Engine cutaways can be used for many applications; at a trade show booth, in a training session for engineers and technicians, at a sales call with customers, in a lobby to show off your latest design or in an investor relations meeting to emphasize the uniqueness of your product. Of the many ways available to explain the benefits and advantages of your product line to people, a hands-on experience can be the most effective. There is a great deal of value in getting the actual product into the hands of potential clients or investors. Using a cutaway as an educational tool you can get a “real world” feel using the actual product but with the advantage that the functionality is visible instead of hidden inside. Diagrams, exploded views and models can all show the internals but many people cannot visualize how they fit together. Once they see the product intact and are able to touch it and explore it the advantages become more tangible.

HOW: The Cutaway Process

To create a cutaway your product is disassembled, the components that differentiate your product are then exposed by cutting away the housing that covers them and cutting into any components that you want to be shown. This allows your audience to view the internal structure of the product and see how the parts interrelate and interact. A cutaway can have multiple areas cutout. Then each individual piece is cut, smoothed and reassembled. Every part of the product is either painted or plated so that it shines. Color coded painting can be used to designate certain functions or pathways. The cutaway is then mounted on a stand or rolling basemount so that transporting and displaying it is easy. Finally a custom-fit, permanent shipping container can be constructed to protect it during transit. Your cutaway can even be made into a moving, working model which will show the product and its parts in action, if desired.

WHY: Functions of a Cutaway

Engine cutaways make great showpieces, training tools and trade show displays, and are very complicated to create requiring intricacy and precision to make them look effortless. Much of the beauty of an engine is in the details. In order to see all of these details, such as the pistons, crank shaft and valve train components as well as how they function together, a cutaway is an ideal solution. With a cutaway you can not only see how the individual parts function but you can see how they interrelate. From the exterior many engines may seem similar; but once the interior is exposed with a cutaway, you can see the unique attributes of the individual engine inside and its configuration. These are the important elements that can mean all the difference in power, performance and efficiency. Using a cutaway will clearly show where the advantages and benefits are and how a particular model can outperform the competition. Even some of the external components, such as the fuel pump or alternator, can contain hidden features that benefit from a cutaway as well.

Hands on education has always been, and will always be the best way to inform and educate an audience on products and mechanical relationships.”

There is a significant advantage that is gained by giving someone this physical connection with your products. Are you maximizing the edge that this type of hands on experience can give?

Let’s look at the people who can benefit from the educational nature of this type of tool:

• The end-user (educational and memorable)

• The potential and current investor

• The sales person (descriptive and interactive)

• Trade show staff and visitors (draw and discussions)

• Field service personnel (education)

• Your end user’s service department

• Distributor networks (point of purchase)

• Website visitors

• Direct mail recipients

• Marketing department (website and brochure/catalog development)

• Investor relations representative

Many companies are only taking advantage of a slim cross-section of these opportunities, and some are taking advantage of close to all of them. Even a single cutaway can be used in almost all of these areas if managed correctly. Most times it makes sense to make these educational tools widely available, as knowledge leads to understanding, and let’s face it, when everyone knows why your products are the best, your main focus will be on filling orders!

One Cutaway users input: “I immediately thought of using a cutaway of this new engine to show prospective customers the game-changing thinking and technology inside it. The cutaway helped greatly by allowing me to both show and explain the internal technology that makes our new V6 outboard powerhead so one-of-a-kind. In fact, numerous customers commented on the cutaway’s ability to help them see and understand the features that created the benefits, as discussed in various product introduction presentations and materials.

It should be noted that, at the time this cutaway was created, the product had not yet been introduced anywhere in the world, so strict confidentiality measures had to be followed. In addition, the actual powerhead that was used for the cutaway was one of only four in the world at the time, so a replacement was not available. Add in the fact that we only had a few weeks to get this fully prepared and on-site, and it’s plain to see there was absolutely no room for error!

You’ve heard it said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Having this cutaway as a teaching tool was equally as invaluable. In short, the level of detail shown in the cutaway stole the show, and made my job a lot easier. “

WHO: Experts vs. In-house

Looking at a cutaway many manufacturers or distributors think it looks easy enough and decide to try it themselves. While some have had short-term success there are some considerations before trying it in-house:

Financial: Experts have the experience and knowledge to determine the best locations to cut and know the potential roadblocks along the way. If your in-house technicians make an error the unit is ruined. It generally takes experts less time to do a cutaway so it is almost always less expensive than full or even incremental in-house costs

Quality Control: Full project coordination including cutting, clearancing, finishing and final fitting, plus basemounts and shipping containers can be performed in one location. Cutaway experts provide a one stop shop that will handle all of these needs for you and they have the tools necessary to do the job right and the expertise and knowledge to make it look great.

Resources: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that it is the best use of your resources (time and talent). Most companies are continuously assessing what they should and can do well, and then outsourcing the rest.

Types and Uses of a Cutaway

All of the following engine types can benefit from a cutaway:

• Diesel Engine Cutaways

• Outboard Engine Cutaways

• Automobile Engine cutaways

• Inboard Marine Engine Cutaways

• Helicopter Engine Cutaways

• Motorcycle Engine Cutaways

• Jet Engine Cutaways

• Small Engine Cutaways

A few of the uses for your engine cutaway include:

• Education and Training

• Lobby Displays

• Trade Shows

• Sales Purposes

Any other manufactured product will benefit from a cutaway too. The following products are routinely cutaway:

• Transmissions

• Motors

• Pumps

• Valves

• Bearings

Engine Cutaways, and cutaways in general are useful tools that can help educate and inspire your customer. Seeing a product on display and having the ability to touch, study and determine how it functions gives your customer an incentive to look at your product closer. As we all know an informed customer is more often a happy customer and happy customer can be your second best marketing tool. Of course, a well executed engine cutaway can be your best tool.

Article originally published at Source by Jennifer Sivertson