
ABOUT PROOFOFCONCEPT DEVELOPMENTBackgroundMuch of the work and effort I have been involved with is proofofconcept development. Many times it is not known whether a product concept will work or is practical, and it is difficult to gain confidence in the theoretical projections of feasibility. In these cases it is essential to rapidly develop a proofofconcept model that can perform the desired function in the real world environment. This must be done in a competent and repeatable manner. A rugged field testable breadboard allows project concepts to be evaluated and provedin in a real world environment. Sometimes, in the process of this type of development, it is learned that the original concept is flawed and will not work as conceived. However, as a result of pursuing the development, new ideas surface that result in feasibility of the project. If the original concept cannot be salvaged, that in itself is very valuable information, and the sooner and most cost effectively that can be determined, the better it is for all concerned. ProofofConcept vs. DesignforManufacture DevelopmentA designformanufacture model is built from a design intended for manufacture of the product. A proofofconcept model is built to demonstrate and provein the features of the product in a rapid, economical and rugged manner. Why are ProofofConcept Models Important?In most companies, the design of a product for manufacture involves many people with diverse skills and talents. The challenge is to manage those skills effectively such that a manufacturable and profitable product results in a reasonable and predictable time. This sort of effort is much more manageable if the major unknowns have been determined. Then, clear objectives can be defined with a reasonable expectation that they will be met. A factor that has been termed "creeping featurism" interferes setting those clear objectives. In other words, the definition of the product is being constantly revised as the product is being developed. A proofofconcept model gives marketing something to work with and shape before the designformanufacture phase begins. I firmly believe, that for most products, skipping the proofofconcept model is costly and results in a product less suited for the marketplace, even given tight timetomarket requirements. The problem is that most large organizations are ill equipped to do proofofconcept work. The disciplines necessary for good proofofconcept development conflict with the set of disciplines necessary for good designformanufacture development. In many cases 80% of the proofofconcept model are directly translatable to the designformanufacture model. Are ProofofConcept Models cost effective?Unfortunately, many times it is successfully argued that the two operations be combined. Why waste money with a proofofconcept model when what is wanted is a designformanufacture model as soon as possible? This is a good question. When the product and the technology are well defined, a proofofconcept model may well be a waste of money. However, if you are expanding technology in your product line and pushing the frontier, a proofofconcept model is very cost effective. In a designformanufacture model, the designer is constrained in many ways, and each decision must be thought through thoroughly to assure a manufacturable and cost effective design. This is essential to designformanufacture and precisely contrary to an effective proofofconcept design. The proofofconcept model allows the opportunity to explore new technologies that would be foolhardy for the designformanufacture model. Also, there is a different mindset for the proofofconcept developer and the designformanufacture developer. It is hoped that the designformanufacture developer will be conservative, orderly, and will pay close attention to detail. With the proofofconcept developer, the focus will be on function, timeliness, and verification. The proofofconcept model doesn't have to be perfect or manufacturable, it has to prove the concept in the minimum amount of time. Most of the time, the proofofconcept model can be readily translated into a designformanufacture model with a minimum of effort and usually with significant improvements as a result of the experience gained.
TELI is skilled at proofofconcept model development. TELI has the skills, the tools, and the mindset to effectively produce proofofconcept models. 