L'atelier de prototypage
Go backstage at the Racer workshop. Discover the design of our flagship products and meet our team.
All the steps to create a new product are important, but the one that defines the viability of a product is undoubtedly prototyping. In our workshops located in the heart of Provence, the design of a product takes time. Our design teams patiently devote themselves to new creations adapted to the evolution of your needs.
At RACER, your satisfaction is at the heart of our concerns. Since 1927, we have been designing and manufacturing your gloves with the same high standards: quality, comfort, elegance, purity and durability.
Today, our head seamstress, Natalia, reveals the secrets of Racer prototyping.
Testimony of Natalia
To make a prototype, whether for an internal (product manager) or external (customer) request, we need precise specifications (CdC).
During the development of a new model and in order to optimize the cutting and not waste too much time, we often start from an existing base and make the necessary modifications to the needs of the new product. The functionalities of the new product, its characteristics and the specific requests mentioned in the specifications will allow us to make precise choices: materials, technologies and know-how, i.e. to think about the working method that could be the best adapted and that will be feasible in the production phase.
The request (CdC) must be precise to meet the technical and ergonomic requirements, in order to be able to propose an innovative product, which completely meets the function to which it will be dedicated. After analysis of the technical drawings, the materials and assembly techniques are chosen to carry out the pattern. We then use it to cut out the product, which is why all the necessary information is placed on it: name of the material, number of pieces to be duplicated, direction of the cuts, etc.
The selection of materials remains an essential step in order to meet the expectations of the customers (thickness, fineness, elasticity, etc...). We generally use the materials referenced by our preferred partners, but sometimes for certain models, specific research can be carried out by the R&D department. The materials are tested either by our suppliers, who send us the test reports, or by ourselves at accredited laboratories in order to comply with requirements and regulations.
Once the choice of materials has been validated, and the pattern has been made, we move on to the cutting stage which will be followed by assembly. There are several methodologies and machines to realize an assembly which depends on the selected materials. After a pre-control of the work (validation of choices and quality), we will move on to the finishing stage.
All the stages of manufacture, the choice of materials, methodologies etc... will be notified in a technical file and recorded with the pattern. The technical file and the patronage will evolve together in order to be able to be reactive in case of production launch.
The production time of a product can vary from simple to triple. Several elements are to be taken into consideration such as size, functionality, materials, finishes, technology to be integrated. All these parameters will considerably impact the product design time.
To make a simple glove under construction like the one of the Patrouille de France, it takes about 2 hours of work.
A motorcycle glove that is PPE has many more regulatory requirements and functionalities, as well as additional reinforcements and protection. The manufacturing of such a product can require between 16 and 20 hours of work.
A ski glove, will also have a longer manufacturing time because it is necessary to correctly choose the insulation, the insert, check dexterity and ergonomics. It will take about 8 to 10 hours of work.
Another example: a prototype of a protective vest, which is a larger product, will require at least 20 hours of work.
We also produce custom-made products, for special customer requests, research or specific needs, but also for our athletes and champions.
Each experience remains essential and each new development allows us to progress. Feedback from our customers and our ambassadors is essential to improve our products and to best meet the expectations of our customers and partners.