Optics manufacturing & prototyping

How to reduce lead time for optics?

By 25 September 2020 No Comments
reduce lead time for optics

One of the factors that hinder time to market is the time it takes to prototype and manufactures optics. Optics are known to have long lead times. What can be done about this?

Let’s discuss how you can reduce lead time for optics manufacturing.

What is lead time?

The time it takes to process an order and to receive your shipment of the products is known as lead time.

Why is reducing lead times important?

Reducing lead time almost always results in the question: “How can we remove unnecessary tasks, waste, and steps in the required process?”

Reducing lead times by eliminating waiting times and waste will almost always also result in a more streamlined and manageable process. As such, shorter lead times tend to result in increased delivery accuracy.

Shorten lead times by process optimization

If you want to reduce lead times you should take three key processes into consideration. The order to the delivery process, material flow, and product development.

  • Order to delivery process: This process starts as soon as a customer places an order until the point when the product is delivered to the customer. When you speed up this process it is seen as a speedy delivery in the customer’s eyes.
  • Material flow: Speed in material flow has many benefits, like faster delivery times to the customer, faster reaction to changes in demand, and faster noticing of quality mistakes and other problems.
  • Product development: This includes the entire process of bringing a new product to the market. If you can speed up this process you can outpace your competitors and reach more customers. If your company has a faster product development cycle you could even start development later than your competition, and still, catch up and beat their time to market.

Benefits of shorter lead times

If you can reduce lead times this will have many benefits, like reduced carrying costs, enhanced productivity, and more streamlined operations.
Advantages of shorter lead times include:

  • Outpace your competitors,
  • Enabling a more flexible approach during shifts in the market,
  • Quicker product manufacturing to avoid stock-outs and lost customers,
  • Meeting deadlines more easily,
  • Increased order fulfillment, resulting in increased cash flow

Reduce lead time for optics manufacturing

Some of the factors that will help or hinder lead times are the choice of materials, method of fabrication, and method of testing. These factors will have an impact on any manufacturing process, but they present some unique challenges for the fabrication of optics.

For instance, the chosen method of fabrication will largely impact the time it will take for your optics to be manufactured. There are various methods of fabrication available, from CNC machining to diamond turning and injection molding. Each method has it’s up- and downsides

Switching from modified stock optics to custom optics

For many years your business may have relied on modifying stock optics. This might seem like one of the fastest ways to get your product to market. However, there is an even better solution.

At Addoptics we specialize in prototyping and batch production of custom optics. Our unique approach has several benefits:

  • Shorter time to market,
  • Cost-effective proof of concept,
  • More design freedom,
  • Enabling an iterative design process.

With our technology, optical prototyping becomes cost-effective and fast. Optics prototyping and manufacturing will take weeks with conventional manufacturing methods. With our unique approach, it will only cost a couple of days. We do not modify stock optics, we create a truly unique product from scratch. With our technology, you can have custom polymer optics within days.

Reduce lead times? Give us a call!

We offer a flexible manufacturing service for prototyping and series production of custom polymer optics. We provide industry material optics within a matter of days. Our innovative approach enables us to manufacture optics in a cost effective way, which is also closer to achieving environmental sustainability in this field.

Do you want to get ahead of your competitors? Are you in a hurry to finish your optical product? Reach out to discuss how we can speed up the time to market.

Discover our service for yourself. Have your optics within days instead of weeks, without sacrificing on product quality.

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