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What is new product development?

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Product development is taking an idea through design and testing onto production and finally into the commercial market. It doesn’t just have to be just new product development (NPD), it can be the improvement and finetuning on an existing product or creating a new service – it’s about the product or service journey from start to finish. 

With ever-evolving markets and the continuous change in consumer habits and demands, it’s critically important that a business does not sit still. Companies and entrepreneurs need to continually innovate to ensure products and services don’t get left behind and overtaken by competitors. As cutting-edge companies constantly improve their products and services, it is often the case that competitors also evolve and shift towards the same path. 


The new product development process 

The new product development process is important as it provides the opportunity to create, test and amend any product or service before it goes to market.  

Having a strategy in place before you start is key, as the new product development process can be complex.  Planning and road-mapping will enable you to set out milestones, identify risks and plan your activity to ensure success within time and budget. Ensuring that you identify market share, competitors and consumer demand is also crucial, so consider your audience and the product’s purpose – who is it aimed at and why? 

There are seven simple steps that will help you to create your product development roadmap, these include:  

  1. Ideation  
  2. Refinement  
  3. Specification  
  4. Prototyping  
  5. Marketing  
  6. Launch  
  7. Improvement  

More information on the new product development process can be found here.  


Developing a product  

When creating a tangible product, determining what type of manufacturing processes is crucial.  Consideration of materials will be required as this will determine which technology is more suitable. For example, additive manufacture can be used to create prototypes in various materials, such as plastics and metals, depending on the complexity and function of your product.  

Prototyping can involve multiple part development, including different mechanisms, appearance, material properties, surface finish and/or quality.   

X-Ray Computerised Tomography can also be utilised through the NPD process enabling internal inspection of the prototype, allowing the opportunity to identify and correct any potential issues prior to final production. 


Product development with prototyping  

Developing a prototype as part of your new product development process can not only help when it comes to market testing and customer feedback, but also provides something tangible to present to potential investors and/or customers prior to launch. 

Innovate Orthopaedics worked with our in-house design team to produce the iterative CAD design and visualisation of its flagship product, a custom surgical instrument, producing prototype variations of the surgical instrument in both polymer (nylon) and surgical stainless steel (316L).  

Hannah Longbottom, director of Innovate Orthopaedics, said: “The advancement in technology, such as additive manufacturing, enabled us to turn prototypes around in quick time. With this technology we can create, amend and reprint. It’s also perfect for low volume production, as well as having the ability to print in plastic or metal, depending on our need.” 

Since its product launch in 2016, Innovate Orthopaedics now supplies its product to hospitals throughout the UK, as well as exports globally to countries such as New Zealand and Israel. 


Our product development facilities in Huddersfield are designed to support your new product development needs, including design, prototyping and verification capabilities. For a free consultation, call our technology team today.  

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