Creating a Manufacturing Plan for New Product


Quick Summary
Manufacturing Plan with early insight and tracking in mind. Allows Operations and Manufacturing to do adequate preparation for people, capital, facilities and other resources while giving visibility to early back and forth tradeoffs with Development.


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What this is

Process and checklists for creating a Manufacturing Plan for a new product at appropriate points in the new product development timeline. Includes checklist for the earliest draft as well as the final plan.


Why it's useful

Manufacturing planning gives the Operations or Manufacturing organization an early view into what will be required — people, capital, facilities, etc. — to begin and ramp up manufacturing of a new product. Some planning must be done early enough to allow for aspects such as lead times on new equipment required and development time for new testing approaches. As the Operations personnel think through later manufacturing work for this product, they will also come up with questions and inputs for the development team that can be critical to the product's manufacturability. Outputs of manufacturing planning may also have a significant impact on budget and resource requirements.


How to use it

  • Use the outline to develop a manufacturing plan.

  • Create the first draft of the plan during the development phase, once enough functional specifications have been written on the product for Operations to develop an initial strategy for manufacturing the product.

  • Bring questions that arise from drafting the plan to team meetings and pertinent design reviews.

  • Update the plan after the alpha build of equipment occurs and prior to the beta build. Beta build is typically when higher quantity of prototype product must be created to be used in beta tests at customers, and Operations is moving toward a more normal build cycle. The Manufacturing Plan should have all contents in place in at least draft form in time for planning for the beta build.

  • A final update to the plan may occur before the pilot build -- the first build that is mandated to use the final designed production processes, equipment, etc. Pilot build is intended to test out the manufacturing process, use of standard equipment, etc.

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