Many designers are sensitive to product cost during development, but rarely is a design revisited once released to manufacture. What’s almost always overlooked is that it is the total cost that is important and that this is affected by many factors that vary over time. Down-stream cost reduction can identify opportunities to reduce costs and therefore to increase profits. Another important but peripheral benefit is that the a structured redesigned parts can often be simplified and made more mistake-proof.
We are all aware of rising costs for materials, utilities and fuel against a back-drop of reduced wage increases. Consider then, how off-shore manufacturing prices will be affected by increased transportation costs, exchange rate fluctuations and increasing labour rates. Prices are also acutely affected by manufacturing method which are influenced by volume projections which are rarely accurate over time. It then seems odd that most designs are not periodically reviewed beyond initial release to manufacture. The bottom line is that where a particular concept design, manufacturing method and geographic location made sense once it may not now.
In a recent study of a high-end lighting product currently manufactured in Asia, Warley Design Solutions presented a client with two fully-costed redesign proposals: a “quick win” option with 26x Return on Investment (ROI) in 1 year, and a more radical proposal for redesign returning 58x ROI.
In the case of this particular product, not only did these results represent hundreds of thousands of pounds of savings per year, they also bring other less tangible but important benefits through reduced part count, reduced complexity, simplified supply chain and number of opportunities for defects.
Warley Design offers mechanical design, engineering and product development services to a broad range of industries. Please contact us for an assessment of opportunities to significantly reduce your product cost.