Product Development Process
Each OEM begins with a single system. How it’s configured and the next steps you take will often determine your success. We find it helps to start with the end in mind…
By identifying yourself as a potential OEM during that first call, we can begin the journey together. Our experience and knowledge are here to guide you along the smoothest path possible to market. Along the way, you will see your Ocean Optics OEM team grow with your needs.
Our solutions are scalable because the spectrometers you use for prototyping are the same ones we manufacture daily in volume. Determining the optimal system to meet your performance and cost requirements is a discovery process we will undergo together, perhaps with several iterations of the system. Let’s take a look at that journey and how to make it successful…
This begins with off-the-shelf components, configured into a system with one of our application experts as your guide. Modular components and in-house applications expertise allow you to quickly assess the feasibility of an idea and gather data to build an analytical model.
Tips for new OEM’s:
- Most OEM customers use the USB2000+ or USB4000 for high performance-to-cost ratio in a compact footprint
- Always compare to a reference to minimize system-to-system variability
- Know your sample space – test a wide range of samples and under a variety of conditions
Once the measurement methodology has been developed, we can customize the spectrometer configuration, light source, and sampling optics to optimize system performance, including:
- Signal to noise
- Spectral response over the wavelength region of interest
- Mechanical footprint
- Power consumption
System integration with a focus on design for manufacturability is the theme at this stage. Customized integration of optics by our engineering team can boost signal by 2-10x, reduce system-to-system variability and lower system cost in volume.
Questions to ask your team:
- Is this design manufacturable enough to be scaled to volume?
- Does the design meet the size, cost, and power consumption goals?
- Have software & interface needs been addressed?
Understanding the range of performance of your optical system is essential before scaling to volume production. Build and characterize the performance of 5 – 10 systems to help ensure that your measurement methodology is robust, and conclude with a joint design for manufacturability review.
- Look for system to system variation in signal, sensitivity, and S:N
- Perform final design modifications to boost performance and/or reduce cost
- Define the range of acceptable system performance, if needed
Now that you have a viable product, freeze the design can begin system qualification. This may be as simple as sending units to your prospective customers for testing, or as complex as full-scale FDA approval.
Points to consider:
- Do not pre-sell prior to design freeze! Sales based on prototype performance sacrifice long-term revenue for short-term gain.
- All final test parameters must be defined and agreed upon
- Product packaging is a prerequisite to shipment
The design for manufacturability review performed after the prototype build has set the stage for a smooth transition to volume production. Close partnership and careful planning mean no surprises, scalable volume, and systems delivered on time, to you and your customers.
Our volume manufacturing credentials:
- We are ISO 9001:2008 qualified
- We use lean manufacturing to boost efficiency and speed time to ramp
- Our KanBan system keeps product on the shelf to be pulled as needed
- We have the capacity and flexibility to supply 10 or 10,000 spectrometers a year
A product’s journey never ends with volume production, and what happens afterwards is the true test of partnership. Let’s consider some possible scenarios:
Small changes in software or mechanics can sometimes have a big impact on product performance. When this happens, we respond quickly to help you troubleshoot and resolve problems.
Subcomponent end-of-life is rare, but not unheard of, particularly for electronics. We alert you to these issues proactively, and work with you to qualify and phase in suitable replacement parts without interruption of supply.
End of Life
When you need to obsolete a product, we will work with you as diligently to scale back production as we did to scale up. This includes careful documentation of build standards, storage of a gold standard, and establishing suitable repair stock.
Our OEM customers are the first to learn about new products in development that can improve their system’s performance. We believe in a shared roadmap where we support and enable each other’s success.