The Product Development Cycle of the Smart Faucet: Test, Optimize, and Test Some More
Friday, July 6, 2018
Elephant in the room - It has been hot in Philadelphia, as well as most of the country. Whether you spent this holiday week in town or at a beach, I am sure at some point a glass of water became a major relief. For those who worked out of Pennovation this week, they got to experience the Smart Faucet in it’s real life application.
The Smart Faucet has undergone numerous user trials, testing, and modifications to ensure our customers will receive the best experience when using the product. With the advances in 3D printing technologies, we have had the advantage to work with our physical models at low costs and quick turn around, providing us a fantastic proof of concept aesthetically and functionally.
Our Lean Product Development model is highlighted in four main categories; Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust. Every idea that the team discusses begins with the development of a plan of action, diving into what we want to accomplish and the necessary steps that need to be taken to achieve it. The next step, “Do”, takes our ideas and and brings them into concept form - whether it’s physical models or mathematical analysis to prove our theories with our own models. In the “Check” phase of Product Development, the Engineering Team diligently works with our model concepts and prototypes, monitoring performance and key indicators to determine if our concept is on the right track. The last stage, “Adjust”, is not always necessarily the final stage. In this stage, we look at results, and determine if the results are consistent with our theories or if there are any other new conclusions we can develop from the experiments. The “Adjust” stage then begins to blend back into another “Plan” stage, where the results are evaluated and modifications can be discussed to be carried out in future experiments. This is a continuous cycle, and can run as long as needed until the concepts are proven with consistent results.
The user trials at Pennovation are the latest in the “Check” stage of the Smart Faucet development, and the feedback provided to us by members becomes more and more crucial as we prepare to bring the product to manufacturing.