A survey commissioned by Protolabs, an American digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production, reveals that consumers overwhelmingly favour customisation of their electronic products, but they do not think that brands can deliver.

Showcasing at PLASTEC East this June, the largest advanced design and manufacturing event on the United States’ East Coast, the prototype manufacturer found a surging demand for customisation, which has a direct impact on the injection moulding process in the manufacturing of electronic devices.

Eighty-six per cent of the people surveyed said they want products tailor-made to their tastes, while most of them believe that only 16% of companies in the marketplace were capable of delivering that customisation, said the company.

Given generational demographics, demand for rapid customisation and more frequent product updates can only go in one direction—up. One-third of small device owners responding to the survey said they expect to replace their devices more often over the next five years as devices become outdated (41%), upgrades are more convenient (38%), and prices become more affordable (37%).

Not surprisingly, the younger the survey respondent, the greater the appetite for frequent upgrades: 46% of millennials expect to replace their device with a new model more often over the next five years. That compares to 32% of Gen Xers (ages 38 to 53) and 26% of baby boomers, according to the survey.

Features that consumers want to customise include options such as charging, types of connectivity, colour and design of device exteriors and accessories, said Protolabs.

Digital approaches that enable rapid prototyping and low-volume, on-demand manufacturing of custom parts help reduce companies’ risks by streamlining product development cycles and allowing for iterative testing cycles, said Protolabs in a press release announcing the results of the survey.

ORC International conducted the online poll commissioned by Protolabs in March 2018. It consisted of a demographically representative sample of 1,004 adults comprising 502 men and 502 women 18 and older. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points.

PLASTEC East is the largest show on the US’s East Coast held annually in New York. It showcases the latest in packaging, automation, plastics, design engineering, and quality.

Source: plasticstoday.com

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