These acronyms refer to the different stages of industrialization when it comes to NPI (New Product Introduction), in addition, Making the wrong decisions or overlooking essential details at a stage too late in product development can lead to high costs and long delays.
A validation-based phase-gate approach to development is necessary for all forms of complex products, systems, and services. It ensures the optimal trajectory toward mass production while limiting resources to the minimum.
In cooperation with our clients, we can help provide different contracts for each of the stages below in order to satisfy the needs of our clients and ensure that the product is done in a more efficient way. No minimum order, no outrageous charges, no false promises, we are here to make an alliance with our clients and provide the best service.
The EVT stage is all about incorporating and optimizing the crucial functional scope required for the product. The outcome is a prototype that houses a more complete set of functionalities. The engineering prototype is a minimum viable version of the final commercial product, that is designed considering the intended manufacturing processes. With a working prototype in hands, now it’s time to start testing, running a small batch of typical 20-50 units, EVT is when looks-like and works-like prototypes are combined to ensure all functional requirements are being met.
EVT is generally the most critical gate review for electronic devices, this build is done with the intended materials or as close as possible and using prototype methods of production.
Now you’ve got the hardware ready and it’s time for the DVT stage. This is where a product truly starts becoming industrialized. DVT focuses on perfecting tools and techniques for a consistent run and ensures products meet cosmetic and environmental requirements by employing both mass-production tools and parts.
It is a stage marked by experimentation and optimization. With a build of 50-200 units, lots of tests should be performed at this stage on the first production-level units: environmental chamber tests, thermal cycles, vibration, ESD, biocompatibility, chemical resistance, certifications such as FDA, FCC, UL, CE, EC, and RoHS, aging, radiation, cosmetic, and drop tests, among others. This is the final step before making units that are suitable for sale. At the end of DVT, the client should be highly confident that any issues causing unacceptable yields have been corrected.
The final phase before mass production starts. Toolings are fixed, meaning that no more changes to either the product design or production molds can be made. Jigs, fixtures, and test benches must be in place and validated for the production pilot to be launched. It’s also important that the client’s QA (quality assurance) and QC (quality control) procedures are developed which will allow the Manufacturers to check for any failures throughout the manufacturing process. Efforts made in this stage are directed toward the production line, optimizing and stabilizing the production and assembly lines in terms of line speed, operator expertise, scrap rate, and daily yield.
This is the first official production run, often 5-10% of the first run, or it can also be broken in batches, where teams verify that the product can be made at the volumes needed. In general, these units are suitable to reach the end consumer. Once performance and quality have been verified and signed off, it is time to ramp up and enter in mass production stage.
This is when all of the preparation and hard work pays off. Clients usually monitor and follow up but the factory takes control of the production and should guarantee high production yield and minimal cost.
The final stage in the evolution of product maturity is the ramp-up toward mass production. Quantity can be from several thousand units but can lead up to millions of units (the sky is the limit!).
In this phase, once the production line is stable, it can then be replicated to other lines and run in parallel for higher output. A failure and yield analysis on a small percentage of units ensures consistent quality (this is constantly supervised by the production line manager).
At this stage, design effort is minimal, while continuous process improvement becomes the main driver of cost reductions moving forward (along with any cost restructuring due to higher and/or more regular part buys with your suppliers).
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