Venture backed prototype
Venture-Backed Prototype Build
Amfas International has diverse customers, ranging from well-established household brands to entrepreneurial startup companies. One customer, a startup in the beauty industry, came to Amfas for assistance with manufacturing parts for a proof-of-concept prototype. The startup’s engineering team needed a manufacturer who could provide a commitment to quality throughout the manufacturing and logistical process which would ensure the company would meet the venture capitalists’ strict timelines. Amfas provided an efficient partnership within its fields of expertise including product development, rapid manufacturing, and quality management.
How AMFAS Helped
The prototype contained a gantry that needed to be light weight but sturdy enough to support the prototype’s internal mechanism and maintain its structural integrity. Initially, Amfas suggested a folded, single-piece design to maximize manufacturing efficiency. After studying the product application further, Amfas designed a four-part aluminum frame with improved bearing mount locations. The four legs of the frame were laser cut and holes for bearings were precisely machined using low speed wire electrical discharge machining (LS-WEDM). The four legs were then welded together at precise 90-degree angles to create the complete frame. Because the frame needed to be square, the design engineers needed to ensure that each corner of the frame maintained its angle throughout machining.
Amfas also provided manufacturing input on a plastic cartridge within the prototype. The part needed to be constructed from a material that was moldable and acetone resistant due to the cartridge’s function. Amfas was able to select an appropriate polypropylene/polyoxymethylene material to meet both requirements, and Amfas was able to provide design input to make the part manufacturable. Amfas’ involvement in the design process allowed the startup to create a working prototype and proceed with the next design iteration.
Amfas initiated project management meetings to ensure that deadlines were met and that the project was completed in a timely manner. During these project meetings, the Amfas engineers were able to be an extension of the design team to determine any further areas of redesign, manufacturing suggestions, or quality concerns to increase efficiency. Amfas was also able to provide assembly for certain parts and provide virtual part inspections to shorten lead times and help the company meet investors’ deadlines.
Results and Future Plans
With Amfas’ help, the startup was able to provide proof of concept to the investors by the requested deadline and received additional funding for the next phase of the project. Amfas continues to work with the customer on the next phase, providing design input and manufacturing.