Understanding the New Product Introduction Process

Selin Cinemre Selin Cinemre April 11, 2024

2 min read

Congratulations! You’ve designed an exceptional consumer product with the potential to captivate your target market and alter people’s interaction with the world. However, what follows after the product design phase is complete? How do you transform your innovative concept into a tangible reality that reaches the hands of its intended audience? 

new product introduction timeline

Introducing a new product to the market is known as New Product Introduction (NPI). NPI can mean many different things depending on your role in a company. This article aims to guide you through the NPI process as a product designer or mechanical engineer.

In the NPI process, mechanical engineers and product designers aim for a smooth transition from design to manufacturing. They strive to convert innovative concepts into functional products that satisfy customer expectations. Within this, they strive to optimize production processes, maintain quality standards, and streamline the manufacturing workflow.

Key NPI steps for product designers

1. Design for manufacturability

As a hardware designer, you’ll be expected to collaborate closely with manufacturers. design for manufacturing (DFM) aims to ensure easy manufacture within your contract manufacturer’s (CM) capabilities. This involves considering factors like material selection for manufacturing ease and cost. Addressing these in the design phase minimizes potential production issues. Autodesk Fusion is connects your entire design and manufacturing processes by integrating CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB into a single solution. Its integrated tools and real-time collaboration features make design for manufacturing that much easier.

2. Manufacturing process planning

To ensure effective and efficient product manufacturing, you need a manufacturing process plan. This plan primarily determines the most efficient manufacturing methods for your product design and establishes the related production workflows Ultimately, you’ll hope to reduce costs by optimizing productivity and ensuring consistency in product quality.

New Product Introduction Process

3. Supplier management

Hardware designers must work closely with suppliers to source the necessary components and materials for production. This process involves assessing supplier capabilities and setting quality control measures. This ensures reliable, consistent materials. Effective supplier management is crucial for maintaining a smooth production flow.

4. Process optimization and continuous improvement

Once things are up and running, it’s important to optimize the manufacturing process. The focus here is on achieving operational excellence and driving continuous improvement throughout the NPI process, be it through reducing costs, improving efficiency, or ensuring quality in manufacturing. Fusion Operations is a manufacturing execusion system (MES) that provides real-time insights analytics for manufacturing and fabrication, including scheduling, maintenence operations tracking, production order updates, and more. It’s an ideal tool to use throught the NPI process to ensure everything on the factory floor stays up and running smoothly.

The Ideal NPI Outcome: Successful manufacturing and market entry

If all goes well, the ideal outcome of the NPI process lies in the successful manufacturing and market entry of the product. As outlined above, the designer’s role involves guaranteeing efficient manufacturing, meeting quality standards, and delivering the product to the market within the desired timeframe. Your efforts will establish a strong foundation for market acceptance, customer satisfaction, and future growth opportunities.

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