make the process easier, more affordable and will cut time between testing cycles. Keeping perspective changes in mind make engineer and customer communication a critical component of the process.
Build Timing – With a reputable and efficient prototype design and development center, your project should not be delayed due to tweaks. Predetermined timelines are not hindered because your active project will not be pushed to the back of the line. The Engineering Resource Center applies lights out practices to keep lines short and turn around high.
In-house Sampling - Most prototypes are used to validate part fit, function and manufacturability with the highest level of accuracy. When sampling is done in-house, the knowledge of testing the design and process repeatability are not kept in the prototype phase but passed on to production. When design and sampling is performed in house, the collaborative process will keep information flowing from one step to the next to avoid delays and unexpected costs.
The most essential factor to achieving success in your prototype design and development process is to work with an experienced engineer that will help you through every level. When design engineers understand the intent of the product in development, a first-run prototype can be produced efficiently, cost effectively and as close to the finished product as possible.
What is your biggest concern in regard to prototype mold design tweaks?