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Page 62 of 137

SEPTEMBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 63 and knowing at an early stage whether the design is optimal or not will ensure that the right manufacturer is selected for your de- sign. Procurement and third-party actors are key during this stage to ensure that the right partners are selected. The costs can vary greatly if you select the wrong manufacturing entity at this stage, as they might lack the optimal technical capability, ca- pacity, or experience with the product you are designing. Many entities say, "Yes, we can," but do you really know? How can you really find out? My advice is simple: Make sure you have the right knowledge and experience internally or through third-party entities to secure your de- sign and manufacturing selection. 4. Prototype Building your proto- type is one of the most exciting phases dur- ing your PDP. Are all parameters covered, and will you meet the deadline? Are the manufacturing entities quali- fied and audited, and what is their experience with your type of products? Working diligently in this phase will save you lots of trouble and costs. Select the right manufacturer from the beginning based on the expected sales volume of your product, com- pliance in relation to environmental standards (IPC, UL, automotive, medical, defense, ROSH, REACH, and numerous others). The cost of requalification is not only expensive and time- consuming, but it can determine whether you are actually allowed to access a market or de- liver a bid. 5. Production When volume pro- duction kicks in, you want to make sure you are in good hands. Document your pro- duction and audit the manufacturer to secure your delivery. From here on, it is the supply chain management, combined with the mar- ket demand for your product, which will deter- mine if your product can be a success. Seamless production and being able to ac- tively receive feedback from the market to im- prove your product will allow you to offer a good solution and create the trust that is vital to give your product a good reputation. Thus, your sales and market apparatus is key during this stage in combination with your designers and developers. 6. Launch Your product is ready for launch and global distri- bution. Your glob- al delivery plat- form and expe- rience with documentation, regulations, and compliance should now be set. Having in- volved all the right actors at the right stage should now ensure that the pillars of PCB production are either stacked in your favor or reduced as much as possible. Get ready and launch. 5 Tips for Improved Product Development 1. Ask the Right Questions Ask necessary why, how, where, what, and when questions. 2. Do Your Research Involve an experienced partner to identify challenges, growth potential, and compliance. 3. Do Not Skip Steps When Designing If PCB design is not your strength, involve someone with the right skills. This will save you from making costly mistakes. The same applies to your choice of manufacturer. 4. Know Where You Produce Make sure to have a trusted partner for pro- duction who offers transparency, documenta- tion, and audited manufacturers.

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