The Difference Between Product Development and Engineering

Product development and engineering are two completely different concepts that are often confused with one another. In fact, sometimes even the most experienced people in the field find it difficult to differentiate between the processes. Therefore, before hiring anyone for designing your product, it is vital you first conceptualize the difference between the two. Otherwise, if you select the wrong company, chances are your money, time and effort all will go to waste. That’s why in today’s article, we will discuss the main differences between product development and engineering.

Product Engineering

Product engineering is an advanced field as compared to simple product development. It is usually defined as the process of developing a product that can be mass-produced and sold in the market. Not only does this sector take care of processes associated with performance and cost, but it also takes the reliability and validity of the product into consideration.

The activities that require engineering a product are usually related to issues of user features, reliability, serviceability, performance, quality, and cost. The field also comprises of several other features like conceptualizing, creating a sample product, determining its faults, and finally manufacturing the real product. This may include the designing, development, and also transitioning of a certain product.

Usually, product engineers are responsible for carrying out these processes. These professionals can be brought into the process early on to help with the definition of the requirements. However, the primary part of an engineer’s job begins when the product specification is approved for work. It is during this time that the engineer will implement all important points according to specification and report any problems in the spec back to the project manager for consideration.

Every product engineer utilizes a specific set of skills to complete the process mentioned above. These include strong analytic work methodology, strong problem solving skills, good knowledge regarding the product, specific technology, experience with CAD and simulation programs, and knowledge about the process of manufacturing, and statistical methods and tools.

Product Development

As the name implies, product development means developing new products, innovations, and services. It is also known as the ‘Stage-Gate’ process and includes assessing important data provided by project managers to determine potential problems in the development phase. Usually, large businesses and firms hire product developers.

This is mainly because developing a product means creating something a business intends to sell and generate revenue from. This process is a little less complex than product engineering and involves assessing the needs, wants, and requirements of consumers. Therefore, hiring a product development company can prove incredibly beneficial if you plan to create a new product.

Usually, product developers are responsible for carrying out these processes and they work alongside project managers in the conceptualizing phase to develop all the designs, drawings, and architecture of the products before converting them into real and sellable products. Product developers may require strong support from professional industrial designers. On the other hand, product engineers carry out each task on their own.

So, now that you are familiar with the differences between product development and engineering, choosing the perfect company to handle your product details won’t be a problem.

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