What is a Golden Sample and Why You Need it?

Jared Haw
Jared Haw
24 June, 2022 | 3 min for reading
What is a Golden Sample and Why You Need it?

During the new product development process, you can not go straight from development to production. You need to transition into production. One step of the process is to create the golden sample. 

The golden sample is important because it’s the perfect sample. The sample represents exactly what the customer wishes to sell. This sample is different than a normal prototype because the golden sample uses the same processes and materials as mass production while prototypes use 3D printing and other prototype methods. 

Since the golden sample uses mass-produced materials and processes, you’ll need to have created the tools. Therefore, the golden sample lands right between the tooling and the pilot run stage. 

Why is the Golden Sample Important?

There are many reasons why a golden sample is important. It helps you to transition nicely into production for the first time and is helpful if you provide a new supplier with a request for quotation (RFQ). Also, during the production process, if there is a potential quality issue, the golden sample should always be brought back in.

Provides an Objective Standard

The main reason the golden sample is created is that it creates an objective standard of how the product should feel and look. It proves your contract manufacturing partner is capable of making this product. If there is a defect on any part of the product then it is no longer a golden sample. 

No more Modifications or Revisions

After the tooling stage, it is common to have slight modifications to the parts or tools. Having an approved golden sample means there will be no additional modifications made to either the part or the tools. 

Ensures High Quality

If there is a question regarding the quality of the final assembled product then the golden sample is often brought back and looked at. The decision will be made here. 

Proceed with the Pilot Run

If the pilot run is approved, you are given the green light to proceed with mass production. The first step of mass production is the pilot run. So, the pilot run is a vital part to proceed with production.

How Important is the Golden Sample

The golden sample is often quite difficult to gauge production off of because production does have tolerances and variances. Therefore, it is also important to have limit samples. These limit samples are samples of parts with the worst quality and the best quality. This is common for colors, you can have one golden sample (perfect sample) and on each side a darker shade and a lighter shade. 

The figure below shows the perfect color sample based on the Pantone book. And on either side are variances. Any green shade out of the variance will be rejected.

However, the golden sample is important because it shows that the manufacturer can build each part perfectly and assemble them perfectly as well. 

What can you Do Today?

When you are launching your product, there will be multiple revisions and change requests that must be managed. It is easy to lose historical data or fail to share changes with the correct team members. A centralized platform that connects your team, contractors, and suppliers is your solution. 

OpenBOM is a cloud-based PDM & PLM platform to manage your engineering and manufacturing data. Companies from startups to Fortune 500’s use OpenBOM to create a centralized database to bring in, store and manage their manufacturing data. With this infrastructure, users also use OpenBOM to streamline both their change management and PO processes.

If you need to improve the way you manage your data and processes, contact us today for a free consultation


Jared Haw

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