When you are designing home decor products the question you need to ask yourself is if the product can be manufactured without any quality issues. We have found that we can perform several easy tests to make sure that our home decor product prototype can be manufactured free of errors.
The six easy tests that you can perform on your home decor product prototypes include 1) the finished test to test the quality of the finish, 2) the stability test to test that the product is stable, 3) the rust test to ensure that the product will not rust, 4) the hardware test to ensure that the hardware is up to standard, 5) the cycle test to test for extreme hot and cold temperatures and 6) the packaging drop test.
Table of Contents
- 6 Simple Tests for Assessing the Manufacturability of Your Home Decor Prototypes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Content
6 Simple Tests for Assessing the Manufacturability of Your Home Decor Prototypes
When designing home decor products, a key consideration should be their manufacturability with consistent quality. We’ve discovered that conducting a series of straightforward tests can effectively ensure that our home decor product prototypes are free from manufacturing flaws.
Below, we outline six different tests you can apply to products to assess their manufacturability.
All these tests are straightforward to perform but can make a big difference in the final quality of your home decor product prototype.
As most home decor and home furnishing items are products that will be used a lot, it is essential that the finish on the product can withstand normal wear and tear. Because of this, we will test the finish to make sure that the finish can withstand everyday use.
There is a straightforward way that you can test this. We will take a piece of masking or another kind of tape and put it on the finish to ensure that the finish does not peel off or come off with the tape. If you find that the finish is coming off with the tape, you will likely have a problem with the finish being unable to withstand normal wear and tear.
Some finishes may be damaged with this test, so we like to try to use a tape like masking tape. We find that masking tape will typically not damage most finishes but will also show whether the finish can withstand everyday use.
Another mistake some people make is when they are designing home decor products; they do not design a product that is stable enough. For example, when we are producing a lamp, for the lamp to be certified as a UL lamp, it has to be able to pass a basic tip test.
All home decor products should be able to pass a basic tip test. People do not want to walk past an object or brush up against the item to find that it has tipped over and is now broken.
Another fundamental test you can do is put the item on a board slanted about 8 to 10° and then see whether or not the item will fall over. If it falls over, there’s a good chance it may not be steady enough.
If you find that your product is tipping over when you place it on an 8 to 10° slant, you may need to consider either 1) adding weight to the bottom or 2) making your base wider.
Rust is also another area that can cause problems. This can even happen on smaller metal parts, such as a screw or nail.
Most suppliers must purchase these kinds of items from an outside source. Because of this, it is good to do some random tests on the materials they use to ensure they are up to standard and will not rust.
We will randomly take some nails or screws that a supplier has purchased and put them in a solution of about 20% salt to the water mixture. What we are doing is essentially making a saltwater solution. If left for 24 to 48 hours and you start to see some rusting develop,, you may have a problem with the items not being entirely rustproof.
This is a straightforward test that you can do to ensure that some of the hardware and other metal parts and materials are up to the standard required. This basic random test can help ensure your items are up to standard.
Another problem is the use of different kinds and types of hardware. Like metal materials such as screws or nails, most suppliers will need to purchase the hardware from an outside source. Issues can arise for hinges, pulls, or other hardware.
For hardware such as a box hinge or a hinge on furniture, we will test it on many pieces to ensure they are not a problem. We will do this by opening and closing the box or the piece of furniture often to ensure that we do not hear any squeaking or other issues with the actual hardware.
Hardware on the back of items such as wall art or mirrors must be checked carefully. We will test this by weighing the hardware for about 24 hours to see if it is strong enough. The weight amount you use should be about three times the weight of the overall mirror or wall art.
Another area that can affect home decor products is exposure to extreme temperatures. When an item is placed in a container, and if it happens to be placed on the very top of the container ship, your container and all its contents could get baked during transportation.
Conversely, if it is the dead of winter and the container is placed on a truck that travels through freezing weather, your container and all the contents are frozen on the way to its destination. Sometimes, your container or contents could go through these hot and cold extremes several times during the journey to the final destination.
The cycle test is the test that will help you test for extreme hot or cold temperatures. As climate extremes continue to happen around the globe, testing for hot and cold extremes by conducting a simple cycle test is very important.
We will place the item in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours to test for extreme cold weather. This will allow us to see if the item can withstand frigid temperatures or be frozen for some time.
We will place the item in the oven for 24 to 48 hours to test for the extreme heat. We may not always leave the oven on, but we take the item in and out of the oven over several hours. Our goal is to see how the item will handle extreme heat if the item gets heated up to 140 to 150°F or 60 to 65°C.
Packaging Drop Tests
Another important test for a home decor product prototype is a packaging drop test. This test should be completed once the item is packed, as it will be packed for shipment.
One of the great things about these tests is that you can easily do them without much equipment. But each of these tests will help you find any errors in your home decor product prototypes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Finished Test?
The finished test is conducted to assess the quality of the surface finish on your product. This can include paint, varnish, or any other coatings that are applied to the product. The test checks for chipping, peeling, discoloration, or other irregularities that may compromise the product’s appearance and durability.
How Do I Perform the Stability Test?
To perform the stability test, place the product on a flat surface and apply a moderate amount of pressure to see if it wobbles or tips over. For wall-mounted items, attach them to a simulated wall to ensure they can carry the intended weight without detaching.
Why Is the Rust Test Necessary?
The rust test is crucial if your home decor products include metal components. Exposure to moisture and air could lead to rust, which would not only spoil the appearance but also weaken the product over time. Typically, a salt spray test is performed to speed up the corrosion process and evaluate the product’s resistance to rust.
What Does the Hardware Test Entail?
The hardware test involves examining any screws, nails, hinges, or other hardware components to ensure they are of good quality and properly installed. A simple way to conduct this test is to check if all hardware is securely fastened and whether it stands up to regular use like opening/closing or attaching/detaching.
How Do I Perform the Cycle Test?
The cycle test involves exposing the product to extreme hot and cold temperatures in cycles to ensure that it does not warp, crack, or suffer any other types of damage. This can be done in a controlled environment using specialized testing equipment.
What Is the Packaging Drop Test?
The packaging drop test simulates the conditions the product might experience during shipping. The product, when packed, is dropped from a specific height to check if it or its packaging incurs any damage. This test helps you evaluate the durability and resilience of both the product and its packaging.
Are All Tests Equally Important?
All tests are essential in their own right, but their importance may vary depending on the type of product, its intended use, and the materials used in construction. For instance, the rust test may not be applicable for products made entirely of wood.
How Many Prototypes Should I Test?
Ideally, you should test multiple prototypes to get a more accurate measure of quality and reliability. Testing just one may not provide sufficient data for a conclusive evaluation.
Do I Need Special Equipment for These Tests?
While some tests like the cycle test may require specialized equipment, many of these tests can be performed with basic tools and materials. The key is to simulate real-world conditions as closely as possible.
What Do I Do If a Prototype Fails a Test?
If a prototype fails any of these tests, it is crucial to identify the underlying issue and rectify it before proceeding with mass production. This might involve re-evaluating your materials, design, or manufacturing processes.
What is the Pre-shipment Inspection?
A Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI) is an inspection that occurs once the goods are completed and ready to be shipped. The Pre-shipment Inspection helps ensure that the products are of the quality, quantity, and price ordered.
You can learn more by reading our blog The Pre-shipment Inspection Guide and Product Quality Assurance by clicking here.
What Is The DUPRO or During the Production Product Inspection?
The DUPRO Inspection is a product inspection conducted during the manufacturing phase of production. The DUPRO is also known as during the production inspection. Its main purpose is to find errors during the product’s manufacturing phase. Most manufacturing errors are easier to fix during production than when goods are completed.
You can discover more by reading our blog DUPRO, During the Production Product Inspection Guide by clicking here.