Back in 2005, the Electronics activity of LACROIX decided to invest in a rapid prototyping unit on its French production site. The German site followed suit a few years later to respond in similar fashion to growing customer demand for increased responsiveness. As an integral part of the industrialisation process, this crucial stage is used to validate the functionalities of an electronic board before its serial production. Producing functional prototypes to tight deadlines: this is the challenge of this service offered by the Electronics activity of LACROIX.
Let’s take a look back at this industrial adventure, 17 years after its launch.
Equipped as a serial line, the rapid prototyping line enables accelerated product commissioning, thereby increasing responsiveness by minimizing intermediate phases.
In collaboration with our design center and our testing and product method departments, we include serial manufacturing constraints from the outset. This makes it possible, in particular, to adjust our customer board prototypes before the production phase. In this way, we can industrialise the production of future-proof boards, drawing on our expertise in design and manufacturability. That’s the great advantage of producing your own prototypes within an electronic subcontracting plant!
Since the creation of our prototyping unit, we have worked with over 150 different customers from a wide variety of sectors, including industrial, civil & defence avionics and medical. More than 75,000 prototypes have been produced.
In France, the prototyping unit has a 100% dedicated team with an autonomous production line integrated into the workshop.
Every day, a multidisciplinary team works on a complete SMT line with high-added-value industrial equipment that includes:
This line therefore enjoys all the functions and services offered by the factory. Furthermore, when a new machine or industrial process is integrated, the prototyping unit benefits from this too. This approach supports continuous improvement and enhances the company’s technology roadmap.
Over time, our prototyping unit has become the privileged partner of our design office and our ecosystem. Thanks to its agile organisation, the unit brings us both flexibility and responsiveness. It is thus the key to the success of our customers’ projects, because it enables them to meet often tight deadlines while helping them to optimise the product/process relationship.