Remote Work

Builds without engineers: How Instrumental customers are thriving without travel

Download the full Remote Work Case Study

5 customers thrive without factory travel during NPI, ramp, and production. Get 13 pages of detailed use cases, testimonials, and images.

Instrumental’s product and data has become a core strategic asset while teams are unable to freely travel to factories or suppliers in NPI, ramp, and production.

In just three short months at the beginning of 2020, the manufacturing industry changed forever. A novel coronavirus began causing countrywide shutdowns that disrupted supply chains multiple times as it spread from country to country. It eliminated significant freight capacity to reliably and quickly move parts around the world. And it severed international and even local travel between design teams and the factories that develop and produce their products. While still early in its global impact, this novel coronavirus has fundamentally disrupted the how it’s made of manufacturing – which is a problem that cannot wait eighteen to twenty-four months to be solved. If companies want to continue to ship products, it needs to be solved now.

Instrumental laptop cropped one
Download the full Remote Work Case Study

5 customers thrive without factory travel during NPI, ramp, and production. Get 13 pages of detailed use cases, testimonials, and images.


For years, the electronics industry has relied on putting engineers on planes to travel to far off factories as a critical part of the development process. While test stations and human inspectors can find some issues, the status quo for issue discovery in development is trying to be in the right place at the right time on the line. Luck should have no place in this kind of engineering, but it has been the fastest and seemingly cheapest way to discover the issues that need to be resolved before a product is ready to ramp. While leaders of these teams know that this method isn’t particularly efficient, replacing it has never been a priority. Until now.

With borders shut and engineers sheltering at home, leaders at companies that rely on delivering new products every year are facing a set of urgent challenges they have never solved before. One NPI Engineering Leader at a publicly traded electronics company put it this way: “If I cancel this program, we have nothing to put on shelves in the fall. But my engineers are stuck at home and my factory’s engineers are stuck in Taiwan. How am I supposed to do NPI without any engineers?”

Instrumental is a collection of technologies that enable engineering and manufacturing teams to find and fix issues throughout their supply chains from anywhere in the world. Our technology has been battle-tested on over 50 programs, can be deployed without travel in a few short weeks, and starts providing value on Day 1. We founded instrumental with a vision for the future of manufacturing: that leveraging data would enable optimization in real-time throughout the supply chain, leading to efficiency gains that would reduce trillions of dollars of waste. In 2020, we need that future a lot sooner than anticipated, and Instrumental is here to help.

“If I cancel this program, we have nothing to put on shelves in the fall. But my engineers are stuck at home and my factory’s engineers are stuck in Taiwan. How am I supposed to do NPI without any engineers?” — NPI Engineering Leader, Publicly traded electronics company

As you’ll see in this collection of customer case studies, Instrumental customers not only benefited from reduced travel, but also increased yields, accelerated product maturity in NPI, reduced line down in production, and increased proactivity in identifying and responding to process shifts. These cases from development, ramp, and production show how Instrumental’s technology enables customers to modernize and optimize manufacturing for today’s uncertain reality, and tomorrow's competitive landscape.

Download the full Remote Work Case Study

5 customers thrive without factory travel during NPI, ramp, and production. Get 13 pages of detailed use cases, testimonials, and images.