The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is the first FDA-cleared medical device of its kind and is used by major medical centers, leading physical therapy clinics and professionals, colleges and individuals.
AlterG wants to take their first commercial product, the P200, which is targeted to pro athletes and built using outsourced manufacturing, and transition it to a volume product, the M300, that will be targeted to the rehabilitation market and built with in-house manufacturing at 1/3 the price.
AlterG faces three distinct challenges in meeting their product goal.
1. Lack of Technical Expertise:
Internal resources often lack sufficient or appropriate technical expertise to support projects.
2. Resource Availability:
Internal resources are not always available in the timeframe required to meet project needs.
3. Project Management and Integration:
Internal resources have limited bandwidth to manage multiple outside partners effectively.
|Product Realization Group, Inc. offers a “one-stop-shop” of outsourced services that enable rapid and cost effective introduction of products to the market, regulatory compliance, manufacturing, and lifecycle support.||Selected PRG Partners |
|PRG consultants, along with selected PRG Partners, formed a collaborative team to work with the inside resources at AlterG. These partner companies specialized in Mechanical and Electrical Design, Product Reliability, and Operations and Supply Chain Management.|
Each PRG partner had 20+ years of experience in area of focus.
PRG performed a full breakdown and re-assembly of the product and a detailed review of AlterG’s manufacturing and test processes.
PRG partners identified and ranked 117 issues in 7 critical categories using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) methodology. They closely examined the following factors: Reliability, Supplier Quality, Installability, Serviceability, Manufacturability, Aesthetics, and Cost.
The Findings (sample)
|Issue||Category||PRG Comments||AlterG Actions|
|Pots on control board exhibit variation due to temperature and vibration||Reliability Serviceability Manufacturability Aesthetics||Possible to eliminate and control through fixed resistors and software||Update in progress|
|Pressure control board can flex when you push in the middle button||Reliability||Need mechanism to better secure board||No issues found to date from field|
|No automated data management systems in place (CRM, ERP, PLM)||Supplier Quality Manufacturability Cost||As number of parts and changes increase, will increase risks and costs||ERP system purchase underway and putting together longer term systems plan|
ConclusionsAlterG reports saving 15% on the cost of the product based on implementing these changes. These recommendations will also improve future iterations of their product.
- Improved Product Quality – By implementing key FMEA findings, AlterG improves product quality and reduces the potential for field failures
- Partner Integration – By working with a group of integrated partners,AlterG reduces the risk of managing multiple unknown partners
- Return of Investment (ROI) – By augmenting internal resources, AlterG is able to focus on core competencies and achieve a higher ROI than with dedicated internal resources