The Home Depot checkout “POD” looks uncomplicated but represents one of our most complex programs and partnerships to date. From design brief to a 1000 square foot working prototype build in 8 weeks, the first sales phase of this project was a huge challenge for our designers and engineers as well as for our client.
Design and Rapid Prototyping Driving Sales:
The success of this program getting off the ground hinged on delivering a working prototype build that could hold over 1500 lbs of merchandise for a sales meeting that was already scheduled. Rute is often asked to develop solutions for accelerated timelines such as these and our product development process is flexible enough to accommodate.
To achieve this accelerated timeline, Rute quickly evaluated our client’s manufacturing capabilities and existing product catalog to understand their in-house manufacturing capabilities. This design for manufacture process specific to our client was the only way we could achieve the accelerated timeline because their manufacturing facility was the only option for turning the parts needed.
The Right Solutions for the Right Time
The solution for this first prototype build became a combination of quick turn parts that required no tooling blended with existing or modified tooled parts that could not be produced or prototyped in time. Rute identified a few long lead time tooled parts that could be modified in our model shop for foundational elements. Shorter lead time items that require no tooling were designed on the fly.
A complete CAD data set and 2D drawing package were produced to quickly move the initial design through prototyping. In this case, prototyping was really a short run production effort because these prototypes needed to perform like production in order to sell the program.