by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

From Prototyping to Production to Market: The Important Questions to Ask First

Over our nearly three decades of contract manufacturing, we have received initial design concept sketches on everything from cocktail napkins to sticky pad notes and everything in between. Truly you never know when inspiration for innovation will strike!

This week one of our valued internship partners Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology put out a great read through their Rose-Hulman Ventures newsletter. The article discusses the important questions to ponder before you set out to obtain a prototype of any new product design.

Some of the very same questions the Genesis Plastics Welding engineering and sales team asks of prospective clients during initial prototyping and validation conversations are noted. New product concepts can be invigorating, but if designers want to make it to market eventually as well, taking a step back to address key pathway questions and define end goals can help ensure the initial concept can become a reality.

8 Questions to Ask Before You Prototype

1. Do you have a development strategy?
It’s extremely rare for a prototype to achieve all goals on the first shot. Do you need the entire device at once, or should you do it in stages? Think about your most important goals and meet them first.

2. What are your post-prototype costs?
Making a prototype can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands. Do you know how expensive the next steps will be? You want to avoid being deep into a project before you learn later steps will be shockingly more expensive than you imagined.

3. If this is a business idea, does it add up economically?
Will the final sale price cover all of the costs of bringing your idea to market? Other than parts and assembly, there are legal, regulatory, overhead, and initial front-end costs that you’ll need to spread over the number of units sold.

4. What is the FDA pathway?
We’re not FDA experts, but we can help you stay within the FDA path you know you need to follow. Among other things, you’ll want to know if your device is a Class I, II, or III. If you’re not familiar with the FDA’s pathways to approval, get help before committing your resources. One starting point might be here, but, remember, no online resource is a substitute for expert guidance.

5. What about Intellectual Property?
Most medical devices require an IP strategy. Have you hired an IP attorney? Should you complete a patent application before developing a prototype or after?

6. Do you need a team?
Remember, this is going to take time. Whether you develop this in-house or outsource heavily, you may need others, possibly a team, to make things happen. Think about your life. If you have a day job, it’s hard to make progress on a startup after business hours or on weekends.

7. Why doesn’t your idea already exist?
No matter how brilliant your idea is, it’s worth considering why others, perhaps well-established others, haven’t done this yet. There might be stumbling blocks – regulatory, legal, or cultural – that have derailed previous efforts.

8. What’s your ultimate goal?
Is this an exercise in curiosity, the root of a full-fledged business, or something in-between? Does your idea result in a single product or does it lend itself to a product line? Is your best business strategy acquisition, IP licensing, or growing a new business from the ground up?

Have a proven medical device product or product line that you need to take to production? Is your business plan outlined, funding in place and you’re just ready to hit GO? Let Genesis’ controlled manufacturing space, class 7 clean rooms, heat sealing expertise and knowledgeable engineering staff help you take it to the next step. Reach out today.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Indiana Higher Education Taking Steps to Close Manufacturing Skills Gap

Indiana is making great strides in closing the manufacturing skills gap. Did you catch the recent news from Ivy Tech Community College? The community college, along with Indiana industry partners, is launching a two-year program, IvyWorks, to train students for careers in supply chain management and logistics.

In January of this year, we discussed the widening skills gap and how action was needed to ensure that manufacturing continues to be the foundation of our economy. We are thrilled to see progress all around us in Indiana, as OEMs, contract manufacturers, state legislators and educators work hand in hand to tackle roadblocks and make workforce development within the manufacturing arena a priority.

Bravo Indiana and kudos Ivy Tech Community College!

Read more on how the community college is funding the program and bridging the skills gap through partnerships with industry leaders.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

[In the News] U.S. Manufacturing Makes Big Strides, Could Take Top Spot from China by 2020

Did you know the United States has become more competitive within the global manufacturing arena? According to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, the U.S. is expected to take the top spot from China by 2020.

The U.S. improved from its 4th place ranking in 2010 to 2nd in this year’s study. Canada and Mexico also made the top ten, while China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Singapore rounded out the list. The gap continues to close in regards cost competitiveness, and the biggest U.S. manufacturing differentiators include talent development and manufacturing technology growth. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam are noted as up and coming global players that could represent a “new China” in terms of low cost labor and agile manufacturing capabilities.

Read more on what manufacturing executives surveyed had to say about creating and keeping the competitive advantage in the U.S.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team No Comments

RF Welding Contract Manufacturer Genesis Plastics Welding Hires Jud McKinney as Product and Process Development Engineer

Genesis Plastics Welding is pleased to announce the addition of Jud McKinney as product and process development engineer to assist contract manufacturing clients in the research, design and development of plastic welded products within the medical, automotive, sport and military industries.

With a significant knowledge of raw thermoplastic materials suitable for radio frequency (RF), ultrasonic and impulse welding, McKinney is responsible for helping clients source the right materials for their applications to meet business objectives, promote cost savings and accelerate the production process. He also performs analytical and quality testing on products throughout the development and production cycles to ensure product integrity.

“Many clients come to Genesis because they know we have a thorough knowledge of proper utilization of polar and non-polar materials within the RF welding setting,” said Tom Ryder, president and CEO of Genesis Plastics Welding. “It’s a very important and exciting role for Jud to guide our customers in the materials selection process. Especially since so many clients are charged to find new materials that will cut manufacturing costs or replace PVC or PU, but still have comparable characteristics and performance.”

McKinney, a graduate of Ball State University, joins Genesis with more than 30 years of automotive and medical device manufacturing and project engineering experienced. Prior to Genesis, McKinney worked as a senior manufacturing engineer for Medivative Technologies. Additionally, he spent several years in the plastics injection molding and plastics extrusion arena and is ASQ certified.

“We are pleased to have Jud as part of our engineering talent,” said Ryder. “He brings years of industry expertise and resin knowledge that will continue to help guide our clients in the materials selection process, from PVC to PU to Olefins and beyond.”