New Product Introduction (NPI)
New product introduction (NPI) is carried out using a stage/gate-process consisting of a flexible number of stages, defined according to the scope of the introduction project (development, industrialisation or both). This process is standardized over the entire ESCATEC group. For each NPI a project team is defined with a dedicated project leader and team members from all involved departments. For every project one or more industrial engineers are assigned. The industrial engineer coordinates all activities which are related to the production process itself. In multiple production cycles, the assemblies are brought from prototype to full production by optimizing processes, jigs, fixtures and, where needed, product design.
In order to minimize the required amount of production cycles, or “spins” for PCBAs, ESCATEC applies an automated virtual-assembly analysis of the board in question based on the Mentor Graphics vPlan toolset. By applying this analysis method early in the process, and particularly during the design phase of the project, it enables our engineers to identify and correct for a broad spectrum of potential production issues, without the need to make multiple costly and time-consuming pre-prototype and pre-production assembly runs. The findings of the vPlan analysis and all findings from actual prototype and pre-production runs are recorded and documented in a production report. For all findings, corrective actions are defined and implemented within the project team.