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72 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 at every intersection.) Guidelines are different than laws, but the impact of not having them could be similarly troublesome. However, rath- er than a stringent set of dos and don'ts, al- low some discretion, depending on the prod- uct and its application. Advances in technol- ogy and innovation could be stifled if the de- signer is not allowed to explore the limits from time to time. Summary Designers are definitely "at the controls" at the beginning of every new product launch. Their decisions will impact everything that fol- lows their efforts, including the ultimate prof- itability of the final product. The use of estab- lished "design for" guidelines will serve them well in their work to ensure a smooth transi- tion from concept to product and the future well-being of their company, client, or cus- tomer. As I have found myself saying with ev- er-greater frequency in recent years, we must all first do the right things, and then do those things right. It all begins with design. FLEX007 Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an interna- tional authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. something new and of perceived value even if the value is short-lived. In this regard, it is important that designers work collaboratively with those who will be tasked with manufacturing their designs. Too often, designers work in isolation and do not have a full appreciation of the impact of the choices they make. The products they design are fabulously innovative, but if they cannot be built, and built profitably, what value is there in their effort? Engage Others in the Design Process Early How do we overcome this? Make sure all stakeholders involved in the manufacturing and testing of the product have input. Such in- put need not be tapped for every new design if the design is very similar to a past product design, but it does not hurt to have a check- list similar to that used by pilots before every flight. It may seem unnecessary, but an experi- enced pilot only needs to miss one item on the checklist to cause a potential disaster. "Design for" guidelines can help one to create such a checklist to ensure profitability. Finally, there is a need to make sure that the guidelines are followed. Societies have laws and rules for numerous reasons, but perhaps the most important is that they provide for the continuity of the societies themselves. (If not for traffic lights and stop signs, we would like- ly need to have either hospitals or cemeteries

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