We don’t need to preach that consumers expect fail-safe products. You know that already. Isn’t it time to get up to speed on optimizing product performance? Some approaches can include:
MORE POWER & SPEED
Every category of products will have a different definition of how more power and speed can be applied. In most cases, there is a practical reason for the improvement. Mobile phones or computers with faster processors allow for more complex applications to run faster. Industrial equipment that operates quicker can reduce production or cycle times. And drills with more torque can be used in a greater variety of applications.
There are also cases where increases in power are for impractical reasons, yet are still highly valued by customers. For example, most people do not need 500+ horsepower cars to cruise around town. They’ll rarely ever use the maximum potential of that engine. And yet, Chevrolet still sells thousands of Corvettes every year that likely never go faster than highway speeds.
LARGER CAPACITY & RANGE
Capacity and range improvements typically extend the use of the product into more use cases. For example, many considerations come into account during the evaluation of 3D printers. Speed, accuracy, cost, and failure rates are all specifications that customers compare between manufacturers. However, build volume is a feature that can rule out printers that are better in every other measure. If what you need to make does not fit within the volume available, then that printer is immediately disqualified from the purchasing decision.
YOUR INNOVATION TECHNIQUE
There are too many factors dependent on each product to provide a comprehensive list of opportunities to improve product performance. However, there are repeatable techniques that can be employed to identify them regardless of what you make.
Reducing Energy Consumption: What is meant by ‘energy’ is entirely dependent on the power source for your product. A mobile phone that can run longer on the same battery, a packaging machine that consumes less electricity, an airplane that uses less fuel, or even a piece of luggage that requires less physical exertion to carry are all examples of reducing energy consumption. Except for the luggage example, reducing energy use saves your customers money—benefiting the ROI equation in your favor when evaluating a purchasing decision.
Saving Time: Because it is irretrievable, time is the most valuable resource. If you are making industrial equipment, cutting your customers cycle time or increasing their throughput with faster machines obviously pays off. But what people really value is their own time. We all want to waste less time on mundane activities or dealing with problems at work. The trick is ensuring time is saved on activities people would rather not be doing so they can be more productive or simply spend more of it on things they enjoy.
Reducing Material Consumption: Reducing consumption could be viewed on two ends. Lessening the amount of material used in creating the product you sell has an obvious cost and weight benefit. Reducing the amount of material the product uses in service, however, can pay off for your customers continuously. For example, an injection mold using a hot runner system is significantly more costly, but the wasted material in a cold runner system is avoided which can result in significant savings for high-cost resins and long production runs.
Minimizing Downtime and Repairs: Ensuring your products are efficient while they are in use is one factor, and keeping them in operation is another. Enhancements that reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and that minimize maintenance time and frequency are positive factors in any purchasing decision.
Want to learn more about optimizing your product capabilities? Revisit our webinar, Manufacturing & Engineering Landmines: How to Avoid & Overcome
Check out these programs that can help optimize your product performance:
Let Applied Engineering help you with your next project, contact us today!