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How to start with us?

    Thank you for considering us for your engineering and manufacturing needs! It is very easy to start with us for any projects that you plan to conduct. Just talk with us about your project.

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    There are no fixed procedures to initiate a talk with us. But many clients often ask, "What are the steps to start with Altadox?". Here we describe a common procedure so that you could get a general idea. But don't treat it as fixed steps. You can contact us without even reading the following.

    In the following, we assume that the client is trying to develop a new product based on an invention. Therefore, some steps may not apply to your projects. You can jump directly to the parts that most concern your project.

Initial Contact

    You don't really have to prepare anything before talking with us. Just bring your idea with you! However, to better understand the nature of the project and your requirements, it would be very helpful if you prepare a brief description of the product you want to make, including the following

  • Function: What does the product do?

  • Application: Where is it going to be used?

  • Users: Who will use the product?

  • Status: Is this a new product? Do you already have a design? Do you already have a prototype?

  • Potential: What is the annual sales quantity of your product?

  • Timeline: When do you need to start prototyping and/or production?

  • Finance: Who will fund the engineering, prototyping and/or production?

  • Marketing: Is it already being sold? How do you market the product?

  • Protection: Have you protected yourself with a patent or other intellectual property rights?

    You may not have a clear answer to some of the above questions. You are not alone! You are like many other clients who contacted us before and some of them have now developed very successful products on the market.

    Whether we eventually decide to take on a certain project or not, we always treat each inquiry seriously and treat  every customer professionally. No project is too small or too big for Altadox! Even if we decide a project falls beyond the scope of our interest or business mode, we always provide as much useful advice as possible to the customer, even recommend another engineering company or manufacturer who we think is more appropriate to handle your project. Therefore, don't hesitate any more.

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Free Feasibility and Cost Evaluation

    If we decide that a project fits our business mode and interest, based on the nature of the product, its potential market, our capabilities and previous experience, we will conduct a preliminary evaluation on feasibility and cost. At this point, Altadox need to have a solid understanding of the product and its application. We also need to understand the potential market for the product, in order to give an accurate estimate of the cost.

    Feasibility evaluation covers technical issues, based on the clients primary requirements, including major electronics functions, important parameters, mechanical constraints, etc. As a matter of fact, our engineers will do a preliminary design of the product, to evaluate whether the idea is feasible with today's technology.

    Then we evaluate the unit cost based on the preliminary design. Please note that the cost of material and the cost of production are related to quantity, especially the quantity per production run. At this point, we need the client to clearly define the market potential for the product (i.e., the initial quantity and the quantities in the first three years), so that we could provide an accurate quotation or estimate of the unit cost. You should do not provide a large figure that does not reflect the actual quantity, just to get a low quotation or estimate on the unit cost. If you did that, you would get a quotation or estimate that is meaningless to you in the future - it would be a waste of time on your part and a waste of engineering resources on ours. To further elaborate on this issue, we as a contract manufacturer base our pricing on our cost plus a gross profit margin (which is the lowest by industry standard in China). The material acquisition cost and production cost is higher for small-quantity runs than for large-quantity runs. This is because, for large-quantities, we have a better leverage to negotiate a low price with the material suppliers and the production lines can be run continuously without interruption and readjustments.

    Besides the unit cost, most new projects also involve an NRE and/or tooling cost. These are one-time cost for developing and building a new product. Non-recurring engineering (NRE) cost refers to the cost of engineering design, development and testing of a new product. Tooling cost is the cost for building new PCBs, customizing LCD panels and modules, and fabricating other non-standard parts. It also includes the cost of molding an enclosure for the product, if a standard enclosure is not available. With Altadox, we routinely quote an NRE that is significantly lower than that from other providers, due to a good reason:

    Through years of experience, we already have in our knowledge base most of the designs common to many applications, ready for extrapolating to other projects. Therefore we can design and develop many projects much cheaper and much faster.

    Tooling and molding cost are the cost charged by our various suppliers and will be passed through to the client. Due to our long-term cooperation with many of these service providers, our cost on tooling and molding is also very low. NRE and/or tooling cost will also be quoted or estimated for the client.

Engineering Design and Prototyping

    If the client agrees upon the preliminary design and quotation,  and decides to proceed with our factory for the development of the new product, we will discuss with the client on business issues, including development schedule, payment method and production arrangement. Then the client will start the project by issuing a formal PO for the NRE and necessary tooling/molding cost, and the PO will take effect when the payment for NRE and/or tooling/molding cost is received according to the mutually agreed terms and conditions. We will proceed right away into engineering design and prototyping. A detailed design and specifications will be provided to the client for approval about one to two weeks after the confirmation of the PO. The lead time for the first prototypes depends on the nature of the project, ranging from 20 days for simple parts to 6 weeks or longer for products that requires engineering design from ground up. After the prototypes are build, they are shipped to the client for testing. In most cases, our clients will like the first prototypes. In case there is anything wrong with the prototypes due to our fault or misunderstanding of the client's requirements, we will correct the problem without any cost burden to the customer.

    In some cases, the client wants to make certain revisions or modifications on the first prototypes, beyond the requirements specified in the approved drawing and specifications. We will be willing to accommodate any revisions or modifications, at the lowest possible cost to the customer. Most of the revisions and modifications can be done without any extra NRE or tooling/molding cost at all.

Manufacturing

    At this point, we should already have a design and prototype. If the design and prototype is supplied by the client, we will conduct an assessment of the design and prototype, to reduce cost, improve reliability, and make it easy for assembly and other production processes. We may need to make certain modifications to the existing design, for mass production purposes. Of course, any changes will be approved by the client before they are implemented.

    Now comes the exciting part of mass production! All the parts and products are manufactured in ISO-certified manufacturing facilities. Certain parts, such as PCBs, plastic enclosures, LCD displays, membrane switches, etc, are made in our subsidiaries or factories closely associated with us. The major part of manufacturing, such as component placement, assembly and testing are conducted in our main manufactory.

    We are able to accommodate various production scheduling systems, to meet the client's requirements. With Altadox manufacturing, you will be guaranteed the best quality products at the most competitive price.

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