Some of the key decisions that ensure product success are decisions about how key parts get made. That makes R and D skills a key part of laser manufacturing services.There are some important questions that must first be answered before deciding whether to make and market a product, many of which involve the product’s key components. Those component questions include:
These questions go beyond just, “What’s the best way to make the part as specified?” Sometimes the part as originally specified cannot be manufactured at all, or at least not within specified budgets of cost and time. And sometimes if the part were manufactured differently it could better serve its intended purpose — provided the part’s design allowed it to be manufactured differently.
When making choices about materials, assembly steps, tooling, etc., the goal is not just to achieve the smoothest and most cost-effective manufacturing process. The ultimate goal is to achieve the best product possible. What may not be known at the outset is how changes in component manufacturing can impact product manufacturing, and ultimately product performance and market success.
Answering those questions involves a discovery phase in which the component manufacturer and the product manufacturer collaborate as laser R and D partners. A good Laser R and D partner is one who welcomes collaboration rather than avoids it because “we’d rather just make stuff.”
And because they genuinely like it, great laser R and D partners typically have a lot of experience doing it. That experience helps them avoid wasting time reinventing the wheel or going down dead ends. A solid R and D track record probably also means they respect their customer’s intellectual property. In other words, they won’t expect royalty payments or share intellectual property with other customers.
A good laser R and D partner is also more likely to achieve design goals that a less R and D oriented supplier would find impossible. Because they like to push boundaries and be innovative they’ll likely have answers that others don’t. They are also more likely to know what design goals really are out of reach (and are more likely to disclose that up front so you don’t waste your time pursuing something that can’t be done).
Ultimately, a great laser R and D partner is a great business partner. That’s because you can’t be a great Laser R and D partner without having your eye focused on what really counts — i.e., whether the component’s design will help ensure market success. That’s a different question than just whether the part can be made, for how much, and how fast. And someone who focuses on that will help make your business and product boom.
For more information on how we can help out with your R and D needs, contact us today!