After proving your technology with a few working models (“prototypes”) and selling to your first customers, it’s time to start considering how to build 100 to 1000 devices. Here are some decisions to help guide how fast you scale manufacturing.
We believe there are five tiers of manufacturing scale. It’s usually most effective to follow them in order as each serves as an important stepping stone to maximize the safety and value of the subsequent steps.
- Working Model:
- Start by building a Frankenstein model that has only the features you think are new, useful, and not obvious. Practice your sales pitch with it, get feedback from friends and family.
- Build three to ten professional prototypes with a partner like MOXIE, understand fit and finish. These can be shown to investors, used for web content, brought to trade shows.
- Quantities of 100
- At quantities of 100, assembly and QC processes become important. Prices are high enough you probably want to look overseas for some components.
- Quantities of 1000
- At quantities of 1000, a small team will be required to manufacture, test, and support your product. Quantities are high enough to establish manufacturer and suppler relationships. Design changes can help reduce costs
- Quantities of 10,000+
- The initial design should be reconsidered or raw materials costs and assembly labor will eat into your profits. Start moving your key employees to oversee the manufacture of each component – a small mistake times 10,000 is costly!
Moxie is focused on bringing high value in the prototype and low-quantity production stages: the time when you product is refined from idea into a tangible, marketable technology. When your business takes off and you move to larger scale, we can help guide you to appropriate contract manufacturers who can put rocket fuel behind your business by driving down costs.
We are frequently asked about how to make decisions in manufacturing: machining vs injection molding? Assemble in-house vs contract? Should I put my research funds into hardware or into app development? Below is a chart that shows the relationship between costs and production volume:
|Enclosure Costs||Very High – buy something close||High if Machined, Low if 3D-printed||Moderate if machined, High if molded||Low if injection Molded|
|Printed Circuit Board Costs||Very High – buy developer kits||Moderate||Low||Very Low|
|Circuit Components Costs||High||High||Low||Very Low|
|Assembly Labor||Do it yourself||High – engineers building demos||High – your engineers may do it||Moderate|
|App Interface||Wait until next phase||High initial development||Low incremental cost||Low incremental cost|