Through-engineering across the entire value chain is the third main characteristic of Industry 4.0, following Vertical Networking and Horizontal Integration. Through-engineering encompasses the idea that the focus in manufacturing shouldn’t just be on the production process, but also on the end product. Through-engineering focuses on the entire product life cycle, as an effortless process that happens during the production stages of new products and services. The development process becomes integrated with product life cycles, creating new collaborations between product development and the corresponding production systems.
Through-engineering is another component of Industry 4.0 that Saline Lectronics has embraced and implemented. Currently utilizing a Project Management system for each PCB assembly that we build. Ideally, we engage with a customer during New Product Development at the Prototype Stage.
With a new product launch, the Saline Lectronics team follows a New Product Introduction (NPI) Process. The NPI process allows Saline Lectronics to maximize opportunities for product enhancements during production manufacturability, and to decrease the “time to market” for customers. Our Engineering Team performs this process in a Design for Manufacturability Report (DFM/DFA). These reports can open up costs savings, as well as provide a better finished product for our customers. The suggestions in the report may include replacing an obsolete and/or troublesome component with a better alternative or moving a component’s location to guarantee a better connection.
For products already in production, but which are being manufactured for the first time by our team, Saline Lectronics follows a Product Realization Process (PRP) to assist in the management of all the different requirements for assembling said product. The PRP process provides real-time information about any issues or concerns related to the manufacturing of the end product, Saline’s recommendations to improve those concerns, and an exact timeline for final product delivery.
Saline Lectronics’ “Lean Initiative” also contributes to through-engineering of the value chain. This initiative emphasizes synching all players required in the assembly of a final product. The program requires linking all of Saline’s internal suppliers directly with any external suppliers in order to foster open communication and collaboration. This approach creates accountability for all parties involved throughout the entire production lifecycle. Also, through constant communication and information sharing, everyone can be proactive and at the forefront of any client changes or new requirements.