Fueling Collaboration Between PLM and Design

Fueling Collaboration Between PLM and Design

A product’s disposition is baked into its origins. The entire lifespan of a product—how long it lasts until it breaks or becomes obsolete, the maintenance it needs along the way, and even the way it is disposed of—all arise out of a probability cloud that is generated during the product’s design phase. Companies can’t predict the exact outcome for any of the products they create, but they can understand what’s most likely to happen based on data from the design and manufacturing processes. This is where PLM and DFM converge with Big Data. Data is not a magic bullet, however. Data can’t help manufacturers if the right people don’t have access to it. Data can’t help you if it’s low-quality, and data can’t help you if there’s not enough of it. Therefore, a successful company doesn’t just analyze data well—it also optimizes data sharing. Here’s how market leaders can wield data to succeed in an increasingly complex manufacturing environment. Big Data Integration with DFM has Been a Long Time Coming To a certain extent, DFM has already been integrated with Big Data since the early 2000s. This was when OEMs began to employ the idea of “mass customization,” allowing customers to select a mass-produced product with certain characteristics tailored to their personal needs. Big Data is used to select an array of product combinations that consumers might want and manufacturers needed to design their products with that array of customizations in mind. There is so much more that can be done, however. Mass customization started fifteen years ago, but it was only the beginning of a wave of increasing...
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...
Closed-Loop Product Lifecycle Management: Deliver Inspired Products in Fashion and Retail

Closed-Loop Product Lifecycle Management: Deliver Inspired Products in Fashion and Retail

In the fashion industry, new product development is a dynamic process that is highly dependent on seasonal demand. Traditionally, the full development cycle of a new product occurs at least twice a year on short schedules. In the past decade the revolution of “fast-fashion” has caused retailers to develop products at a frenetic pace. This movement is changing the face of the global apparel industry and placing more pressure on retailers, forcing them to deliver ten fashion collections a year, versus the traditional four. Decreasing customer attention spans along with increasingly varied purchase options fuels shortening delivery schedules. Whether it’s digitally purchased through social media, or by mobile methods, customer expectations are shifting. To remain competitive, fashion and retail developers must either rise to the challenge or fail as a business. That path to success ultimately points to an integrated product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Developing at a Frenetic Pace In a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen Group, inefficient collaboration was the overriding theme for fashion and retail companies at 57%, with siloed departments second at 36%. They were 54% more likely to list poor collaboration as a challenge over companies not in the fashion industry. By its very nature, the fashion industry moves quickly, requiring flexibility across the entire organization. A disjointed company, weak in collaboration and working in siloed departments, will be slow to react to changing market sentiment. Notably, data quality was listed as a challenge for retailers, demonstrating that insight and visibility into product development data and activities is a strong differentiator. Data-driven decision making keeps retailers smart and connected to the process, affording them...
Independent MES Field Continues to Shrink With Siemens’ Camstar Acquisition

Independent MES Field Continues to Shrink With Siemens’ Camstar Acquisition

Recently, engineering and manufacturing titan Siemens announced that they will be acquiring Camstar, one of the last large independent Manufacturing Execution System (MES) vendors. This move isn’t a big surprise, as Camstar has historically been strong in the medical device and high tech verticals, both focus areas for Siemens last year and this year as well. Also, MES has always struggled to be a large growth market and to get a return on investment for the implementation of a large MES system, companies have traditionally had to be large enough to justify the expense over a large number of global plants. While many companies implement smaller, focused solutions like quality and Environmental Health and Services (EH&S), the type of MES needed to drive faster New Product Introduction (NPI) through manufacturing requires a larger and broader system.  Theses larger systems are needed to drive visibility, collaboration, and data management, all of which are at the core of NPI. With this acquisition, Camstar will most likely become the manufacturing core in specific verticals for Siemens.  Siemens has really been driving the manufacturing side of NPI over the last couple years and this will be a complement to their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. This scenario is similar to the reasons why Dassault recently acquired the MES company Apriso. This trend towards connecting product development and operations is inescapable. The NPI process is the perfect area to target for improvement because of its enterprise wide involvement. In fact, recent Aberdeen research showed that Best-in-Class companies are creating a collaborative enterprise that strives for operational excellence between development and manufacturing. There are numerous benefits to bridging the gap between...