Choosing the right solvent for extracting from plant material is essential if you want to obtain the full benefits and who knows this better than the herbal extracts manufacturers. If the herbal extract has to be used orally for medicine formulations then the solvent will be different than the one used for isolating secondary plant compounds. Normally, in the first case vinegar, alcohol and vegetable glycerine are made use of while extracting the herbal compounds and in most cases, alcohol is the popularly chosen medium. It is highly effective in the breakdown of tough herbs such as berries and barks and helps in extraction of waxes, fats, resins, few volatile oils and many alkaloids from herbs.

Food-grade vegetable glycerine is another solvent type that helps in the extraction of some alkaloids, tannins, acids and few minerals from plant material. Herbal extracts prepared using vinegar are called as herbal vinegars. However, secondary plant compounds are extracted by means of solvents other than those used above. Pure acetone, ethanol at a rather upper boiling point, methanol at a rather lower boiling point or water/acetone mixtures is normally used in these cases. For extraction of lipophilic compounds, solvents such as chloroform or petrol are resorted to.

In the paint industry, solvents play an important role in dispersing or dissolving the resin or pigments for paint formulations. It enables the paint to arrive at the required consistency so that it can be applied smoothly and evenly. Evaporation of the solvent takes place after application of the paint enabling the pigment and the resin to develop a coat of paint that dries rapidly. Solvent based paints are a preferred choice due to the performance advantages provided by them and account for a large percentage of industrial applications.

Superior finishing and flexibility of use are the two major benefits offered by them and in some applications as in case of architectural coatings it is the best option due to high performance requirements. There are different solvents used in industrial applications depending upon the purposes. Mineral spirits, VM&P naphtha, denatured ethyl alcohol, lacquer thinner, toluene, xylene are just to name a few of them. However, the solvents in the paint industry are regulated by governments due to environmental concerns. But with advancements in science and technology, modern hydrocarbon and oxygenated solvents help to economically address environmental issues besides offering durability and high product performance.

As far as reactive dyes are concerned they form an important ingredient for the textile industry. With regard to textile processing, there are three types of solvents that are being used; namely Tri-chloro Ethylene, Methyl Chloroform and Per-chloro Ethylen. Among the three, however, tri-chloroethylene is most suited. Though several advantages are obtained by solvent dyeing reactive dye manufacturers however, attribute high production costs to solvent dyeing in textile processing.

Phase 0: Feasibility Analysis

The goal of this phase is to identify existing technology to achieve the intended high-level function. If technology can be purchased as opposed to developed, the scope of subsequent development phases changes.

Simply put, product development companies research and assess the probability that the current technology can be used to reach the intended functionality of the product. By doing this, the development efforts are reduced, which in financial terms represent a great reduction in development costs.

Moreover, if the technology is not yet available, then the assessment can result in longer development cycles and the focus moves into creating the new technology (if humanly possible) that can accomplish the functionality of the product.

This is an important part of the in any product development process because it is safer and financially responsible to understand the constraints that a product can have prior to starting a full development cycle. A feasibility study can cost between 7 -15 thousand dollars. It might be sound very expensive for some, but when it is much better than investing $100k+ to end up with a product that no manufacturer is able to produce.

Phase 1: Specification or PRD (Product Requirements Document) development

If your product is feasible, congratulations! you are a step closer to creating your product and you can move into documenting what is going to go into the product itself, aka the guts (product objective, core components, intended end-user, aesthetics, User interphase, etc).

In this phase, product design and engineering focus on documenting the critical functionality, constraints, and inputs to the design. This is a critical step to keep development focused, identify the high-risk areas, and ensure that scope creep is minimized later.

This document will help you communicate the key features of your product and how they are supposed to work to all members of your team. This will ensure that you keep everyone involved on the same page.

Without one, you are more likely to stay off track and miss deadlines. think about the PRD as your project management breakdown structure (BDS)

Phase 2: Concept Development

Initial shape development work identifies options for form, as well as possible approaches for complex mechanical engineering challenges. Initial flowchart of software/firmware also happens here, as well as concept design level user interface work. Aesthetic prototypes may be included in this Phase, if appropriate. Prototype in this phase will not typically be functional.

Phase 3: Initial Design and Engineering

Based on decisions made at the end a concept development phase, actual product design and engineering programming can start. In this phase, Level 1 prototypes are often used to test approaches to technical challenges.

Phase 4: Design Iteration

This part of the project is where we focus on rapid cycles, quickly developing designs and prototypes, as the depth of engineering work increases. This phase can include Level 2 and 3 prototypes, typically through multiple cycles. Some products require as many as twenty prototype cycles in this phase. Others may only require two or three.

Phase 5: Design Finalization / Optimization

With all assumptions tested and validated, the design can be finalized and then optimized for production. To properly optimize for production, product design and engineering teams take into account the target production volumes, as well as the requirements of the manufacturer. Regulatory work may start in this phase.

Phase 6: Manufacturing Start and Support

Before production starts, tooling is produced, and initial units are inspected. Final changes are negotiated with the manufacturer. Regulatory work also should wrap up in this phase.

  • Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability
  • Relevance
  • Skills Gap
  • Healthcare
  • Environment Concerns

The industrial and manufacturing sector keep evolving and that evolution doesn’t just happen. It’s almost always a direct result of overcoming the challenges that threaten the very existence of the sector. So, are there any challenges that the sector is dealing with currently?

Well, here are 5 challenges the manufacturing sector is currently trying to overcome.

Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability

Changing regulations have always haunted manufacturers. But, they’re there for a good reason. Without compliance standards, manufacturers could very well end up cutting corners, which ultimately ends up affecting the end consumer.

So, for the sake of things such as quality control or proper waste management, compliance standards need to exist. However, complying with new standards isn’t an easy task for manufacturers. More often than not, they’re a burden and thanks to globalization, manufacturers are also forced to deal with regulations that are unique to each territory.

Manufacturers are also tasked with tracking compliance as well. This means that have to go through the entire supply chain to check for compliance, right from vendors to the end-product that’s sent to the customer.

Relevance

As technology evolves, the rate of innovation increases. But, this also means companies have to rush and that can lead to all kinds of temptations. The urge to skip a step or avoid certain tests can be hard to resist when the goal is to market the product as soon as possible.

But, the last thing a manufacturer needs is to put the business at risk with a low-quality product. So, innovation management becomes a must in these situations. Preferences change by the day and any delay in delivering appropriate solutions can mean the end of everything.

So, manufacturers have to establish a system that allows for the consistent delivery of new ideas and innovation. Only this can sustain manufacturing success.

Skills Gap

As one generation exits the workforce, it makes way for a new generation of workers. This transition is, in itself, quite a challenge. But, things are very different today.

Manufacturers face the challenge of filling up those positions with equally skilled members from the current generation. However, the new generation of employees is simply not skilled enough, making the challenge even harder to overcome. As a result, manufacturers have to develop strategies such as working with the education sector to offer the skills training necessary to fill these positions.

Some manufacturers are also retaining skill by extending the retirement age.

Healthcare

As healthcare costs go up, it becomes very difficult for manufacturers to manage their budgets. For instance, in the US, it’s manufacturers who foot healthcare bills for their employees. But, with costs going up, it is simply not feasible and there are no viable alternatives.

Environmental Concerns

Regulations with regard to sustainable and environmentally safe processes and practices put more strain on the manufacturing process. Whether it’s waste disposal or the regulation of materials, more resources are needed to follow best practices.

As you can see, it’s not exactly easy for the industrial and manufacturing sector. However, manufacturers have to figure out a way to leverage technology and innovative ideas to keep up with the changes that pose a threat to them.

Sourcing is perhaps among the most exciting parts of the product development lifecycle. The first step is to picture a new design in the mind, then create prototypes, and finally, the product is ready to be manufactured.

However, according to majority of companies that create products, sourcing and deciding on a manufacturer can lead to the success or failure of a product. Finding a compromise between deciding on a factory to manufacture a quality product and managing logistics – like timelines, shipping and minimum order quantities – is the challenge usually encountered in developing new products. It becomes even more difficult in today’s worldwide economy to identify many factories to choose from.

The steps that need to be taken in identifying manufacturers are as follows:

How To Identify The Right Manufacturers to Work With

As a start, identify a number of factories that a business can learn more about. It would help to get referrals. A business can contact the companies with similar products and inquire about the manufacturer they use. This way, the business can discover more about this company from the outlook of someone in the same position.

At this point, a business should identify the factories that could meet their requirements and make a shortlist. When identifying factories that they will investigate further, they should ask the following questions:

Do they like a domestic or overseas manufacturer?

There are important things to consider in choosing between a domestic and overseas manufacturer. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and it also depends on the product they plan to manufacture. They should weigh the cost, quality and speed. Most of all, they should think about their needs. Products that need to be assembled will be cheaper abroad, since they have lower labor costs. However, big parts that occupy much space in a crate will be cheaper locally. Also, shipping and duties need to be considered as well.

Do they like to work directly with the factory, or would rather work with a broker/agent that is a factory representative in the US?

The answer really depends on their needs. When they work directly with the factory, it would cost less, and they may be more involved. When they work with a broker/agent, though they will be less involved, they will be able to work through an agent whose relationship with the factory is already established. Everything depends on what is best for their situation.

Can the type of manufacturing they need be managed by the factory?

It is obvious that businesses have to be specific in identifying the manufacturer they need. For example, a factory that is working with electronics does not necessarily mean that they have the capacity to manufacture all kinds of electronic products, since there is a vast assortment of requirements involved. So, businesses should choose a manufacturer that best meets their needs.