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Connector Insights from iCONN

Your New Product Development Strategy: What to Consider

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , December 3, 2018

New Product Development Considerations

When designing and engineering a new product, the devil is in the details. Every step of the development process is as important as the next. The further along your team gets, the higher the stakes—especially when it comes to electrical equipment. Even a small miscalculation or oversight at the beginning of a project can result in major issues down the road. Below is a brief overview of the product development strategy and process along with key elements to consider in each phase. These considerations may be the difference between a successful product launch or a failed attempt. 

Phase 1: Ideation

Checklist Items:

  • Define target market
  • Identify product category
  • Evaluate competition
  • Develop a rough concept

Whether you’re creating an all-new product or enhancing the features of an existing product, it’s important to dream big. As your strategy gains momentum, make sure all ideas are driven by one underlying question:

How will this product meet the needs of our target audience better than any other product on the market?

Phase 2: Research

Checklist Items:

  • Break the product down into smaller components (e.g., software, hardware, electrical)
  • Define all possible use cases
  • Identify challenges and requirements for each
  • Create a list of specifications
  • Identify all mandatory compliance and regulatory certifications

The research phase is for critically thinking about your big idea, and scaling the project up or down based on what already exists in the market and what is realistically within your capabilities. For example, let’s say you want to develop a new medical imaging device for emergency use by first responders. In electronics, size and power are significant differentiators. If you want to create a medical device that has better image resolution and is faster, lighter and operable in even the most extreme environments, your product will require special electrical considerations. The type of cable assembly you choose will depend on details such as:

  • Frequency of mating/unmating
  • Exposure to moisture or dust
  • Routine chemical cleaning
  • Vibration or abrasion from travel
  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
  • Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)
  • Device size

Phase 3: Prototyping & Development

Checklist Items:

Unless your product development team includes an expert electrical engineer, you will likely need help from a cable and connector manufacturer with customization capabilities. High-speed, high-resolution cables that can survive mechanical and environmental stressors will require overmolding, specially designed contact systems with twice the pin count, and additional shielding to prevent interference and signal distortion. A manufacturing partner will ensure the solution they pair with your product is prototyped, tested and validated to meet your exact performance demands. As you shop for manufacturing partners, look for the following credentials:

  • Global reach
  • Expansive inventory
  • Customization capabilities
  • Prototyping services
  • Lean time- and cost-effective manufacturing processes
  • Value-added services (e.g., product assurance, consignment inventory, safety stocks, same-day delivery, etc.)

Phase 4: Analysis & Release

Checklist Items:

  • Perform all required testing
  • Conduct trial run
  • Analyze feedback
  • Prepare for full-scale launch

Did you know that half of all consumer electronic products fail standard certification testing during their first pass? Certification tests are time-consuming, expensive and can be disruptive to your production timeline if you are not adequately prepared. Some of the most common certifications that involve consumer electronics include:

  • FCC Certification
  • CE Marking
  • UL & CSA Certification
  • RoHS and/or WEEE Certification
  • Bluetooth SIG

The right manufacturing partner will help ensure testing doesn’t delay your time to market when developing new products. In some cases, you may even find a provider with an In-house Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and certification capabilities.

iCONN Systems, Inc. is a highly reputed cable and connector manufacturing company with the resources and expertise to support your product development process throughout every phase of production. From turnkey products to customized solutions, we provide every customer with an exact-match solution and quality assurance. In addition to advanced prototyping capabilities, lean manufacturing processes, and in-house testing and certification services, we also offer ongoing support through our inventory stocking options, like consignment inventory, to free up your budget. To learn more about how we can help support your product team and streamline your development process click here.


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