At PGC, we are focused on providing custom solutions for our customers. When a customer or prospect comes to us with an engineering need, we work through our 4D process with them.
The 4 Ds stand for Discover, Diagnose, Develop and Deliver. It’s a process we follow to ensure we know exactly what our customer wants and needs. Our goal is to assist the customer in getting their products to market faster, therefore, having a solid understanding of what they are searching for helps us provide the best solution possible, as quickly as possible.
Typically, our Application Engineers are the customer’s first point of contact. They work in tandem with our customers’ engineers to understand their needs and ensure the manufacturing process will meet the timelines required. Initially, they will ask some basic questions to help us understand the form, fit, and function of the part. A drawing of the part, or assembly the part will go into, provides a great starting point for this discussion.
If drawings aren’t available or the solution isn’t immediately evident, that is when we dive into the Discover & Diagnose phases. Here, our engineers work with the customer to answer specific questions about their problem. We will work with them to identify and define the performance requirements of a successful solution including, how the part is used in the assembly, the environment the part will be in, chemical resistance requirements, what materials are involved, desired service life, estimated annual usage, how it will be packaged, and more.
Once we have collected the information on the requirements and specifications of the application, it is time to move into the Develop stage. During this stage we work to balance a way to find the best way to manufacture the part that will provide the highest material yield and allow us to meet the timeline requirements of the customer. We also pay careful consideration to how the item will be packaged and ultimately assembled as there are ways we can provide added value to the customers manufacturing team. At this point we are prepared to provide prototypes to the customer for testing.
After prototype testing is complete, one of two things happen: we can modify the application based on feedback from the customer or if all testing comes back positive, the customer will issue a purchase order. At this point we move into the final stage; Deliver. The part will be manufactured and delivered to our customer based on their delivery and shipping requirements.
The average timeframe to take a project through the 4D process is anywhere from four to eight weeks. Of course, there are instances when that time frame is compressed due to the nature of the application and the customer’s needs. Other times the time frame is drawn out over months or years, it is dependent on the complexity of problem, the materials or manufacturability of the application and the customers demands.
Our goal is always to work with our customers to Discover, Diagnose, Develop and Deliver exactly what is needed in the most economical manner.
Contact us today to get in touch with one of our application engineers and start the 4D process for your next project.