"Now, we've entered Globalization 3.0, and it is shrinking the world from size small to a size tiny." ~Thomas L Freidman
‘Design anywhere manufacture anywhere’ is necessary in globalized manufacturing. With multiple locations across the globe, complexities in product engineering have increased, especially when your design team and manufacturing team are not at the same location. In such cases, standardization of engineering and manufacturing practices across global operations is essential to lower the risks and facilitate controlled change management. This is where engineering collaboration plays a critical role.
In continuation to earlier blog in this series on obstacles to engineering collaboration, this article will share one of our customer stories where engineering collaboration has enabled the manufacturer to design anywhere and manufacture anywhere.
Case Highlight: UK based transmission equipment manufacturer
The client is an engineering group based in UK who manufactures a wide range of precision engineering products including transmission and conveyor chains, and gearboxes, with a global presence across twenty locations.
As a result of distributed operations across the globe and lack of collaboration, they faced multiple challenges including:
- Unregulated engineering operations across global locations
- High cost of engineering operations
- Lack of cross-utilization across engineering teams
- Slower time to market
B-WI consultants conducted an engineering process assessment to understand the client’s manufacturing ecosystem in detail and to determine gaps that resulted in the setbacks. From the assessment, it was determined that the best course of action was to set up a dedicated global engineering centre (GEC) through B-WI with a team of engineers who worked on streamlining and standardizing the client’s processes. Operational processes in the GEC were tailored to suit the client’s specific requirements and standards.
With the GEC in place, a customized and robust process framework was then developed for seamless collaboration amongst the teams spread across multiple locations.
In order to help the teams work more effeciently, the following tasks were completed:
- Legacy data in the native format was migrated to a useable Pro/E format.
- Modelling of standard components became automated.
- Upgrades were performed on the PLM system to enable standardization across locations.
- Customized PLM applications were developed that tracked lifecycle stages of CAD drawings, which eliminated the duplication of efforts and reduced part proliferation.
- The PLM and ERP system were also integrated to standardize and centralize the manufacturing processes across the entire operation.
A common platform facilitated better communication and visibility of the entire product value chain; from the product development to the manufacturing teams. This made cross utilization of teams across various projects possible.
For this customer, Engineering collaboration resulted in 30% overall reduction in development costs and also total cost of engineering operations. Time to market was improved by 6 months, which facilitated an improved product pricing. This equated to a benefit of $4 million USD to the client.
So, this was the story of one of our happy customers who benefited from an engineering collaboration solution. We will keep sharing similar success stories of our customers and the initiatives that have helped them to spread globally, enter newer markets, optimize costs, and still stay profitable.
Keep watching this space for more.