Optimizing Products for Manufacturability

Optimizing Products for Manufacturability

The final cost and delivery of a product is determined by its manufacturability. A product that is designed only for fit and function, without any thoughts to its future fabrication, can lead to disastrous results down the line. During a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group, survey participants noted that eighty percent of a product’s budget is used in the first phases of development. After the process of product conception, testing, and prototyping, the path of a product is committed. Materials and tooling have been purchased and the assembly process is put in place. To make any modifications at this point will result in huge expenses. Following the Rule of 10, in each subsequent phase, the cost rises 10 times to fix any mistakes. As a result, the Best-in-Class follow these steps to optimize their products for manufacturability: Collaborate with manufacturing during the design process. Focus during the early phases of product design on its manufacturability. This process is simplified when collaborating closely with manufacturing from the early stages of development, all the way through prototyping and testing phases. For this reason, changes made initially are the easiest to adapt, and end up less costly than modifications during production. Sixty-eight percent of Best-in-Class companies collaborate with manufacturing during the design stages. (see Figure 5). Create a feedback loop. Continuous improvement of the design process is best achieved by feeding manufacturing data back into product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. PLM and manufacturing systems have traditionally been two very distinct segments in the development process. However, shorter project schedules have forced the combination of these two segments for a leaner manufacturing...
9 Steps to Establish the Lean Supply Chain: A System of Interconnected & Interdependent Partners

9 Steps to Establish the Lean Supply Chain: A System of Interconnected & Interdependent Partners

Top management knows that lean can add value, but many still haven’t moved past the initial education stage into full-scale lean supply chain implementation. One reason may be that they haven’t made the paradigm shift as to how to implement lean. The Lean Supply Chain is a system of interconnected and interdependent partners that operate in unison to accomplish supply chain objectives. There should be metrics involved to monitor these objectives to ensure success across the supply chain. These metrics should be reviewed frequently to ensure supply chain success. These objectives are accomplished as follows: 1. Eliminate All Waste in the Supply Chain So That Only Value Remains Creating a smooth flow of products downstream in a lean supply chain requires all departments and functions in the organization to work in collaboration. In the supply chain, the seven wastes translate to: o    System complexity—additional, unnecessary, steps and confusing processes o    Lead time—excessive wait times o    Transport—unnecessary movement of product o    Space—holding places for unnecessary inventory o    Inventory—inactive raw, work-in-process, or finished goods o    Human effort—activity that does not add value o    Packaging—containers that transport air or allow damage o    Energy-(Sometimes called the eighth waste): eliminate wasteful energy in the supply chain: minimize electricity, gas, utilities, etc. 2. Consider Advancements in Technology To Improve The Supply Chain The following are a great list of technology investments that should be at the top of the list in the quest for the lean supply chain: Workforce Management throughout the Supply Chain, Omni-channel fulfillment, RFID, Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems, Electronic Data Interface (EDI), Trading Partners Interface (TPI-Retail Value Chain Federation), Customer Order Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Cloud Solutions, Transportation’s Yard...
Plan, Design, and Collaborate on Projects with Ease through BIM Content Visibility

Plan, Design, and Collaborate on Projects with Ease through BIM Content Visibility

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical infrastructure. This technology has risen to prominence in recent years, and today, the majority of building designs are created using BIM tools. Current BIM software is used by businesses that plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain a wide variety of projects. BIM solutions have changed the way architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms operate by providing a platform to plan and design projects, collaborate, and support the design process throughout the project lifecycle. In addition, BIM allows a company to deliver complete information to building owners and facilities managers, allowing for a more collaborative design decision-making process. It has changed more than the way buildings are designed — it has altered the entire content purchasing process. For building product manufacturers, this means that components can now be designed into a project early in the process. AEC companies and contractors now consider product information from multiple sources through which they can quickly discover, preview, and download BIM models and specifications for easy placement in their projects. This new method of content selection has led to BPMs seeking out new ways to differentiate themselves, and their products, for their peers. The majority of BPMs are currently centralizing their BIM content in a repository, and nearly half of them are not only centralizing the content but are also integrating it with BIM design tools. Early visibility makes it more likely that your products will be selected sooner in the design process. By providing high quality, easily accessible BIM content, manufacturers can assist designers in the...
The Evolution of Digital FinOps

The Evolution of Digital FinOps

In the current business environment, where organizations increasingly work with a range of business partners across multiple geographical locations, finance departments are undergoing a much-needed evolution. Manual processes and redundancies in employee tasks add increased costs while putting the organization at risk for inaccurate data and poor partner relationships. To minimize these challenges, top-performers have altered the configuration of their finance departments, as well as the technology that they use to support them. Automation is integral to overcoming the numerous operational hurdles associated with accounts payable and receivable. Shared service centers and centralized finance technology that digitizes formerly manual processes can solve problems internally. Externally, supplier networks can improve communication with the extended enterprise, reducing costs and improving accuracy. In our recent report, we explore how automation, along with enterprise-wide collaboration via integrated solutions and comprehensive systems, can significantly improve your organization’s financial operations. Here are a few key takeaways:  Integrate your systems. Financial operations are best served when combined with automated accounting solutions and enterprise-wide, integrated systems. This undeniably accelerates and improves access to the data necessary for critical decisions. It also frees up resources to focus on customer-centric tasks. Maximize collaborative capabilities. Tying in various department and business functions via a centralized data repository and integrated systems fosters greater cross-corporate collaboration and all its benefits. Promote the cultural change emphasizing collaboration. Integrated systems drive greater efficiency and accuracy in data. However, if units continue to operate independently or in silos, the benefits of such systems are muted. Corporate culture must reflect the need for all to embrace collaboration. To learn more, read the full report. ...
The Importance of Collaboration in Mechatronics

The Importance of Collaboration in Mechatronics

  The fundamental shift of replacing mechanical functions with hardware and software has been the driving force behind the field of mechatronics. As a way to address market demands for more complex products, mechatronics engineering is used to integrate mechanical, electrical, and software components. In the past, each part was designed in a vacuum where product development occurred in a sequential fashion. It was a method that rarely worked without error. Missed deadlines and budget overshoots caused companies to start streamlining their processes by using a development method that forced a more collaborative approach of all disciplines throughout the entire design cycle. Collaboration is Necessary In mechatronics engineering, the principles of mechanics, electronics, and computing are united to create an economic, functionally complex system. The challenge lies in incorporating these systems effectively such that no information is lost in the data exchange. In a recent survey conducted by the Aberdeen Group, the top two challenges for product development listed by survey respondents were collaboration (39%) and disconnected processes (30%). Notably, 18% of all respondents said data quality was one of their top challenges. The focus on data quality will grow as operational sites become increasingly global. And when compared to the previous year, only 24% of companies said collaboration was a top challenge. That’s a 15% increase year-to-year. As product complexity and engineering disciplines tightly integrate, the weight of meaningful collaboration will become increasingly critical to the successful design and deployment of a product. Guidelines for Effective Collaboration in Mechatronics Product Development Effective incorporation of different functions in a mechatronics product means a collaborative effort by all designers.  The...
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