What goes into the design of our products?
9th April 2019
As the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U window, door, conservatory and roofline systems, we have an extensive range of products. If you’ve ever wondered how we go about designing and manufacturing the best products on the market, in line with industry needs, you’re in for a treat, as we’re about to explain.
The process begins with our expert team of designers and on-site technicians, who work together to generate the initial ideas for new products. Taking inspiration from customer feedback, exhibitions and Eurocell employees, ideas are tabled and discussed in detail by the team. We also host several consortiums throughout the year which include of housebuilders, fabricators, architects and installers which allows us to ascertain insight into up and coming trends and gaps in the market.
New product review
Once an idea has been formulated and agreed on, the potential product is presented at our monthly review with key stakeholders, who debate the suitability of the product. Within the project plan, the team detail what exactly the product is, its purpose, how it responds to market trends, the volume we want to produce, its market value and projected profit margin. Throughout the planning process, the project manager and selected members from our design, tech, finance, planning, marketing, sales, production and logistics teams meet regularly to discuss the latest updates and ensure everything is on track ahead and during the design process.
When all the planning is complete and the new product concept is signed off, our design team is tasked with finalising the look of the product. Using AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and BIM related software, the team may come up with three to four initial designs and we’ll agree on one final product design. We’ll then produce a prototype of the product with our in-house 3D printer. Making a model in our 3D printer allows us to test the new product, ensuring everything works as it should and complements our existing product range.
Once the design has been signed off, it’s time for our in-house tooling team to design the die and calibrator which allows us to actually manufacture the product. Sometimes we will outsource the manufacturing of the tooling required to manufacture the new product. An initial design for the tooling will be created which will then get signed off by our tooling team. The finished tooling will then be installed in our factory and be put through trials. The tool is trialled in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, allowing us to perform extensive quality control checks to ensure the tool will successfully produce the product we want.
With the design of the product and tool fully approved, we manufacture the product in full and test it at Eurocell to make sure it meets all of our standards. Our quality control team check against a range of criteria, including the colour of the product, gloss levels strength, exact size and durability, to extremes in temperature. The product must go through extensive internal and external BSI testing before being approved to be released to market.
Once this is all signed off, we’re good to go and we are able to begin full production of the product in our manufacturing facility before distributing it to our customers – job done!