Product development is a complex and risky endeavor. Yet you must come up with new and better products in order to remain in business because you’re in an ongoing race with everyone else on the market and newcomers you may not know are about to revolutionize the industry. Let’s learn more about your options regarding product development.
Product Development Basics: Getting to know your options
In-House Design and Production
This is the traditional method of product development. This is understandable given that you have complete control over the intellectual property, the schedule, and the budget. The problem is that few companies are skilled in the development side of research and development. They’re often limited to the manufacturing methods they have in-house to come up with a way to make their new product, though more efficient or advanced manufacturing methods may exist. A classic case would be designing a frame that is machined in your machine shop when 3D printing would be cheaper and faster. You’re also absorbing the cost of development and initial production runs, when the process may be faster and cheaper if you outsourced it to someone else.
In-House Design and Contracted Manufacturing
A growing number of companies are becoming intellectual property firms instead of manufacturers. They’ll design the electronics that form the core of their new line of electronics and hire a contract manufacturer to build it in volume. They may design and build the prototypes themselves, or they may outsource the prototyping to a third organization. Prototyping houses offer lower costs than dedicating your engineering team to coming up with circuit boards and protective housing for a new speaker.
In-House Initial Design with Contracted Partners
In this business model, your team is coming up with rough ideas for a product. Then you hire experts that can create a variety of prototypes. Each prototype can be tested for compliance with various industry standards, and you can have investors and consumer panels review it, as well. Select a prototype based on form, function, performance and estimated production cost. You could then move from prototype to end product by either hiring the prototyping firm to create the first few hundred units for sale or getting design information from them to be followed by contract manufacturers. Conversely, you could also use that same information yourself to build the final prototype in-house, assuming you have the parts and the capability.
Note that contracted partners could make any or all of the components in your new product. For example, you could have them assemble the complex printed circuit board to which you attach off-the-shelf and internally made components. This can often save you a lot of money because they’re able to offer PCBs at economies of scale well beyond what you’d make in house. They may make millions of PCBs a year whereas you only need 50,000.
Tips for Finding the Right Contract Manufacturer
What factors should you use to select a contract manufacturer? The first would be the location. If they’re located too far from your firm, it may take weeks to send a prototype to you to test and approve. And the prototyping and early production stage are when time is of the essence. The second is the capability. Do they have experience making the type of components you want to be produced? You don’t ask a machine shop to make PCBs. And you shouldn’t ask someone who typically makes small, thin PCBs to create a thick, complex board. It is outside their expertise and will come at a higher cost than a company that makes those items regularly will charge. A third factor would be engineering experience and resources. Can you just give them a drawing with the dimensions of the PCB and a rough outline of the design and they come up with a working prototype? Can they give you a polished set of work instructions and affordable parts list? However, you don’t want to work with a firm that tells you they’re the only source of your critical parts.
Dress Your Desk, Room and More for Success This Back-to-School Season with Epson EcoTank Cartridge-Free Printers
LONG BEACH, California. – Aug. 16, 2017 – New classes, back-to-back study sessions and seemingly never-ending shopping lists of school supplies are enough to keep any student’s schedule tight, and their budget even tighter. Whether printing out multi-page homework assignments and study guides, décor to brighten up your study space or weeknight club meeting, the Epson® EcoTank® line of all-in-one printers provide cartridge-free printing with easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks for affordable, hassle-free printing.
With up to two years of ink in the box1, EcoTank all-in-one printers can help students dress their desk, room and more for success this back-to-school season:
Print Hassle-Free: For the student whipping out essay after essay, lab reports or study guides, Epson EcoTank printers require less hassle than a cartridge printer with up to two years of ink in the box1. EcoTank’s affordable, long-lasting ink solution means printing out the whole eBook you need for reference or that extra-long study guide in full color without guilt or the worry of running out of ink during a late night study session or workgroup project.
Project Organization: Organizing your study space and creating a process to stay on track of deadlines can make or break a student. Clear off desk clutter and keep drawers, folders and binders organized with color-coded printing, create and distribute agendas for team meetings to stay on task and print a daily to-do list to track priority projects.
Map Out Your Goals: According to a study from Dominican University, approximately one-third of people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who do not keep a written list2. Print your goals for the school year and tape them up by your desk to help you stay on track. As goals change and ambitions build, print monthly, weekly or daily goal-setting trackers.
Decorate to Inspire: Keep the creative juices flowing and the morale high with fun prints, calendars, inspirational quotes as wall décor, photos of friends and family, and patterned designs for desk crafts such as pen holders and drawer linings.
Epson EcoTank Supertank printers, like the Epson Expression® ET-2650 EcoTank, offer enough ink to print up to 4,000 pages3, making decorating, organizing and printing at school both convenient and affordable.
Avoid running out of ink at the worst times this back-to-school season, such as during late nights studying or the last few minutes finishing up a big final project. Epson’s cartridge-free EcoTank line of all-in-one printers offer easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks for affordable, hassle-free printing students can rely on.
With up to two years of ink in the box, Epson’s EcoTank printers offer students a myriad of options to prepare for success with enough ink to whip out essay after essay, develop school flyers, keep afterschool clubs organized with various printouts, and create fun and inspirational desk decorations.
Continuous development in technology and changing consumer behavior forces every industry to undergo some fundamental change. And now it is the time for a change in the working of printing and publishing industry.
Digital printing industry today is reproducing digital images on various physical surfaces like – paper, photographic paper, film, paperboard cover stock, plastic, cloth, vinyl, magnets, glass, and others. Digital and traditional printing are very different. The key differences include –
In traditional, a set of printing plates are used and the same print is made on the paper. However, print can differ on every paper in case of digital printing based on the desired type.
In traditional printing, the ink or toner is absorbed into the substrate, however, in digital printing, the ink forms a layer on the surface which may be fused to the substrate through heat process or UV curing process.
As opposed to traditional printing, digital printing requires less amount of paper and chemicals for setup.
Digital printing offers excellent rapid prototyping and small print runs and is also accessible to a wide range of designers. Also, it is cost effective in short runs. However, this is not the case with traditional printing.
Nowadays, due to the evolution of digital printing and the increased use of internet has given birth to the print commerce industry which is the future of printing and publishing for the next few years or at least a decade.
Will Print commerce adapt to the changing advertising and marketing industry?
Business is growing beyond boundaries, hence companies are becoming more distributed. For instance, a large retailer with a number of stores across the country needs to do store specific campaign and produce marketing collaterals like sale brochures, advertising sign boards and so on. Most of this marketing collaterals are usually done at the company’s’ headquarters. However, affording a local store level designer is not usually possible. In such cases, print commerce can come to your rescue. Print commerce allows the business to create content based on the store needs and allows printing in local store thus reducing logistic time.
Print commerce has been continuously upgraded along with the development of internet technology. For instance, on the internet 2.0 era, Xerox Corporation’s InterDoc, a commercial product was on sale during 1995. InterDoc is a software which allows printing departments to receive and produce the digital file submissions of the customers over the internet.
It is evident from this that the DTP’s history acts the pillar for today’s web-to-print expansion and the emergence of e-commerce during the 98’s and 2000’s allowed web-to-print to prosper.
Current Industry landscape for Print commerce
Print commerce broadly refers to commercial printers which communicate with their customers or partners like graphic designers or advertising companies. They do jobs like submitting print jobs, online prepress previews, postcards design on the web using rich user interfaces, digital cross-media marketing, and various other services like variable data printing, booklets, photo printing and others.
World Wide Web and internet popularity opportunities have emerged for the remote publishing/print commerce companies. Hence, the new age distributes and the agile print commerce has allowed the larger organizations to become more popular among all businesses in all sizes who demand any type of printing. This is further leading the standardized printing industry to on-demand print commerce industry.
According to researchers, commercial printing shipments over the last 6 months are worth more than $7 million every month, which marks the longest time of sustained growth since 2010. Also, the sources indicate that the printing shipment Compound Annual Growth Rates were better than the U.S. GDPs figures and the industry between August 2014 and August 2015 has shipped over $86 million products.
Off late the days where offices having printing departments or larger printing areas required for commercial printing purposes got replaced. Many print commerce companies are there out in the market offering print services of professional quality on demand, hence allowing businesses to outsource their printing jobs. This, in turn, allows the businesses to have printing services without any capital investment or maintenance while having the flexibility to printing material and other services like professional designers on demand.
On Demand, print services have thus allowed companies to access printed material such as sale brochures, flyers, advertising sign boards, and others in one piece at a time fashion leading to more flexibility and control of production. This, in turn, indicates that you waste less paper.
On-demand printing is best for companies and also associations which need to frequently update and distribute content to communication hubs and remote offices/stores. Further, on-demand printing also allows firms to deliver them overnight without having to ship the materials themselves.
This technology allows companies or organizations or marketing departments or employees to upload the desired content in digital format through websites or cloud services and order printed products for self or to ship to other parts of the world. This flexibility allows companies to get the job done easily and quickly from anywhere. Also, it helps to produce copies of training materials, manuals, posters and others on demand as per their needs thus allowing companies to reduce the cost of a large amount of storage space, logistic costs of transferring the documents, and also flexible customization of materials as per regional demands. From all this, it is evident that every business big and small are taking the advantage of the web-to-print technology.
According to the associate director at Infotrends, Howie Fenton, web-to-print service will receive an investment of over $259 million next year.
Businesses can now create and upload digital content or host them on distribution platforms allowing their stakeholders to order branded printed resources as per their needs.
This has allowed everyone to access the same contents and documents and the hosting firms to regularly update their materials based on business needs and demands.
Consider these basic facts about printing industry to have something to take home from this article and why printing commerce idea would serve us really right;
The increasing influence of internet and internet technology enabled mobile devices in everyday life is creating a perception that traditional printing is almost out-of-date.
The accessibility to various digital screens and the demand of consumers for digital options in everything especially for entertainment indicates that use of paper doesn’t make any sense anymore.
But there is no sign of suffering by printing and publishing company.
The good news is that the growth in consumer product industry is increasing the demand for packaging materials and labels exponentially.
According to the research by Smithers Pira, who have the authority over packaging, paper, and print industry supply chains, the global printing industry is forecasted to reach $980 million by the year 2018. This growth will be due to – packaging, labels, and print commerce online application.
The share of the digital market will double in constant value terms of 19.7% by 2018. Excluding packaging, this share is going to be 38.1% by 2018.
However, digital demands more values as the print suppliers portray their product effectively.
The web-to-print being simple to use and effective is expected to grow multi-folds. Also, print commerce with their specialists can cater to the marketing needs effectively thus allowing corporate marketing team in developing print and marketing on-demand solution qualitative, hassle-free and cost-effective products.
Nowadays, laser printers have become the mandatory office accessory in most of the home and offices for producing superior quality printouts at faster speeds. Probably, you can easily find one in almost everywhere including schools, colleges, offices, and large organizations. Moreover, the significant innovations in laser printing technology such as color printing has made the laser printers a much demanded need for even the children and professionals to get the hard copy of their projects. But, did you ever try to find out the science behind the colored printing? Or what makes color printing possible? Well, the key component of getting high quality and clear colored printouts is the drum unit in a printer. Despite its importance in print mechanism, very few people have a clear idea about its role in the printing process.
What is a Drum Unit?
The printer drum unit is an important printing component which is responsible for producing quality-based images during the printing process. A drum unit attracts the toner particles through electrostatic polarities to create clear texts and images. Most of the printers that are available in the market these days comprise toner cartridges with in-built drum units. This is probably the reasons why most of the printers these days have better printing speed. However, the combination cartridges are not economical in the long run. In most of the cases, it has been found that the drum unit still remains in a good running condition even when the toner cartridge runs out.
How does the Drum Unit Work?
The laser printer drum unit serves as a photoconductive unit which is specifically designed to transfer and create digital images right into the surface of the drum. During the printing process, the documents which need to be printed is transformed into a raster image by the computer and then sent to the printer. The tiny laser beams from the printer laser scanning unit draw patterns on the surface of the drum unit to create images and texts. The surface of the drum unit is positively charged and the images and texts produced by the laser scanning unit is negatively charged. When the drum rotates, it attracts the negatively charged toner particles and the excess toner is wiped away by the cleaning blade to produce clean and quality printouts. Toner that remain on the surface of the drum unit then gets transferred to the paper. Once done, the paper then transferred to the fuser roller for the final bonding before it comes out over the paper tray.
Is it Possible that Laser Printer Work Without Drum Unit?
The simple answer is no. Laser printer depends on the drum unit for creating quality images and texts onto the paper. Without a drum unit, the printer is unable to produce any printout. It is what that makes printing possible.
Does Drum Unit Require Replacement?
Drum unit, as like other printer parts, requires replacement to maintain the efficiency and performance of the printer. The laser printer will produce poor quality prints even when you replace the old toner cartridge with a new one when a defective drum unit is being used for printing work. Replacing the drum unit with a new one will not only improve the printing quality but also adds operational life to your printer.
Hope, you have now a good understanding of the role of the drum unit in the printing process. As it plays a critical role in producing quality printouts, it is imperative to use the best quality drum unit like brother drum to improve the performance, efficiency, and life of the printer.
3D printers take a huge role in the success of each business that uses additive manufacturing technology. Thus, it is essential to purchase heavy-duty and top-quality one.
Since 3D printing is being recognized by numerous manufacturing businesses these days, it is worth noting to choose the best printers available in the market. As a business owner, you have to ensure that your products or services are in great condition at all times. If you own high-grade printers, then you get to produce prime 3D objects faster and more conveniently.
Moreover, there are a lot of things to consider when buying 3D printers. You need to pick the one that suits both your needs and preferences. The quality, cost, usage, and reliability of the printer should be taken into consideration when deciding which to purchase. So, here are the recommended 3D printers for your business:
This 3D printer is built on a solid steel body, which makes it durable and functional. It also includes quality parts and high-precision rails. Since Makergear is known for its prime printers, you will never go wrong with it when you purchase one of this brand. Additionally, enthusiasts have always ranked M2 as one of the best 3D printers today.
For those who are just starting up their 3D printing business, the LulzBot Mini printer is one of the best. It boasts features such as metal hot-end, auto-leveling bed, and self-cleaning nozzle. In addition, it is regarded as one of the most user-friendly 3D printers and has positive reviews even if it’s relevantly new to the market.
Manufactured and designed by BQ, Witbox has the largest build volume among its class. It is a well-designed and fully-enclosed printer, which makes it more stable and safer when printing. You are sure enough that it’s child-safe, in case kids come near it in the process. Also, it is able to produce multiple parts all at once easily.
3D printing with Konica Minolta has made all manufacturing business’ works easier and more convenient. ProJet 160 is a 3D printer from Konica Minolta that helps you create top-of-the-line prototypes and concept models at a reasonable price. It also sports network connectivity for smartphones, desktops, and tablets.
This type of 3D printer has one of the best-looking designs. It is equipped with Delta style robot system and offers increased printing speed as well as positioning accuracy. The DeltaWASP is able to print with wide range of materials as well.
With these five 3D printer suggestions, you will be able to select one wisely. There are still tons of 3D printers to choose from out there, but these five will certainly give you the best printing experience. Any of these will not disappoint you, especially in terms of pricing and quality. Hence, if you are looking for a top 3D printer, then you may take a look at this list.
3D printing has gone ahead beyond our expectations, thanks to technological advancements. When it comes to choosing the right 3D printers, you cannot be more satisfied using any other brands out there than these models. They are the top of their crops – the best you can get for excellent 3D printing experience!
If you have question or feedback, I’d like to have them below. Let’s talk about your own views of this post.