Manufacturing in its infancy requires a trained artisan to make the products one by one. However, this all changed when there is an increased demand for cheaper products faster. This created factories for mass production. Millions of products were made out of a single design.
However, if you need to produce by the tens or hundreds, there is low-volume manufacturing. As product and design continue to evolve, technology like CNC machining and 3D printing answer the market demand for faster production. It also answers the demand for customization from the customer.
Benefits of Low Volume Manufacturing
There are reservations about low volume manufacturing but producing less is also beneficial to any company. Here are some of the benefits of low volume manufacturing.
– Low-Volume Manufacturing Can Save Money
Buying in bulk does not always save you money. In manufacturing, the cost of the item depends on the materials used in production. Some materials used in manufacturing needs to be subjected to rigorous steps before using. If you used a substitute material that can give the same output, you are actually saving your company from heavy investments and save money. You do not have to make more than 100,000 pieces to cover the investment. Lastly, your products can be made without demanding for minimum order, another cost savings for your company.
– Low-Volume Manufacturing Can Give Companies Flexibility
New technologies like 3D printing and low volume manufacturing give design flexibility unmatched by mass manufacturing. Customer feedback on the earlier products can influence the modification of a product. Manufacturing companies can study the features that are popular with the consumer and enhance them to customer’s satisfaction.
This can also contribute further to cost savings as products can have a faster turnover and no inventories will be left untouched.
– Low-volume Manufacturing Facilitates Faster Time to Market
Competition is very stiff and every minute counts for companies when launching a new product. You must be the first to introduce a new product. There is pressure on the designers but more so in the supply chain. However, if the lead times will be shorter, it will allow the product to be put on display faster than the old manufacturing methods.
Companies can launch on-trend products before anyone else. They can release short-lived fads because products are on the limited quantity that will be depleted before the fad fade away. Products like mobile phone cases are a classic example. You do not need to produce a hundred thousand of MCU superheroes designed instances when the movie hype will only last for a month or so. Limited edition products are benefiting from low-volume production.
– Low-volume Manufacturing Provides Option for Bridge Production.
This only means that low-volume manufacturing can augment the gap between prototyping and full production. Companies use this method to get the products to the market faster which will not be possible if it considering mass production to launch their ideas. This will also provide the company opportunity to improve their products and gaining cost savings in the process.
The technology that low-volume manufacturing is enjoying now will continue to evolve, and the companies will continue to reap its benefits.