Screen Printing - October/November 2017 - 30
Great ideas for innovative industrial printing projects
often don't make it to production, a sad and often
expensive outcome that can be avoided.
Ray GReenwood, aSdPT
n the world of printed functional products (including appliances, consumer electronics, transportation equipment/
controls, medical devices, sensors, and printed electronics of
all types), only a small fraction of new product designs ever
make it to production. All too often, game-changing - even
life-changing - product designs are shelved, never to be seen
for reasons that range from poor production feasibility to
excessive time to market.
The reality is, most new products never make it out of
R&D, and it's not because the design or product type is not in
demand or feasible to produce. More often, jobs are greenlighted too soon, by people who don't ask the questions that
would enable a different outcome.
Here is a typical scenario common to many of these
canceled designs, especially with consumer and medical
electronics: A manufacturer wants to upgrade or introduce
a variant of an existing product with a new function, shape,
appearance, materials, or packaging. Because the project
only involves updating an existing product, it's assumed at
the quote stage that everything should proceed smoothly.
When it doesn't, everyone begins making assumptions (usually incorrect ones) as to what went wrong.
The question that should always be (but too seldom is)
asked at the quote stage: "Has the product design advanced