Engineering the New Product Launch
Each product development is managed by a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) who monitors and controls deliverables and provides regular status updates. Product development projects typically cover four major phases:
- Conceptual and Preliminary Design
- Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA)
- Single-Cavity Mold Design and Build
- Production Mold Design and Build
- Phase 1: Conceptual and Preliminary Design – The Natech Engineer gathers requirements and performs a trade study of similar applications to create conceptual designs. The client selects the Conceptual Design to move to Preliminary Design. The Engineer creates 3D printed prototypes for design testing as needed.
- Phase 2: Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) – The Natech Engineers design for injection molding, design for manufacture, and design for assembly on the Preliminary Design. They select parting line locations, draft assignments, wall thicknesses, gate types, gate locations, surface finish analyses, component/operation reductions, material selections, and custom material formulations. 3D printed prototypes are manufactured as necessary for testing. Mold flow analysis for filling, gate design, and runner design minimizes the risks associated with part geometries and assemblies.
- Phase 3: Single-Cavity Mold Design and Build – The Natech Team designs single-cavity R&D molds, typically of an SPI Class 103 construction with a manual to semi-automatic approach to assembly and decoration. They confer with the Client as necessary on the steel-safe areas, final gating, and ejection decisions. Areas of uncertainty are formed with interchangeable inserts for flexibility and speed during multiple design revision iterations. Parts are sampled and tested for functionality and part approval. The end of Phase 3 marks the first handover to the operations team.
- Phase 4: Production Mold Design and Build – When the Client is ready for high production, the Program Engineer initiates the multi-cavity molds. The Tooling Engineer delivers the Preliminary and Final Mold Designs, generally of an SPI Class 101 construction. The Manufacturing Engineer develops the automated assembly and other secondary operations for commercial-scale production.