Qiaoling Luo
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Qiaoling Luo
Development Manager at RPD International
Shenzhen, China
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Company Website:RPD International

RPD International helps companies develop and produce new products. We work directly with senior management and R&D or Innovation teams, to solve problems, develop sustainable solutions and bring them to market.

Whilst our skills are broad, our focus is on helping clients get to market with their products – offering end-to-end services – from concept through to mid-scale manufacturing. We build agile innovation processes, to run cost effective R&D projects within your organisation.

RPD teams work on a vast number of projects, across Europe and Asia. We’re based across two offices, in the UK and China, with manufacturing facilities across 40 countries. Our clients range from consumer electronics to aerospace and motorsport engineering, often looking to push their innovation processes, reduce R&D risk, cut costs or increase their production resource.



Working With RPD


Research & Innovation

Research and Innovation is about giving our clients the resources, and reducing the risk far enough to allow you to experiment. We understand the biggest barrier to innovation in a company is often the ‘what if?’ RPD begins every project by laying the foundations to a project, understanding how we can reduce your exposure as a department or business.

Before pushing ahead into development, your local team will look to understand the exact goals of a project. We’re looking to define success, failure and the unknown – starting with engineering and design feasibility, followed by time, finance and resource forecasting.

We’ll take your brief or goals and work out how they could be achieved, on a technical, aesthetic and financial level. Our design and engineering teams will make early developments, assumptions and proposals to how they believe best to complete your project.

Innovation Design, and Feasibility Studies will often summarise the following work:

Background, Brief and Deliverables

Our teams analyse exactly what you are trying to achieve, breaking it down into clear work scope and deliverables across the project.

Engineering Feasibility

RPD’s engineering teams will assess the technical challenges in your project. Often this involves assessing how functionality can be achieved, and what technology can be applied. These teams will then look into deeper detail of specific components that can be used, their suitability to the project, forecast availability and the impact this has on future costs for the project, and the products.

Design and Ergonomics Approach

Most projects are lead by the need for human interaction, or at least functional design requirements. Our design teams come from varying backgrounds, including consumer products, automotive and fashion, they come together to asses how your brief may be solved for functional design. This includes building insight into how a customer or user may interact with your product, or how the product may adapt and evolve to work with its user. They will produce drawings, user-flow studies and written analysis on this work, to help advise on their proposed direction.

Concept Solution Proposals

Your RPD team will use the engineering and design analysis to formulate solution proposals. These are intended as overviews of the ways in which they feel the problem can be best solved. Often this is reduced to 3 or less concepts, detailing how they would work, what technology and components could be used and their associated pros/cons. Along with these proposals, RPD will often make an argument as to which proposal they think is best suited to the project, and detail the reasoning for your consideration.

Time, Finance and Resource Planning

Our engineering team will work with finance and planning teams to give you insight into how the project will develop. We aim to provide a cost estimation of the full development cycle, for each proposed concept, as well as an estimation of the time involved and future production unit costs. We’ll also assess your needs for integration with existing teams, whether you are looking for full integration with an internal team, or are looking for your project to be run externally – we will plan accordingly.



Prototyping & Development

RPD uses prototyping as an efficient process for development of products and solutions. We have facilities in 40 countries to help us turn around models and working products within hours. We help you use these for internal testing, and customer trials – learning how your intended market works, helping them define what works and what doesn’t.

We use this phase to cover the first 2-3 rounds of prototyping, resulting in a product suitable for 10-100 unit customer trials. Often this stage will be a considerable step towards planning associated media and PR, with presentation suitable units.

Prototyping and Development Stages will often cover the following work:

Electronics Development

Electronics development will start with creating large PCBs that have the required functionality. We use these to asses how the functionality works in real life, often finding the need for slightly different components or processes. At this stage, it is much quicker and easier for teams to make changes to the electronic design, and therefore a very solid early testing stage. As the specification is confirmed, the PCB will be reduced in size and components reduced down to chip-scale packages over several iterations of prototype PCB circuit boards.

Firmware Development

RPD often works alongside client software teams. We create the firmware that sits on your device, allowing it to function and interact with your website, app or other device. However, we do also create the necessary software when requested, allowing us to offer a full service package for digital, IOT and connected devices.

Design Development

Our designers work through many prototypes at this stage to find the right aesthetic design. They will work across paper, digital software and physical models to explore ideas. Often design teams will go through hundreds of physical models, making small changes and adaptions as they evolve the user-flow of a product. They will use hand modelling and 3D Printing to create these models, along with adaptions of the user interaction flow to demonstrate how they envision a product working.

Engineering Development

Our engineers come from aerospace, motorsport and military backgrounds, working with you to ensure the structure integrity of your products. They will use this stage to build the foundations for a safe product that will withstand the forces of intended use. These RPD teams will use early prototypes and simulation to develop the early CAD designs for how a product will work considering the structural integrity, fixings and any working mechanisms.

Prototype Production

Within this stage, RPD will often produce up to 3 prototypes to show and test all aspects of the design, coming together. These will start out being for internal testing and experiments, however, as they become more developed, we look to get them into the hands of the intended customer. Initially we will use 3D printing and CNC machining to produce quick turnaround prototypes at low cost. Towards the end of this stage, we can also begin to work with vacuum casting and injection molding to produce short production batches for controlled consumer testing and PR purposes.



Production & Assembly

RPD provides resource in 40 countries to help you bridge the gap between prototype and manufacturing. We aim to provide you with a platform to produce 1 thousand to 10 million unit batches of your products, without investing in manufacturing assets or dedicating your existing core product manufacturing resource.

We use this as a very simple escalation from early prototype production phases, to much larger marketing production. Often companies will work with us to validate a product, coming to the end of a 12-24 month production contract with RPD, they will make the decision whether a new product has been successful enough to internalise the supply chain. By doing this, the risk involved in launching that new product was greatly reduced, requiring no asset investment and little time resource commitment, whilst keeping unit costs low.

Production and Assembly stages often include the following work:

Factory Sourcing and Auditing

RPD runs a strict factory-on-boarding process, with an audit cycle that takes up to 2 years for a factory to be a core part of the RPD supply chain. We have factories in over 40 countries, with varying expertise and capacity – we will select the right factories for your project from that managed supply chain. We use on-site RPD resource to perform reviews and training, to ensure reliability and quality.

Factory Management

During production, RPD uses on-site teams to ensure things are running smoothly. With a large number of our manufacturing facilities based in Southern China, we have a local office that includes a supplier and factory management team. They will perform frequent spot checks on factory production runs and ensure the process is kept consistent throughout. This also gives us incredibly agile capability to make necessary changes to production, or respond to unforeseen issues.

Production and Assembly

We aim to keep your production as simple as possible, we will do all of the leg-work in your supply chain, leaving you to select how many units and where they need to be. RPD will work with our supply chain to select the right factories for each component, and map how these will come together in assembly. We will often perform on-site training to teach workers how a product should be produced and assembled, using client signed-off samples as exemplar units. We will also be able to divide up components in projects with high sensitivity, reducing the number of people who have full awareness of your intellectual property in the production stage.

Quality Control

All of our factories are assessed on their quality control practises. We use the latest technology for analysis. We provide tooling and sizing reports for our batches, with 100% testing available on demand. Our on-site teams will also make spot checks on this process, and on components being produced to ensure all practises are being adhered to in the assembly line. We can also provide laser scanning and analysis reports to ensure incredible accuracy to drawings.

Shipping and Logistics

As production comes to a close, RPD is also able to manage your global shipping operation, moving your product to where it needs to be. This can include either bulk container deliveries to your warehouses, or local distribution down to a customer level. Our shipping teams are based in China and the UK to efficiently manage your global import/export operation.



Supply Chain & Logistics

RPD manages continued supply chain contracts for clients, who wish to increase or diversify their manufacturing capacity. Often we’ll work with large companies that do not want to invest the resource in a mid-production scale product, or smaller companies that do not have access to large manufacturing facilities and associated management resource.

RPD aims to provide a simple process for continued production of a process, managing all the way through to end-customer delivery where necessary. Simply work with our teams to plan your production volumes. Then link your customer data to our global warehousing facilities to have a continuous stream of stock shipped locally and distributed on-demand to your end customer at competitive rates.

Supply Chain and Logistics operations will often include the following work:

Production Planning

RPD teams are available to work with you on planning your stock. We can help you forecast your stock needs, when these should be produced, and how they will be stored. Our teams are experienced in managing production operations for both retail and industry, and therefore are in the perfect position to advise on your procurement strategy.

Factory Management

During production, RPD uses on-site teams to ensure things are running smoothly. With a large number of our manufacturing facilities based in Southern China, we have a local office that includes a supplier and factory management team. They will perform frequent spot checks on factory production runs and ensure the process is kept consistent throughout. This also gives us incredibly agile capability to make necessary changes to production, or respond to unforeseen issues.

Production and Assembly

We aim to keep your production as simple as possible, we will do all of the leg-work in your supply chain, leaving you to select how many units and where they need to be. RPD will work with our supply chain to select the right factories for each component, and map how these will come together in assembly. We will often perform on-site training to teach workers how a product should be produced and assembled, using client signed-off samples as exemplar units. We will also be able to divide up components in projects with high sensitivity, reducing the number of people who have full awareness of your intellectual property in the production stage.

Quality Control

All of our factories are assessed on their quality control practises. We use the latest technology for analysis. We provide tooling and sizing reports for our batches, with 100% testing available on demand. Our on-site teams will also make spot checks on this process, and on components being produced to ensure all practises are being adhered to in the assembly line. We can also provide laser scanning and analysis reports to ensure incredible accuracy to drawings.

Shipping and Import Logistics

RPD is also able to manage your global shipping operation, moving your product to where it needs to be. Our shipping teams are based in China and the UK to efficiently manage your global import/export operation. We’ll work with the 4 largest shipping groups to reduce risk and plan around any disruption, using global forecasts to avoid weather and industrial disruption.

Local Customer Distribution

RPD works with distribution centres around the world, to offer delivery services to your customers. We operate software allowing you to link digital systems to distribution with XML shipping orders. This provides you with seamless dispatch services for your product stock around the world, whether you’re shipping in batches to retailers, or continuously from warehouse stock.

PLM Consulting and Supply Chain Cost Reduction

RPD works with global companies to help reduce cost in product, supply chain and logistics/warehousing. We look at several areas on a production cycle, from suitability of components for manufacturing, to on-shoring and off-shoring. We have experience of saving millions of dollars from global supply chains, primarily in the consumer electronics and consumer goods markets.