New Product Development

We are specialists in new product development – taking your design idea and transforming it in to a manufactured product. In fact, we are unique within the industry as we have created the Rapid Product Development (RPD) Pathway, an innovative process that enables you to be ‘First-to-Market’. There are many technical and commercial barriers that prevent new products from ever getting to market. Our approach focuses on minimising the effects of these barriers, providing you with the best opportunity to achieve commercial success. During the development of your product, we are likely to address some if not all of the following areas:

Product Demand

You have identified the opportunity to develop a new product; however, it is important to establish whether this need is experienced by others. Even before engaging us to design your product, we will ask you (1) how many units you are likely to sell and (2) how much you hope to sell them for. These figures should be based on an informed understanding of the market. If there is nothing already available that is similar to your product, it may be difficult to establish exact numbers; an indication of market size can be gained from existing trade publications, specialist market research reports and by speaking with members of your target audience.

Technical Feasibility

The nature of our business is to develop exciting products that push the boundaries of innovation. From time-to-time we are faced with projects that present us with huge challenges due to constraints such as: time, finance, manpower, or the objectives appear technically unachievable. In these instances, we may need to conduct a technical feasibility during the foresight stage of your project. An initial investigation will allow us to establish the key project challenges and provide you with the confidence that they can be overcome. If this investigation reveals that certain elements are not feasible, we will offer an alternative route forward.

Competitor Analysis

We are able to carry out a competitor analysis that identifies key products within your proposed market. If your design idea is abstract and nothing remotely similar exists, it is important to question why this is the case – is it simply because no one has identified this opportunity before you or that the product is just not required? If this investigation identifies a product that performs a similar function to your own, you should not be discouraged as this validates the market opportunity you have highlighted. By understanding the competition in more detail, we are able to develop a solution that allows the user to perform a function more conveniently, more quickly or more accurately.

Human Centred Design

In recent years, there has been an explosion of new technologies. Research suggests that many of these products are failing to be adopted as they are technology driven solutions that have not fully considered the needs, wants and idiosyncratic behaviours of the user. By observing and questioning a group of users, a wider appreciation of a particular problem can be gained. This type of approach can also help identify further opportunities to add value. For example, when developing a product for a user with Arthritis, empathetic testing would need to take place. Simulating restricted movement in the joints would provide a greater understanding of the condition and in turn, a better user experience could be delivered.

Sustainable Design

This is a philosophy that we practice as a natural part of the product development process. When designing your product we will ensure that it uses the fewest number of parts; this in turn will help reduce material consumption and its overall effect on the environment. We proactively avoid the use of permanent bonding methods that will prevent your product from being disassembled after its life-in-service. All plastic parts will display a material identification symbol so that it can be recycled at a later date. These symbols will be visible to the user once the product is disassembled and moulded in to the plastic so that they can not be removed.

Production Strategy

3D printing technologies and low volume production techniques are a useful way of prototyping a design so that product testing can be carried out. However, some of these methods are so advanced that they are able to mimic the quality and integrity of manufactured parts. Many assume that once a product has been developed it should be manufactured in high volumes. The reality is that when introducing a new product to market, its popularity may gain traction over time. Businesses and new products often fail as they do not deliver a return-on-investment (ROI) within a sensible time-frame, which is typically 3-5 years. Aligning your production strategy with your forecasted sales volumes will help lower the investment needed to launch your product and allow you to start generating an income far sooner.