Design Changes for Reshoring Manufacturing
Reshoring a product is not as simple as giving the drawings to a new US contract manufacturer (CM). Here is a List of possible design issues to consider:
- Translation: Don’t just run the words through a Chinese translator — get an engineer experienced in the discipline to create new English words that will make sense to English-speaking technical people.
- Automation: It is very possible the design was constructed to take advantage of low-cost labor. In the US, the trick is to take advantage of automation. Your design may need to be modified to account for this difference, otherwise, the cost may be surprisingly high.
- Parts: If you’re building any reasonable quantity of product, it is likely you could benefit from reviewing the parts. Parts availability and cost are different in different regions.
- COGS Reduction: Since there will likely be design changes anyway, it makes sense to review cost reduction initiatives. Technology is constantly getting better and cheaper every year.
- Over-test: Reshoring is risky, and it is important to understand these risks and develop a plan to reduce risk. Of course, design change will require another DVT (Design Verification Test). In addition, plan to sample each production lot and conduct a DVT and HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) on a sample of units from each lot.