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What was true then, still holds true today – with the increasing complexity of circuit diagram structures in assemblies, prototyping is becoming increasingly time-consuming. As such, a wild goose chase can ensue when OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) need a quick market launch of new product developments,  so secure prototype procedures do not received  the appreciation it truly deserve.

Prototype construction: An approach with an optimal focus on series production

LACROIX Electronics Willich, has shown how to approach the task differently and make prototyping more efficient.

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In our experience, it is essential to persuade the customer not to order the quick interim prototype. A fully developed prototype represents the actual product in its initial phase.

Peter Sommer
Head of Sales at Lacroix Electronics Willich

It simply takes discipline to tackle an accomplished briefing from the start in order to ensure that all requirements known at the time, including those relating to the procurement of components, series production and testing requirements, are incorporated. “By doing this we are able to save valuable time and it also gives us a potential competitive advantage – particularly when it comes to highly innovative product developments,” Peter Sommer adds.

However, according to the graduate engineer for electrical engineering and electronics, it was more difficult for the OEMs to find a company among the wide range of EMS manufacturers that knew how to produce suitable layouts for an efficient, reliable and error-free series production.

When choosing an EMS, he gives product developers and buyer the opportunity to take the prototype builder’s different manufacturing approaches into account:

  • EMS series manufacturers are usually good at producing large quantities with their machinery because of their core business, as they usually have complex structures for a reliable manufacturing process. However, series manufactures often a lack the necessary organisation for highly meticulous prototype construction.
  • On the other hand, EMS service providers that focus purely on prototype construction usually have a well-adapted machine park that is geared towards made-to-order production and designed for suitable line-in processes. However, they do not normally have series manufacturing plants and as such, lack experience in this type of manufacturing. With the clear shift towards made-to-order production, there has also been a shift towards a different, usually more extensive, time and cost structure.
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We see sophisticated prototyping as an easier way to produce the first model on series systems. We aim to submit a production-ready layout as quickly as possible in order to produce an inexpensive, error-free and reliably-functioning product

With every redesign phase saved this way, customers save at least three months. This time can be an incredibly valuable asset that gives them a crucial lead in the market

Michael Hendrix
Manager of the newly installed, three-person prototyping team