Little boys take delight in pulling their new toy cars to pieces to find out how they work. R & D personnel do much the same thing when they analyze competing products in detail. In the case of product teardown, a product is disassembled completely into all of its constituent parts. Product teardown is a common method for analyzing the competition's products, and was developed in the 1960s by Japanese firms trying to understand how European cars and cameras worked. During product teardown, very careful attention is paid to the materials and components used, and their costs. This form of analysis enables one to identify the best solutions employed by competitors.
The product teardown process consists of three steps:
Analysis of technical differences: First, the product is broken down into all of its individual components.
These are precisely labeled, and their suppliers identified. Then, differences between the company's own parts and the teardown components are recorded in detail, including variations in dimensions , weight, and design approach.
Analysis of possible technical improvement: Based on the results of step one, optimization potential is the next goal. All significant improvement possibilities are recorded in a list and reviewed for technical feasibility.
Identification of potential cost optimization: The possibilities identified in the second step are discussed and assessed by an interdisciplinary team. This will often generate proposed modifications that require detailed technical validation following which the changes are implemented.