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5 ways to reduce cost

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Here are 5 quick ways to reduce cost (and increase profits) in your device:

  1. Reduce labor:

    1. Simplify assembly processes

    2. Introduce fixtures to speed up assembly

    3. Plan for assembly automation

    4. Design for snap catches instead of screws or adhesive

    5. Automated adhesive dispensing (when adhesive can’t be avoided)

    6. Common parts/screws to simplify decision making

    7. Poka-yoke.

    8. Design with assembly in mind (!) surprising, but this one gets skipped frequently

  2. Reduce materials cost

    1. Select lower-cost materials (tradeoff is quality)

    2. Design smaller parts (to reduce raw material cost)

    3. Consolidate parts

    4. Replace custom components with off-the-shelf components

    5. Reduce the weight of material

  3. Increase tooling/capital expense

    1. Multi-cavity tools drastically reduce part cost

    2. Batch processing reduces unit cost

    3. Add manufacturing processes in-house that are typically outsourced

    4. Add automation/robots. All the robots.

  4. Remove non-critical functionality

    1. Remove charging capability – design for user-replaceable battery

    2. Eliminate display; put display functionality on smartphone

    3. Remove buttons; put button functionality on smartphone

    4. Eliminate removable power cord, design integrated power cord.

    5. Is soft-touch finish required? Can painted soft-touch replace insert-mold?

    6. Can a color LCD be replaced by an e-ink display?

    7. Do you really need IP-67 waterproof rating?

  5. Reduce packaging costs

    1. Shrink packaging size

    2. Redesign for off-the-shelf packaging

    3. Simplify packaging design, change user experience

    4. Use lower-cost processes that match order volumes

Can you think of any that I missed?

I’m an expert in design of injection molded parts and complex mechanical devices. Do you need help? I’d love to help design/engineer your next project.

Make it an excellent week!


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