In addition to cost, in the Edison Nation eight-stage evaluation process another factor taken under consideration in Stage 5 are potential engineering challenges associated with your product.
Once a product design is realized, engineers need to determine how to execute that idea to make it a reality. Edison Nation’s goal is to ensure your idea can be manufactured quickly and efficiently. To do this, our Licensing team needs to be able to easily convey how a product can be incorporated into a partner’s existing product line. Remember, the quicker and more efficiently a product can be produced, the faster your royalties will start rolling in!
According to the Business Dictionary, Production Engineering is defined as follows:
The design and application of manufacturing techniques to produce a specific product. It includes activities such as:
(1) planning, specification, and coordination of the use of resources
(2) analysis of production processes and systems
(3) application of methods, equipment and tooling
(4) controlled introduction of engineering changes
(5) application of cost control techniques
While we DO NOT require our innovator community to be well-versed in engineering concepts, here are some potential factors you should be taking into consideration when submitting your idea to get your idea to the next stage of the evaluation process.
Ergonomics is the ability to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of people and minimize the effects of their limitations, rather than forcing them to adapt. As a result ergonomics will play a role. How will a consumer hold/touch/feel/use the product?
The availability of materials and the development of new materials will have an influence on the final design of a product.
The customer will have great influence over the way a product is designed and developed. As a product is designed, it is normal for potential customers to be questioned about the type of product or design that they prefer. For example, when designing a mobile phone a design team will show potential customers several designs and make changes according to their likes and dislikes.
All products are manufactured through one of the following manufacturing techniques:
- Single Item / Prototype / One Off – this is where a product is highly-specialized, and for a specific market (e.g. musicians, medical profession, aerospace, etc.). Only a limited amount of products would be produced by a small, highly-skilled workforce. It is likely the final product will be expensive due to the level of skill required to manufacture the product as well as the cost of materials and equipment.
- Batch Production – this is when a production line is set up to produce a product. On the “line”, each worker has one task and then passes the product down the line to the next worker and so on. The production can be changed quickly so different products can be made. Batch production lines run for a certain amount of time and then the product is changed.
- Continuous Production – this technique features a semi-automated production line, relying on computer control and human labor. The production line runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is a high level of investment in machine and equipment. Quality control occurs at every stage of production.
When designing a product, the most desirable production technique may influence the way the final product looks.
The shape and form of the product may determine the layout of circuits or mechanisms inside it. Products are often designed to look stylish. The style applied to the outside of a product can quite easily influence the technology inside it. Aesthetics can also alter the production/manufacturing techniques through which it is made.
The number of functions a product has to perform will inevitably affect its design. Exactly what is the product going to do?
Many people (potential customers) are concerned about their environment and the damage to it caused by industrial production. When designing a product it may be wise to ensure that the materials can be recycled or the product itself can be manufactured from a large proportion of recycled material.
When we review your idea, we need to be able to justify to potential licensing partners that the product can be made quickly and easily within the realm of their capabilities.
Before submitting your idea, ask yourself this question, “What will a potential partner need to do to make my product idea a reality?”