Case Study Highlights: Manufacturing Automation

Raghuraman Ramamurthy April 1, 2015

manufacturing_automationLowering product costs is a common initiative among major manufacturers in virtually every industry. Greater control over cost means greater adaptability to market pressures, and sustainable advantage that sets market leaders apart from strong competition.

When companies take on these market pressures, design automation solutions provide some of the most beneficial cost reduction results possible. This rings especially true when time-to-market and high labor requirements are involved, as major spending areas draining a company’s budget.

In this article, we detail two important cases in which B-WI was able to help client companies see significant savings by implementing accurate, reliable automation systems for improving their engineering productivity.

Highlight: Fluid Motion Control Systems Manufacturer

In the first case study of our article, we describe a case in which B-WI helped an industry-leading client in the fluid motion control equipment business overcome time-to-market challenges. The challenges, primarily associated with complex inventories, part procurement and product development, were well-suited for design automation solutions during the engineering phase.

“The challenge of researching a parts catalog that has more than a million items causes the response to proposals to become painfully long. The possible human interface also resulted in errors and the need for repeated verification.

B-WI designed an automated drawing generation system to fulfill the global customer order documentation requirements for the North American, European and Asian product markets. The solution was developed through a mix of onsite and offshore engagement models to help leverage both cost and quality benefits.”

Design automation solutions identified by B-WI helped the company improve response time to RFPs by as much as 93%, while also offering optimized design accuracy impossible before.

Highlight: Change Parts and Packaging Equipment Business

In this case study, PneumaticScaleAngelus, an industry leader in the packaging business, sought ways to lower time-to-market and meet tightening marketplace deadlines.

“PneumaticScaleAngelus realized that automating its change parts design needs was inevitable to stay competitive. They wanted to use SolidWorks, its corporate standard 3D design software for automating the change parts design process, and approached B-WI.

B-WI proposed a phased approach for automation. The key was to reduce the time to market thereby maximizing value for money."

The solutions provided by B-WI were unraveled in four phases. In the first phase, B-WI identified ways to bypass overly complex equipment measurements. Then, process design time was significantly reduced via user-specified output and sketching. 

In the third phase, B-WI helped the company speed up its design process with automated profile processing. With the entire drawing and design process automated, the company then saved a 30% reduction in design time, accompanied with improved overall products.

Automation during the engineering stages can help companies see significant reductions in time-to-market. Most beneficial of all, automated systems can help in not only preserving product quality, but often improving on it.

When implemented alongside other cost optimization practices, such as standardization and modular engineering, automation can be one of the strongest factors in reducing product cost. This enhanced control over cost leads to more sustainable advantages in crowded product markets. To learn more about various solutions your company can use to optimize time-to-market and high product costs, read our case study on the topic, “Structured Approach to Product Cost Optimization,” or access our video on PCO.

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Topics Product Cost Optimization Time to Market Manufacturing Execution Systems