5 Steps in New Product Introduction Report
What should an new product introduction report look like? Whatever kind of product it may be – printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), box build assembly or electro-mechanical assemblies – the format is very similar and can be divided into 5 steps.
1. The Details
It’s best to start with a record of the basic details of the job. These should include:
The product name
Both yours and the EMS providers part numbers and revisions
A list of the drawings and any other information or data used
The RoHS status of the build
Any additional build or quality standards applied
The date of manufacture
Additionally a product overview, with some photos and a few words about the product, is often very helpful when reviewing the information supplied later in the report.
2. The Manufacturing Process
This should show a summary of how the product was built, including which processes it went through, what equipment was used, and details of any special tooling used. Often just an overview is sufficient, although sometimes a bit more detail – for example the oven profile for SMT boards – can be useful, particularly if it may be relevant to later observations or if the information may be useful in case of any problems found later.
A robust NPI process should have some kind of ‘traveller’ form filled in as the product goes through production, allowing all those involved with the build to add their ideas, comments or concerns. This should be summarised in the report to show the observations from each process step. The areas covered should at least include materials, the various assembly stages, test and inspection, and possibly packaging. The observations should be complete and honest, showing any assumptions made, processes that went wrong, documentation corrected and so on - as this might be relevant and very useful should issues be discovered later. A comment might also be made on the time taken; was it within the expectations of the original estimate?
To be continued...