What is Release to Manufacturing or RTM?

Release to Manufacturing is a key benchmark in the manufacturing process where the finished and approved product design is ready to be sent to the manufacturing floor.

Which leads to the obvious question, “when is your design complete?” When is everything nailed down so the product can move to manufacturing without any (or least minimal) risk in the process.

There are many ways for a project to go wrong – and doing all the homework before you go to manufacturing – is the only way to reduce your risk and hopefully avoid loss of time and/or money.

Here’s what should be done BEFORE you Release to Manufacturing?

  • Approved design
  • Approved beta prototype
  • Approved supply chain and bill of materials
  • Approved receipt of all parts and sub-assemblies
  • Approved design for manufacturing
  • Approved pilot production
  • Approved manufacturing documentation
  • Approved regulatory compliance

As you can see, there is a lot more to it than simply having your design and prototype approved.

The manufacturing floor does not want to take on this project until you have everything finalized.

Is there any wiggle room?

With every project, there is a temptation to move forward as quickly as possible.

And so the question we often here is “can we get by with what we have in place?”

The answer of course is it depends.

In many cases you might “get by” – at least for a while – but if you leave some of those risks unresolved, it could come back to bite you sooner or later.

Of those risks come to light while the product is still on the manufacturing floor, but sometimes unfortunately, they are not discovered until the product gets into the market – and then your corrective costs are likely to skyrocket.

Get your FREE copy of our Release to Manufacturing (RTM) Standards

When products are still in the design phase, we are often asked what type of general information and documentation will the manufacturing partner be expecting.

We prepared this document to answer some of those questions.


To get your copy, please complete the form below.

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