Manufacturing is starting to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As production floors begin to slowly open back up, returning to work safely and efficiently is of the utmost importance. However, many manufacturers are facing backorders and production gaps from disrupted supply chains caused by global slow downs and closures.
While we all work towards returning to normal, getting back on track by handling backorders and rebuilding supply chains will be a priority. A rapid prototyper can help your business get back on track by assisting with agile, creative, and responsive design and production services. Whether it’s a new prototype or machining from billet materials for mid-volume production, the mindset of rapid prototyping with an experienced provider can help with backorders and fill gaps.
Keep reading to see how the mindset of rapid prototyping is different and how exactly it can help your business restart production.
The Mindset of Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping is the process of quickly generating a scale model of a physical part using three-dimensional computer aided data (CAD) to inform design specifications. In order to achieve accuracy with speed, rapid prototyping has adopted an agile mindset.
Agile methodology is a practice common in software development that utilizes collaboration and cross-functionality between the development team and the end user of the client. Many industries are adopting agile practices to increase productivity as well as foster creativity. Agile practices often involve short sprints of development to create a full draft of the project instead of focusing on perfecting one aspect at a time. This allows the team and the client to recognize issues and opportunities on a whole instead of waiting for each piece to come together.
Using an agile mindset, rapid prototyping is more creative and responsive. By focusing on the whole instead of individual, disconnected aspects, there’s room for continual improvement and flexibility in response to change. Problems and opportunities can be recognized early in the process instead of after complete, detailed pieces have come together. In essence, the agile mindset saves time and produces smarter, better parts.
One key piece of agile development is communication. In order to work, agile development needs clear communication between the team and the client. An experienced rapid prototyper will provide you with consistent communications and project updates to make sure you get a great prototype on time.
Value of Rapid Prototyping to the US Economy
One of the greatest problems we’ve observed in manufacturing during this global pandemic is the disruption, or rather various interruptions, in the supply chain. As the COVID-19 virus spread around the globe, different countries have had their economies and operations slowed or shut down at different times. Additionally, reopening is happening on different scales with different timelines. This has left many companies with backorders and gaps in production.
Many North American manufacturers are considering reshoring parts of their supply chain. Reshoring will help manufacturers to regain control over their supply chains and ultimately, production. With time already lost to the global crisis, the rapid prototyping mindset is essential to helping manufacturers reshore and restore their business.
Additionally, a single-source provider like PCMI is experienced in project management and is a single point of contact for your project. You don’t have to worry about coordinating projects with multiple companies; we’ll handle the parts process and you can focus on attending to your business.
The PCMI Process
PCMI is a leading U.S.-based parts manufacturer with 48 years of experience. We offer enhanced prototyping and mid-volume parts production for automotive, aerospace, defense, energy, electronics, and general manufacturing. We’re experts in machining and casting with an average lead time of five weeks.
At PCMI, our in-house design engineers spend up to four days reviewing and analyzing material flow simulation data before beginning any project, and they develop a thorough quality assessment plan to ensure your standards are met. With this vital information, we machine fully functioning parts from billet metals using 5-axis CNC machines. All of our projects also go through a metallurgy lab to ensure your specifications are met. The result is a complete prototype in no more than five weeks.
We have the ability to work with iron and stainless steel as well as zinc, magnesium and aluminum alloys, and carbon fiber. Our proprietary carbon fiber casting process allows us to mold near net shape, three-dimensional structural components without time-consuming curing and post-curing processes, which saves time and expense.
We’re ready to be back to work, and we’re taking all the necessary precautions to implement social distancing best practices and keep our employees safe while we work on your project.
Ready to get started? Click the link below to submit an RFQ, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.