Product Development Is NOT Product Manufacturing

If you are looking to develop a product, it’s important to know the key differences between product development and product manufacturing. The two terms are often confused and the expectations of each are vastly different.

What Is Product Development?

Product development requires that a creative team of engineers, industrial designers and program managers work in sync to solve unique problems related to functionality, design, standards and the costs of a product idea.

By in large, a process is followed and often referred to as the product development lifecycle. This lifecycle includes gates and checkpoints that help the product development team reduce failure rates, avoid common pitfalls and design the product for manufacturability.

Generally, the product development lifecycle can take far longer than the actual manufacturing of a product. When performed correctly, product development will reduce manufacturing time and costs by achieving the aforementioned goals.

Product Manufacturing

After the product development has been completed and production prototypes have been fully qualified, manufacturing is ready to begin. A well designed product can be replicated thousands of times with consistent performance results directly off the production line.

Comparatively, manufacturing a product is easier since most variables and unique problems to that particular product have been solved and worked into the production prototype which was designed with manufacturability in mind.

Common pitfalls to watch for during product manufacturing include quality control, materials sourcing issues, labor problems and missed delivery dates.

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