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Research & Development allows companies around the world to get ahead of their competition by implementing new technologies. These however require precise engineering to control the different aspects of a device, such as temperature and pressure.
Trying to innovate in this field can be a daunting task but a rewarding one as companies never seize to innovate. The research industry has been steadily growing for the past 15 years and is not planning on slowing down in the next decade.
This article will help you understand how you can build R&D devices.
R&D devices are equipment that is used to conduct research to improve or develop new processes and products. Typically, these machines are very technical and require specially trained personnel to operate. This is conducted by a research director, oftentimes the person who requested the machine and who has a particular interest in it.
R&D systems are often the first prototypes of a product, they either have very limited features to serve as proof of work or very complex features that allow scientists to optimize the different settings for a particular use case.
The first example of a very basic device presents the implementation of new technology, researchers are still understanding the principles at play behind their innovation and they’ve managed to create a very basic functioning device that is to be improved upon.
The second example is what you would find in already established technologies where scientists know a lot about an ongoing subject. Their aim is then to select what will work best and what they need to focus their efforts on.
The thing with R&D is you never know what researchers are going to find, as a fundamentally creative process, the direction can be guided but not imposed. Therefore, it seems quite risky to invest in something that has no guaranteed result.
In any case, even if the outcome is unknown and the process is long and costly, every established company should allocate a part of its budget to it.
Research and development have a few things going for it :
If your company is ever the first to innovate in a certain subject, you’ll gain an incredible advantage over your competitors. As customers look for new and exciting features, your product automatically stands out. This can lead to a word-to-mouth promotion of your ideas, you will be getting free advertisements as other companies and the world looks at what you’ve created. This effect can last as long as other companies catch up to you
You might think that what your R&D team has found is useless and that the money you’ve spent on it was in vain. This however is rarely the case as you can easily resell that discovery to other businesses in a different domain, companies that might be interested in using that tech and implementing it. You would also collect money from a potential patent you have.
Technology is used to make our lives easier, spreading up some processes and automating others. As your company innovates, your productivity will increase. R&D can also be conducted inside your organization to improve the workflow and make sure everything is running smoothly.
The money spent on R&D also isn’t wasted, most countries try to encourage research by offering tax reductions to companies that invest in R&D. Look up your local laws to check if you can benefit from it.
Some investors exclusively look for firms that invest heavily in R&D. They bet on them making a great discovery that could boost the business. As you invest in research, you might find a few investors along the road wanting some shares of your company.
As our civilization has grown, every wave of economic growth and the added benefits that come to the quality of life have come from a technological breakthrough. The steam engine, telecommunication, and the internet are the main ones. Every innovation is more or less relevant but some can lead to incredible economic growth.
As rival companies invest in R&D, your product might be left out if you don’t invest enough in R&D. This will keep your product relevant and up to date compared to rival products that bring innovations as well.
Let’s look at the different steps of the research and development process.
Your research process starts here, this is where you decide what you want to improve upon or what you want to achieve. As the research process is linked very closely to creativity, it's important to set a few guidelines and a general framework for the direction you want to pursue.
To foster new ideas, start by looking at the existing processes and how they work. Look at the different mechanisms and decompose them, how can you improve the different components, and what’s stopping you from making that improvement.
As you now have different methods, try and compare how they work and what use cases would they work best in. Does the efficiency of your solution depend on the temperature or the pressure? Is rain going to affect your solution?
As you examine your solutions you should find that one of your ideas is more appropriate than the others because it’s more sturdy or lighter. The point is it should have a distinguishing feature that makes you select a certain solution.
The hard part is now trying to implement your idea, find what materials you’ll pick and how your solution fits with the current existing solution.
In this section you should try and construct a working prototype, this constitutes proof of work. You can now improve and complexify this prototype to mold it into what will be your future product.
At this point you have a working product, check how you’re going to produce it, what regulations you have to put in place, how you’re going to market it, and its price.
Your product has reached its biggest test, the introduction to the market. The evaluation of your product still goes on at this stage, this might lead you to future design iterations.
The R&D process doesn’t tell you where it will end but this shouldn’t stop your organization from investing in research and development. The possible outcomes of a successful innovation far outweigh the costs of researching.