Some clients come to us with merely an idea. Others have come with fully defined product specifications and are in various stages of the product development process. Continental has the capabilities and resources to seamlessly engage, regardless of the stage and quickly move forward.
LED Product Feasibility Study
For early stage clients, our first step is to complete a Feasibility Study. This is part of Continental's unique accellerated product plan process AP³™. The Feasibility Study determines if the project is technically feasible and able to be manufactured at a price point acceptable to the marketplace. A Gantt Chart is developed for the Development phase of the project and an estimated Development Cost, including Prototyping and Testing is quoted.
To begin any project, the client is asked to fill in the first page of the Feasibility Study and submit it to the Continental Project Manager. Based upon this data and the complexity of your project, Continental will provide a quote to complete the Feasibility Study.
Why an LED Product Feasibility Study?
The Feasibility Study creates the roadmap for the project. It determines the complete product functional specifications, develops preliminary marketing and competition data and provides an estimation of the true development costs of the project. Armed with this data, the Client can make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with their project and the likelihood of success with the product in the marketplace.
What is my First Step?
Complete the first step of the Feasibility Study as best you can. Email this form to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like more help in completing this form, simply call us at 765-778-9999 and ask for an LED Project Engineer. This first step is a free service.
Step 2 - Product Overview
Continental can assist in completing the Project Overview Page, which captures the initial data and vision you have for the project. Also, it tells us how far along you are in the development process.
The Product Overview outlines the functional specifications for the product. This stage includes data gathering such as lab tests on competitive products. It includes understanding regulatory and certification issues, such as UL™ testing or Energy Star™ requirements. Special requirements for the product will be identified, such as waterproofing for outdoor environments.
Step 3 - Identifying Engineering Challenges
We have found that with any LED project, there are a few key Engineering Constraints and/or Challenges. For Example:
Continental developed a solar light for a marine buoy. The challenge here was to get a bright enough light with a relatively small surface to mount the photovoltaic (solar) cells. The secondary challenge was to make the electronics waterproof, while still having access to a battery chamber.
Another project involved getting high lumen output for a projector type product. The constraint on this project was to fit the LED’s and electronics into a relatively small space while managing the thermal output of the LED’s. The secondary constraint was to be able to produce a white, even light that was optically controlled.
As you can see, the constraints usually center around packaging, thermal (heat), optics and environmental as well as price. When working with Solar, the constraint is often the size of the solar panel and how this is incorporated into the fixture. Whatever the constraints and challenges are, it is important to fully identify them and ensure that they can be overcome before continuing with the project.
Deliverables - Project Feasibility Determined
- The Product Functional Specifications and performance criteria are fully identified. This includes any testing/certification required for the product.
- Key Engineering challenges and constraints are identified. The feasibility of overcoming these challenges and working within the constraints is determined.
- An estimated manufactured piece cost is determined based on projected volumes, which determines the feasibility of meeting price points to the user.
- The feasibility of surpassing existing products on the market is determined, which will give an understanding of the likely success of this product.
Step 4A - GO / NO GO Decision
Based upon the results of the above items, a GO/NO GO decision must be made by the client. If the project is feasible and the client wishes to proceed, the final step of the Feasibility is performed.
Step 5 - Deliverable: Product Development, Timing and Costs Determined
- Some preliminary engineering work may be done at this point, including a concept sketch, thermal modeling, determination of technology requirements and technical specifications of required components for the project.
- A detailed engineering resource plan and timeline is developed (Gantt Chart)
- Based on the Gantt Chart, a Product Development cost estimate is prepared and quoted.
- A preliminary recommendation of sourcing and manufacturing is prepared. This would include the sourcing of key components and an estimate of local or off-shore manufacturing costs.
Step 5A - GO / NO GO Decision
Based upon the timing and cost estimates, the client makes a determination whether or not to proceed with this project.
This completes the Feasibility Study. With a Go Decision, the next step is to start working on the Product Development as outlined in the Gantt Chart.