With the continued development of modern manfacturing techniques and businesses increasingly looking for flexibility in production, low-volume manufacturing has become much more popular in recent years. As a term it is hard to define specifically, but we can say low-volume manufacturing involves significantly lower numbers than full-scale production and uses more flexible techniques. At ProtoFab we specialize in this type of manufacturing and can make the process as simple and effective as possible.
There are at least 3 reasons why companies chose low-volume manufacturing. First of all, using low-volume manufacturing can cut down on a lot of the costs associated with full-scale production. Even up to around 100,000 units it can still be more economical to use low-volume manufacturing, depending on the materials used. For lower volumes, for example a few thousand, the cost benefit can be enormous.
Secondly, low-volume manufacturing is inherently more flexible. Tweaks can be made easily and adjustments can often be made reactively based in consumer feedback. With mass-production this kind of tweaking is usually out of the question and minor flaws are hard-baked into the entire run. Low-volume manufacturing is also much faster and can achieve extremely quick time to market, which is critical in some industries.
Finally, low-volume manufacturing can be used as a bridge to full-scale production. The initial run can be done low-volume to keep costs down and retain flexibility, and once the product has proven to be a success and any issues have been ironed out production can be switched to full-scale. All in all, low-volume manufacturing provides a multitude of benefits and is worth considering for a wide range of industries and product types. Feel free to contact us to learn more.