Electrical, Mechanical & Embedded Software

Product Development

Developing new products can be one of the riskiest, yet rewarding ventures a company takes. That is why it is critical that products should be developed using a structured product development process. RFA has developed its own New Product Development process which is aligned with the internationally recognized Stage-Gate™ Process and based on our 50 years of electrical & mechanical product development experience.  While this process is very common when developing modern machines, we recognize that these new machines require significant Embedded Software development which often follows the Agile Development Process rather than the Stage-Gate Process.

This is a cross-functional business process that manages risk & increases the probability of success of your product launch!

Select a Step in the Process to Learn More

  1. Program Scoping
    Gate 1
  2. Building the Business Case
    Gate 2
    • Test Beds
    • Prototype Builds
    • In-House Tests
    Gate 3
    • Customer Tests
    Testing & Validation
    Gate 4
  3. Product Launch
  1. Program Scoping
    Gate 1

    Stage 1: Program Scoping

    Major Goals

    The purpose of Stage 1 is to assess and define the framework of the program. This exercise is a low resource commitment activity which can be completed in a short amount of time. The primary goal is to assess if the program has value and is worth continuing.

    Gate 1 Deliverables

    The output of Gate 1 is the identification and assignment of personnel to develop a full business case. The next stage requires significant effort and resources, but will become the foundation for the new product program.

    UPON GATE APPROVAL: Advance the program with a cross functional team to develop a detailed business case.

  2. Building the Business Case
    Gate 2

    Stage 2: Building the Business Case

    Major Goals

    Stage 2 outlines the business case, and the corresponding gate review is the most important one of the program. Project definition, goals and timelines are established, and upon approval the program advances to development. This gate decision point is the most important in the program. The program will be continued, canceled, or possibly even recycled back to Stage 1 for redefinition.

    Gate 2 Deliverables

    The output of Gate 2 is a clear project scope and with detailed definition for the program.

    UPON GATE APPROVAL: Develop the product and processes. Build and test prototypes as planned.

  3. Development
    Gate 3

    Stage 3: Development

    Major Goals

    Stage 3 is focused on the actual development of the product and processes to support the production and sales of the product. The Development stage is execution of the engineering and design portion of the business plan developed in Stage 2. Typically, this is a resource intensive activity that can require a significant amount of time. Therefore, it requires intermediate check points throughout.

    Gate 3 Deliverables

    The output of Stage 3 is a complete product design that is released and ready for production. Prototype builds have occurred, and controlled testing of the product(s) is completed.

    UPON GATE APPROVAL: Order production tooling and long lead items for Pilot and Full Production.

    Advance to Pilot Production & customer testing

  4. Testing & Validation
    Gate 4

    Stage 4: Testing & Validation

    Major Goals

    Stage 4 is focused on the final validation of the product with select end users and determines the viability of the product. Negative results can result in minor product design changes during this stage, however if needed changes are major, the project could be recycled back to the development stage.

    Gate 4 Deliverables

    Testing and validation with the end user is complete and documented. Design issues have been resolved, revalidated, and approved. The product is ready for the public market.

    UPON GATE APPROVAL: Full production of the product begins, and the product is introduced to the intended market.

  5. Product Launch

    Stage 5: Product Launch

    Major Goals

    Stage 5 involves implementation of the Operations and Marketing plans.

    Post Launch Review

    It is highly recommended that a post launch review is conducted once information is available. At this time, the client is able to assess the product and program success against the original business plan. This is also a good time to document any lessons learned for use in future projects.

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