What is ‘Production Equivalent’ and Why Does it Matter?

We're in the middle of our design process and we're getting some of the first parts in hand, from prototyping or benchtops or our manufacturing cell. Let's test them and finish our verification testing! Maybe we shouldn’t.

We talk about the concept of production equivalent: what it means and when it's important to consider.

Do we test prototype parts? Absolutely! Use them for benchtop tests, formative usability studies, and other engineering studies.

But, prototypes that aren't production or production equivalent shouldn't be used when we're doing our final verification and validation tests. Because with those tests we're making sure everything performs as we want and need, we don't want to introduce unknown variables and unnecessary risks.

Production equivalent is that middle-ground between prototype and full production (closer to production). But we need to use it strategically and in a smart way. And we need to be able to justify our decision when using it 

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