PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

From the first sketch idea to setting up a complete series production and looking for continuous improvements.

1. Customer assignment or Berco innovation

New products arise from a reactive or proactive approach.

If the customer initiates a project, we first listen as carefully as possible to the wishes of our customers and make the design as personal as possible.

In the case of Berco initiated developments, we respond to opportunities in the market in order to trigger our customers with new product ideas.

2. Concept development

In this phase, our team starts looking into the most innovative solutions. We explore the boundaries of what is possible and what is not. Ideas come in the form of sketches and first rough CAD models. We research several directions, organize brainstorming sessions, and take into account multiple considerations, resulting in a concept that fits best with the customer’s needs.

Parallel we also involve our suppliers in this process to gather the best ideas and maximize our collective expertise.

Berco’s unique position as ready for assembly producer ensures that we do not have to limit ourselves to certain production methods. This gives Berco and our customers the ultimate design freedom to achieve the best design result.

3. Engineering and prototyping

We develop each part in 3D CAD and look at multiple details such as drafts and component fits. For many years now, Berco makes use of the automotive standard with software packages such as Catia and Unigraphics NX.

In this phase, we define our materials, production methods, and surface treatments such as coatings and colors.

Where necessary, we perform FEM simulations to tackle future risks as much as possible.

3D designs are then evaluated with the use of physical prototypes. This can be as for example, in the form of 3D prints, milled parts, pressed or cast metal components. We make optimal use of our network of quality prototype suppliers.

Prototypes are then evaluated functionally and aesthetically. In most cases, there are several test builds in the truck cab and we evaluate the assembly and service of the product.

4. Tooling and start of production

Once the design is correct, it is time to start the tools. We do this together with our wide range of suppliers. Together with them, we work on the final details such as setting up the technical drawings and determining acceptable tolerances.

This is followed up by several control steps ranging from first out of tool checks, to graining checks, to PPAP to be able to guarantee the best quality to our customers. In this step, we also evaluate part deviations such as flow lines, sharp edges, loose fits, and go to great lengths to improve the parts as much as possible.

5. Testing and validation

Subsequently, all new products undergo an extensive testing and validation process. We make optimal use of the testing facilities on site. Products must undergo various tests such as for example a life endurance test, crash simulation test, and load test. At the same time, it is also possible to perform tests at Berco in different climate conditions.

Where required, custom-made test setups are designed and produced. These builds are not only used during development but are also used periodically later during serial production. Thanks to this control plan, we can also guarantee the quality of the products in the long term.

6. Set up mass production

Unique about Berco is that we not only design the products but also assemble them ourselves. We know how to produce at a consistently high level together with people with hidden talents.

Together with our Process Engineering and our colleagues from the technical department, all workplaces are created and adapted to the needs of our employees. In addition, we integrate several automated quality controls into the process to prevent errors.

Last but not least we also overlook and tackle all logistic challenges to outperform our high customer demands.

7. Continuous improvements

Once the product is on the market, we do not stop our efforts and simply continue to develop further. We look for further improvements together with our team and our suppliers. We revise and review all product details to search for product and process optimizations. With this approach, we know how to guarantee a long product lifecycle and to remain market competitive.

Interested? Are you looking for a new collaboration, please contact us.

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