Prototyping

Proof-of-concept

Prototyping for high tech machine building

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Proof-of-concept is an important step in product or process development. The size of the step to realising production methods and machines is reduced by properly validating the concept or production method.

We often build a prototype for this. A prototype is often simpler than the end product because only certain crucial functionalities are present. The advantage of prototyping is that it is much faster than manufacturing a final solution. Due to the simplicity of the setup, improvements can be made quickly in subsequent versions of the prototype. This is also known as rapid prototyping.

What can we prove with a prototype?

  • Subfunctions of a machine or production line
  • Functionalities of a product
  • Manufacturability of a product
  • Production process
  • The entire machine or setup

Why is a Proof-of-Concept so important?

We made an overview of the benefits and options.

From prototyping to final solution

With larger, more complex prototypes or when expensive parts are used, we always look at for a sustainable deployment of the prototype. For example, we usually build follow-up versions and improvements onto the original prototype. It also regularly happens that the prototype and/or the components used are included in the final machine. This saves costs and development time.

Prototyping with System125

STT has developed its own rapid prototyping system, System125. With this modulair self-build system we can assemble setups exactly according to our ideas. This saves time and costs.

System125 enables technicians to build an (electro)mechanical system without extra steps. The System125 range of modules can be seamlessly combined with other pneumatic, electrical, mechanical and 3D printed parts. System125 constructions can always be adapted or expanded as desired.

Modules that are no longer needed over time are not lost, but can be dismantled and reused for a subsequent project. Ideal for R&D departments that want to prototype quickly, flexibly and sustainably.

 

From practice

Prototyping projects

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Cases

Prototype for micro assembly line

A manufacturer of wireless headsets was seeking for a new production line for a miniature electrical component.

The existing, larger product had a failure rate in the production process of 10-15%. This product was assembled entirely by hand. The expectation was that a smaller, more critical product would show a much higher failure rate. Continuing with the current production method was therefore not an option.

The team quickly came to the conclusion that the unstable factor of manual assembly had to be removed from the process in order to make the process manageable.

The team came to the conclusion that the six loose wires should be fixed in position as quickly as possible in the process. For this we have developed a prototype of a smart product carrier. This product carrier takes the product along ten stations where various operations ultimately ensure that a micro connector, a plug, is made.

The prototype proved that faultless assembly (soldering) of the wiring on the printed circuit board was possible, after which the project was continued.