Product Tear Down Analysis

How do you determine procurement costs for product design, materials, and specifications? A superb way to get valuable insights and pinpoint design improvement and cost reduction opportunities is through a product teardown analysis.

What is a product teardown?

In simple words, the process of disassembling a part to understand how its construction and its functionalities are known as product teardown.

This technique helps companies understand their products' components, manufacturing processes, and cost structures. These data can then be used to develop new concepts.

A product teardown process is an orderly way to know about a particular product and identify its parts and system functionality to recognize modeling improvement and cost reduction opportunities. Unlike the traditional costing method, teardown analysis collects information to determine product quality and price desired by the consumers. Companies can understand their competitor’s product, on what ground it differs from their own, and the manufacturing cost associated.

The three primary reasons for a product teardown analysis are:

Breakdown and Analysis

It involves understanding the current technology, functionalities, and components of a product, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and establishing areas for improvement.


Benchmarking establishes a baseline in terms of understanding and representation of the product. It provides a comparison of new conceptual designs.

Knowledge and product improvement

It involves gaining engineering knowledge to enact new room for concept development.

The entire product teardown process can be summed up in five steps:
Identifying the purpose of the teardown. It is to determine the models to be enacted as a result of the process
  • Create a data sheet where all insights will be listed
  • Gathering tools and documentation of the process
  • Analyzing the distribution of product
  • Disassembling of product, component measurement, and functionality assessment
  • Creating a bill of materials (BOM), models, and function flow diagram
The product teardown study technique has proven to be suitable for obtaining crucial data about the manufacturing method, components, build-up model, functionality, and competitors' strategies to improve and come up with a more refined version of a product.

Material Selection

Material selection stands out to be one of the most crucial aspects of engineering design as it determines the design's reliability in terms of industrial and economic viewpoints. A great design needs appropriate material combinations, or it will fail to be a profitable product. Engineers need to choose the best materials for the same, and there are several criteria they rely upon, such as property and its reaction to given conditions. Some important points to be included are:
  • Mechanical properties:

    A design needs to go through various manufacturing practices depending on the material. The primary goal is to prevent the failure of the product from a material viewpoint and ensure service fit. The materials are subject to stress, load, strength, and temperature variations.
  • Wear of materials:

    Most of the time, chances are that materials are contacting each other in a product. It can be seen in the case of gears. The selected materials should be able to withstand wear and tear.
  • Corrosion:

    This is a condition where the importance of material selection can be witnessed the most. It is evident in products open to the environment for an extended period. Materials like iron are highly prone to corrosion. So it is essential to make that the material is corrosion-resistant and capable of being used for the product.
  • Manufacturing:

     Although the material is fit to be used for a product, it has to be appropriate for the manufacturing process. Improper machining can lead to a faulty product, and incorrect machining stems from an inability to put manufacturing functions of materials.
  • Cost:

     Cost is a crucial fact to consider while selecting materials. Certain metals are rare to obtain, considering their availability and lengthy refining process. Although the cost factor can be neglected when performance is given priority, overall associated costs should be considered. There is a reason why plastics have massively replaced metals in the manufacturing process.

Responsibilities of a product teardown team

The responsibilities of a product teardown team can vary widely depending on the company and the type of product.

Some of the most important goals of a product teardown team include: assessing the total cost of manufacturing the product and determining general overhead costs. Other team members' duties may involve reducing labor and material costs and identifying areas for improvement. Often, a product teardown team will also be responsible for establishing benchmarks and determining where improvements can be made.

The product teardown team also consists of people with extensive experience in the industry. This team will help startups evaluate their products and identify critical areas for improvement. By taking apart products, they'll learn the process that goes into the design of each product and provide evidence-based recommendations to improve its structure.

Pre-requisites for a product teardown workshop

There are several different product teardown workshops, including the Japanese style, which has been used successfully in Japan since the 1970s. Every major Japanese corporation has adopted this style of workshop. Most western teardown methods focus on visual displays and lack a detailed analysis of products. In contrast, the Japanese process forces participants to examine the product in detail and compare it to its competitors. Marketers and design executives can use the results of this workshop to improve their products.

Before you conduct a product teardown workshop, you must be sure to secure your products. If the products are your competitors, you will need to carry out rigorous non-destructive performance testing. Your workshop should also include data recording. Depending on the nature of the workshop, the requirements may vary from one client to the next.

Length of a product teardown workshop

The duration of a product teardown workshop will depend on the nature of the item being analyzed. Some workshops are as long as four days, while others are shorter, depending on the client's needs. Participants will learn about all teardown methods and how to implement them in a team workshop setting. Often, these workshops include hands-on, creative teardown of products. But the exact length of a product teardown workshop depends on the number of participants and the types of products they are analyzing. To maximize the workshop's effectiveness, make sure participants are aware of the length and scope of the event. A workshop outline is a vital part of planning a workshop. It outlines each section's goals, objectives, activities, and rough timeframes. After planning the workshop, add details and make changes as necessary. For example, if there will be multiple speakers, an introduction to each topic is the best way to make sure participants understand the content. Before the workshop, the audience should also be familiar with the product's parts.

Results of a product teardown workshop

A product teardown workshop is a powerful way to collect critical data on a product and identify areas for improvement. Besides identifying parts and components, a product teardown helps identify costs and gaps in the product. Moreover, the process provides valuable information on competitors and product features. Benchmarking enables you to set a baseline for understanding your product and compare it to its competitors. It also provides the basis for new ideas and concepts.

To get the most out of a product teardown workshop, it is critical to understand its design and how it works. By taking a product apart, a design-to-value expert can explain how it works and why it fails to deliver on its promise. This in-depth research enables the team to make evidence-based recommendations for improvements in the product.

Using an affordable product can help your engineering team learn new tricks. It will also allow them to benchmark their products with competitors, which will broaden their horizons in the process. And while the process can be challenging, it can also generate new ideas for addressing a specific business challenge. In addition to learning from competitors' failures, tearing down a product can help you gauge whether your product is genuinely competitive.Teardowns are an effective tool to teach new tricks to your engineering team. They also serve as an opportunity to benchmark competitor products and understand how they work. A high-quality product teardown can give you a competitive edge in proving IP infringement. Tearing down a product can be as easy as tearing off the case or as complex as separating chips from a PCB board and identifying all material layers.

A product teardown study results are invaluable and can even lead to new concepts and designs. Disassembling a product allows participants to gain essential insights and identify opportunities for improvement. In addition to learning how the product works in the market, a product teardown analysis provides vital data about manufacturing, components, build-up models, functionality, and competition. Ultimately, this information helps companies find better ways to improve their products.