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The AKI approach to New Product Introduction (NPI) -

How we work

The AKI approach to New Product Introduction (NPI)

The approach we take to NPI (New Product Introduction) is unique to our business. Drawing on decades of manufacturing experience, we guide our customers through each step of the process, from concept to production.

Concept development

  • Close collaboration during initial stages
  • Concept support with in-house design skill set
  • Timely conference or face-to-face project meetings
  • Manufacturing and tooling technology exposure
  • Design for manufacture & assembly analysis
  • Strategic cost expectation & analysis for the life of product
  • Material selection expertise to help improve performance & reduce tool and part costs
  • Strategic quotation generation.

Rapid prototype

  • Reduces product development costs by 40-70%
  • In-house solid-works and state-of-the-art, high-res in-house 3D printing
  • Prototypes available as part of standard quotation process
  • All standard and non-standard model types available, including rubber, hard form and high impact polymer grades
  • Prototyping cheaper & quicker than bespoke providers with the ability to have a one stop shop approach to the initial stages of part development

Prototype tooling

  • Run test prototypes before final tool
  • Reduces cost of producing final tool before being sure it's correct
  • Virtual simulation software becoming more popular for tool design (reduces the need for prototype tools by simulating conditions before tool design finalised)
  • True 3D moulding analysis now used (even fibre orientation during moulding) through software such as Moldflow.

Production tooling

  • Correct design and manufacture reduces costs further down the line mainly due to improved wear and good tolerances. Extremely complex tooling for some products is not a problem if good tool design has been carried out
  • A fully equipped tool room and machine shop is available in-house to ensure that tool issues are quickly and efficiently addressed during the initial stages of part development
  • We specialise in producing parts to fine part tolerances in some of the most advanced polymers on the market, including many metal replacement grades and using two-shot moulding
  • We work with tool making experts in the UK and abroad to ensure we can offer cost effective and technically excellent solutions.

Pre-production part validation

  • We have an in-house metrology laboratory with state-of-the-art contact-less measurement systems which allow us to validate parts to almost any customer quality requirements
  • Initial validation involves a full capability study of the control dimensions and a detailed initial sample inspection reportand if needed can extend to a full PPAP
  • We have strict sign-off protocols in place to ensure that no part is approved for full production until all approvals are received and all documentation is in place. This includes receipt and storage of ‘golden samples’ and signed customer approvals
  • In addition to the quality gates and approval processes we also ensure that all new parts undergo a monitored pre-production high volume manufacturing order before the final release. This allows us to tweak the parts processes and documentation at full volumes before final release. This ensures any issues that relate to larger quantities are captured and addressed.


  • Continued product optimisation and cost evaluation is carried out at each production run where cycle times and quality improvements are assessed during each run to reduce scrap
  • A strict batch approval process forms part of our validation for each manufacturing order. A detailed first off against customer quality controls is carried out along with quality inspections throughout the entire production run. This ensures all parts within the run are compliant and all of the information is stored for historic recall and available to customers as required
  • Tool modification and repairs where necessary are carried out in-house in extremely short turnaround times to ensure that lost production time is minimised and the impact on customer deliveries is reduced
  • Full tool maintenance is carried out in-house to ensure that tools remain in the best condition to reduce tool failures and sustain a high level of quality in the parts. This also increases the life span of the tool, all at no cost to the customer
  • Our quality department carries out critical dimensional analysis and monitoring during each production run to identify key feature deterioration. This allows us to identify potential part compliance issues before they fall outside of the control limits set by the customer. This in turns ensures we have time to repair and improve the tool before it impacts on customer part delivery or part quality.
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Spotlight on our services

Injection moulding

Many of the mould tools we run in our moulding machines have complex cores which operate in a plane 90 degrees to the tool opening plane.

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