Companies with streamlined product development capabilities gain improved competitive advantages with increased ability to predict time-to-market, and allocation of resources for rolling out the product at the right time and place.  Speed to Market product timelines contain four milestone periods: 1) generation of the product idea; 2) complete design cycle; 3) development; and, 4) market launch. Skilled execution of these four stages, coupled with closely managed supply chain resources, ensures that business plans are optimized, and investors’ expectations are fulfilled.

Effective supply chains demand alliances with partner organizations who can offer uniquely innovative products and services that quickly adapt to changing market trends and are responsive to open supply agreements. For example, capital equipment purchase decisions might be better justified by adopting innovative suppliers’ products that offer outstanding value propositions for both resource and flow efficiency work systems. Resource efficiency work groups consist of highly specialized individuals where work flows from one person to another, and progress occurs only when the successive individual completes their task. On the other hand, flow efficiency focuses on a whole team that specializes in a specific capability. This means that when one member is unavailable, the team can still work and meet scheduled deadlines. Most organizations, however, contain groups of both working models and these models can overlap, potentially, putting schedules at risk; for example, when R&D (resource efficient) and manufacturing (flow efficient) departments share laser micromachining tool resources. In this instance, an innovative solution is found in Clark-MXR, Inc.’s SolaFab-a desktop, femtosecond, laser micromachining workstation-the first of its kind. This streamlined, low-cost and easy-to-use tool is well-suited for the R&D lab room’s unique workflow needs-thereby allowing manufacturing to progress uninterrupted.

SolaFab Desktop Laser Micromachining Workstation
When capital machining equipment purchases don’t make sense, supply chains can rely on a resource-backed, experienced supplier for contract services arrangements to fulfill prototype to production volume requirements. In these cases, the supplier is an extension of the customer’s product management team, serving as the process development, prototyping and production resource until a production ready machine might be needed. Contract service agreements also provide opportunities where the supplier is positioned to recognize design enhancements and lower cost production opportunities through vertically integrated assembly considerations and/or more efficient manufacturing flow solutions. As an example, Clark-MXR, Inc., a manufacturer of femtosecond fiber lasers, depends on highly skilled artisans for precision assembly of micro-optical components. Moreover, these production skill sets are readily transferable to other very small assemblies requiring similar micro-component bonding, alignment, metrology, and packaging strategies.
Macromachined and Micromachined Components
This August’s Microscopy & Microanalysis 2019 Conference, in Portland, OR, August 4-8, will include Clark-MXR’s participation. Clark-MXR will highlight how its ultrafast laser products and manufacturing technologies meet their customers’ speed to market requirements. Attendee take-aways will include:
  • Solafab – Industry’s first desktop, femtosecond laser micromachining system
  • Micromachining Tutorial Session –design guidelines for micromanufacturing components and mechanical assemblies, suited for R&D, mechanical engineering and product management personnel
  • Made-to-order, quick turnaround, micromanufacturing contract services
  • Automated cleanroom inspection solutions: SEM, microscopes, software, best practices
  • Femtosecond fiber lasers for microscopy applications

Clark-MXR, Inc. Femtosecond Lasers and µManufacturing

“Where your imagination of the very small is realized”