The Hexopater (TM), from birth to market: innovative product development challenges

Product innovation in a compressed time frame puts enormous pressure on a firm to effectively and efficiently manage limited budget, time and allocation of material and human resources. The study reported relates to an innovative new product development and the associated challenges faced by an entrepreneurial business operation. Olde Manse, a company located in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, received a contract to develop, produce and deliver an innovative product called the Hexopater TM . Along the route of development through delivery: critical business drivers were recognized; benefits of Group Technology were realized; the concept of Lean Thinking including the 5 "S"s (Sort, Shine, Set in order, Standardize, and Sustain) was examined and utilized; and finally the Hexopater TM was delivered to the customer on time. Special emphasis was placed on: designing a product to reduce the impact on the environment; designing to eliminate manufacturing defects; and writing specifications, even if they were only best guesses at the time, to help to avoid misunderstandings later. This innovative product development exercise emphasized that Lean Thinking may be effective because of employee involvement and management attention, and was not anything magical.

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Keywords:

Design information, Design management, Engineering design, Group technology, Lean thinking, Product design, Product innovation, Product innovation

Additional information:

Language(s):English
AuthorsKumar, Sameer (University of St. Thomas, USA), Addie, Helen L.S. (University of St. Thomas, USA)
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Keywords:Design information, Design management, Engineering design, Group technology, Lean thinking, Product design, Product innovation, Product innovation
Last update:2006