Why is it important to involve your cable supplier early in the development of your new product or equipment? At DeRegt we often see customers who have succeeded in developing a great system, but who simply forget to think of the cables involved, or underestimate the complexity of them.
You can have two fantastic pieces of equipment, but if you don’t have the right cable to connect them, they are likely to be worthless. Involving your cable supplier at an early stage of the project offers three key benefits:
Advantage 1. Time
Depending on the complexity of the cable and the termination, the time to develop a cable and then getting it ready to be manufactured can vary from several months to over a year. It is important to realise the impacts of your requirements (mainly on the development time of the cable and the overall project planning) at an early stage. We’ve seen cases where people assumed that they would be able to obtain a complex cable in x number of weeks, only to discover at a later stage that they actually need two or three times that. This can seriously increase the time it takes to make your product commercially available or even force a delay to the execution of a job.
Advantage 2. Optimisations
The cable can have a major impact on the entire system. For example the diameter of the cable has a serious impact on the size of the winching system. Overestimating the diameter of the cable diameter could mean you end up with a winch that is bigger than what you actually need, taking up a great deal of valuable space on the vessel which then can’t be used for other equipments/activities. Moreover, underestimating the diameter of the cable could lead to a situation where only a shorter cable than initially planned can be installed. This might cause limitations to the operational capabilities of the system or product.
Another matter to consider would be the selection of materials. Selecting the correct materials will not only save costs but also lead to an improved manufacturability of the product, a more efficient production process and a more efficient product. Furthermore, improved manufacturability and a more efficient production process result in a shorter lead time and an accelerated launch into the market.
Other design optimisation examples include: power requirements, data requirements, mechanical characteristics and the interface of the termination. Identifying possibilities for optimisation at an early stage allows you to develop a better solution and reduce development time and cost.
Advantage 3. Cost
If you involve your cable supplier at a later stage in the project, critical concept choices will already have been made. This may well mean you miss out on the opportunity of reducing the overall costs of the cable. This is a shame; since you could significantly reduce costs simply by utilising the knowledge and expertise of your cable supplier during your new product development. Involvement during the concept phase enables the supplier to advise on materials with the best price & performance characteristics and to optimise the most efficient production method.
A win for all parties
These three advantages are highly intertwined with each other. A knowledgeable supplier will understand how those advantages can come together and help you identify risks and above all help you develop a better product.
To sum up, early supplier involvement allows you to:
- identify the project risks at an earlier stage,
- discover cost saving possibilities,
- improve the product manufacturability,
- decrease the lead time.
We would be thrilled to have a chat and find out how we can help you to make your next project an even bigger success.