Whatever stage your product is in, Step 2 Engineering can quickly assess the need and move your project through the process to production as efficiently as possible. The typical process steps are outlined below:
Note: Our team has the experience of running many projects though these process steps. This familiarity with the process may lead us to use terminology or make assumptions that may not be familiar to all customers. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification if needed. Your questions are appreciated to help us improve our service.
Product Design Steps and Deliverables:
Market Analysis / Business Case forms the first half of the project input required for project initiation. Step 2 Engineering can collaborate on an hourly basis to complete this deliverable.
- Sales Quantity Estimate: (First Order, Year 1, Year 2, Target Annual Production)
- Selling Price Target
- Cost Target
- First Order Delivery Date
- Required Certifications/ Regulatory Compliance
- Expected Market Region
- Expected Sales Channel(s)
Design Input Specification forms the second half of the project input required for project initiation. Step 2 Engineering can collaborate on an hourly basis to complete this deliverable.
- Industrial Design Preferences – the cosmetic look of the product
- Operating Environment
- Expected life of the product
- Input / Output specifications
- User Interface
- Power Requirements
- Packaging Requirements
- Parts common to other products
- Is the product expected to be part of a family of products?
- How to position in the market relative to competitive products
Design Proposal Phase (typical billable hours: 20-40)
Step 2 Engineering will provide industrial design services and provide some preliminary engineering design as needed to produce a sketch study and proposed technical description. The deliverable is a preview of the completed design which the customer will approve before moving to the next project phase. This phase will include professional sketches and an estimate of the production tooling costs and final product cost.
Product Design Phase (estimate billable hours: 100 – 200)
Step 2 Engineering will do the computer based design work and provide a design presentation as the deliverable. This deliverable includes computer graphics images (solid models) of the product and a refined estimate of the production tooling and final product cost. Weekly status updates and technical discussions are available to assist the customer in managing this process.
Prototyping Phase (estimated billable hours: 10-20)
Step 2 Engineering will coordinate with outside prototyping suppliers, use in-house prototyping capabilities, and purchase materials as needed to produce functional prototypes for testing. The billable hours are used during the prototype production to maintain the schedule and manage the suppliers. The prototyping phase may take 2-4 weeks but only require 10-20 billable hours within this time to manage the process.
Prototype Testing Phase(estimated billable hours: 10-20)
Similar to the prototyping phase, Step 2 Engineering uses billable hours to set-up the testing equipment, manage the testing and report the results. The testing period may be 3 weeks to 3 months and the billable hours are used during this time to manage the process. Prototype testing may take place at the customer site, at Step 2 Engineering facilities, third party destructive testing facilities, user field sites, etc. depending on the needs of the project. The results of the testing may indicate that a loop back to the design phase is required. Step 2 will to refine the design to meet project goals.
Regulatory Compliance Testing(estimated billable hours: 10-20)
Step 2 Engineering can coordinate the regulatory compliance testing as needed for CE, UL, FCC, or NSF, FDA approvals. Technical documents are exchanged and technical product requirements are communicated during this phase. The compliance approval and certification is the deliverable.
Prepare Production Documents (estimated billable hours: 20-40 hours)
When the product testing is complete the document package can be completed to allow transfer of the design to the manufacturers for production. The documents provide the basis for the purchasing process and the quality control process. We can produce ISO 9001 compliant documentation to integrate into your document control system. This deliverable is the final step in the standard Product Design process. Step 2 Engineering can also assist in monitoring quality and production long term if needed.