Off-The-Shelf vs. Custom Automation Solutions
Depending on a company’s product design, they’ll have different manufacturing needs. In some cases, all the materials, equipment, and processes are already in place so your product will have a speedy transition to the market. This scenario would call for off-the-shelf factory equipment.
In other cases, your project may require more involved engineering and manufacturing to take it to the market. In this case, your product may be in need of custom factory equipment manufacturing solutions.
Off-the-shelf and custom factory equipment are on opposite sides of the manufacturing spectrum, varying drastically in the level of engineering and manufacturing needed. Here we’ll compare the two equipment solutions to help you decide what’s best for your project:
Off-the-shelf equipment solutions are used for products manufactured with solutions currently available on the market. Products manufacturing with OTS equipment does not require any custom equipment or customization in the manufacturing process.
Engineering & Design Requirements
When utilizing OTS equipment, there is no need for any engineering or design services. OTS equipment requires the design be 100% complete, proven, and ready to be sent to the manufacturer.
OTS equipment also means that no manufacturing customization is involved. No custom equipment will be required for this manufacturing process. The equipment has already been in production with well-understood costs and delivery times.
When discussing pricing, OTS solutions are predominantly the most cost-efficient option. Before diving into full-custom manufacturing, asses your project’s needs and determine if there are readily available, off-the-shelf solutions on the market that can save you significant time and money.
OTS solutions are widely known to carry the lowest risk. This equipment solution calls for investing the least amount of money due to the availability of ready-made solutions so there is low risk that you’ll lose any funds on this investment.
Full Custom Equipment
Whereas off-the-shelf factory equipment requires no engineering or manufacturing services, custom factory equipment is the opposite. Custom equipment means that all manufacturing systems are customized and developed from the ground up.
Full custom equipment solutions are used when the current market does not offer any equipment solutions that would fit your product. This solution is often used for emerging technologies and extremely unique, advanced products.
Engineering & Design Requirements
Custom equipment is engineered and designed specifically for your project, therefore, requiring intensive engineering and design. No equipment solution currently exists to develop your current product so product design and build companies, like Owens Design, create personalized equipment solutions specifically for this purpose.
With full custom equipment, all solutions will need to be built and manufactured from scratch. The manufacturing process will be custom-tailored to this specific project’s requirements. Full custom manufacturing equipment solutions require extremely in-depth manufacturing solutions.
As with any industry, as customization requirements increase so do costs. Therefore, full custom equipment is far more costly than off the shelf equipment. In addition to these already high costs, custom equipment requires low volume custom materials, further driving up cost and delivery times.
When deciding upon what factory equipment is best suited for your project, be sure to research if you can use or adapt existing solutions before committing to an expensive full custom equipment project.
Although full custom equipment may be the most expensive in terms of upfront costs, it may offer the most significant savings in the long run. By investing in quality equipment solutions, you’re guaranteed a high-quality product and reduce the need for revisions and updates in the long run.
Full custom solutions carry a somewhat higher risk since you’re dealing with unproven solutions. The manufacturing process being developed is the first of its kind.
If you choose a high-quality custom equipment manufacturer, such as Owens Design, this risk can be managed by a phased program management process, the expertise of an engineering team, and well-defined commercial goals.
When deciding between OTS equipment and full custom equipment solutions be sure to keep all these factors in mind. Asses your needs and decide on the solution that fits your project precisely. For more advice on what manufacturing solution is fit for you, reach out to Owens Design today!