What is Low-Volume Manufacturing?
Low Volume Manufacturing is a process that acts as a bridge between the development cycle, and high-volume production. This strategy enables design refinement & optimization, reduces time to market, and realizes opportunities to save on high volume production costs, all while reducing your investment risk. Your product’s manufacturing process can be validated and seamlessly transferred to a contract manufacturer for high-volume production, when the time arrives.
Our facility specializes in low-volume production of electromechanical medical products, which generally consist of production runs of between 1 to 1000 units. The manufacturing process we’ve developed through decades of engineering and designing for manufacturing applies appropriate controls to deliver quality products on schedule.
3 Key Benefits of Low-Volume Manufacturing
1. Increase Flexibility in Design Iterations
In early production, it’s common to unearth design aspects to consider for modification. With low-volume production runs, it is easier to evaluate, and validate the design, engineering & manufacturability before investing in costly high volume production tools and automated processes. Speedy design iterations following test runs can refine and optimize the product’s features further, before it reaches the hands of customers. Since products are manufactured in low-volume quantities, the limited investment and minimal inventory impact eases the decision to modify the design.
2. Gather Patient, Clinician and Key Stakeholder Feedback Before Full or High Volume Production
In low-volumes, a product can be produced with multiple feature variations. Testing of that product can then be done in realistic user environments with multiple product versions. A client can analyze which features are most desired and further refine the product for the next batch of production to better meet user needs. This is particularly advantageous to companies looking to specialize its offerings to specific niche markets.
3. Bridge the Gap Between Development and Full Production
If a company intends to go into full production, low-volume manufacturing can be used to bridge the gap between development and high-volume manufacturing. This is sometimes referred to as bridge manufacturing, which allows companies to test and perfect their designs before committing to a conventional form of mass production. This process enables a smooth transition from rapid prototyping to high-volume production. This is a great opportunity for companies to streamline their manufacturing process and explore additional cost saving measures, all the while taking advantage of any quality improvement opportunities.
How to Find the Right Manufacturing Partner
One of the primary considerations when selecting a manufacturer is assessing how much product you plan to produce. Some manufacturers are capable of producing hundreds of thousands of a single product, while others specialize in building highly complex offerings at low volumes (that’s us!).
Complexity & Materials
Another key consideration is what kinds of fixtures may be needed to produce your product and the overall complexity of the production process. Will you be able to just plug into an existing manufacturer’s capabilities or will you need a partner that can create a customized plan?
Past Experience & Agility
Finally, you’ll want to consider the manufacturer’s past experience and their ability to act in an agile, flexible manner. A lot can arise during the early stages of manufacturing. You’ll want a team with enough experience to know how to handle issues related to quality, product design, verification and validation testing, and so much more. If you’re seeking a partner to take on high-complexity, low-volume manufacturing work, it will also be important to look for partners that value attention to detail. These projects require one-on-one focus and close collaboration.
Why Partner With a Product Developer for Manufacturing?
Get the one-on-one attention your product deserves
When you work with a traditional contract manufacturer, you’re one of many. Goddard isn’t a contract manufacturer – we’re a product development company that offers manufacturing to our clients as needed. Here, you’ll get our undivided attention in our manufacturing space as we work to create customized processes that meet the needs of your product.
Product design and manufacturing go hand-in-hand
These days, the liability associated with products that fail is high. Products, especially medical devices, are more complex, and stringently regulated than ever. Proving your product’s design, reliability, and manufacturability are critical components of the product development process, and they are happening in tandem these days. By choosing to partner with a product developer for early-stage manufacturing, you can ensure that your product is well-designed to meet the needs of your customers and that it’s manufacturable.
Get support for your development builds without interrupting ongoing production
Want to validate your new product’s production process but don’t want to lose time and money by interrupting your current production systems? This is where a low-volume, high-complexity manufacturing partner can step in. Our product developers can set up customized pilot lines at Goddard to prove out your new product, leaving your current systems free to continue producing your existing products.
We are proud to offer low volume manufacturing services in addition to our design and development capabilities. When you work with Goddard, you’re working with a seasoned development team that can not only design and engineer your product from napkin sketch to prototype, but can get you all the way to full production in our own integrated facility
Working with Goddard
Goddard’s team of experienced, reliable engineers and designers can help guide you through the product development process or plug into existing projects as needed.
If you’re looking for a skillful partner to help get your next project started, check out some of our Featured Projects or dive into Our Process to learn more about how we approach product development.
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