Reduced design release time by standardizing engineering data #2

Mohan Santhanam August 5, 2017

Blog #2 of a series on B-WI customer stories

Manufacturing_Globalization.jpgThe global market for the truck and trailer industry is concentrated in highly industrialized nations such as the US, China, and Germany. The US truck and trailer industry includes about 420 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with a combined annual revenue of about $10 billion. (https://www.firstresearch.com/Industry-Research/Truck-Trailer-Manufacturing.html)Demand is directly tied to activity in the truck manufacturing industry, which is driven by growth in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and retail sectors. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations along with carefully monitored inventory management.

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Achieving efficient operations is comprised of several critical factors including: a shorter and more efficient manufacturing cycle, faster turnaround time, order processing and time to market. 

Reducing the design release time is essential for shortening the manufacturing cycle, leading to a lower turnaround time and a faster time to market.

This blog from our customer stories series is an account of how B-WI worked with a leading manufacturer in the commercial delivery truck industry to reduce the design release time by 25%.

This manufacturer's existing product design platform, Unigraphics,  was proving to be unviable.  They realized that Unigraphics was not the best option for their product line and the cost of employing this design platform was becoming very expensive. B-WI had the additional challenge of overcoming the client’s  distrust of outsourcing due to past negative experiences.

Pin ball globe.pngFirst of all, to gain the client’s confidence and trust, B-WI created a pilot project.  This enabled the client to review B-WI’s platform capabilities, project management and quality of deliverables.

After the successful completion of the pilot, B-WI set up a hybrid onsite offshore Global engineering center (GEC) model designed for scalability.  The GEC team worked on the modelling and detailing, engineering change requests, and the design support required for the truck models.

Normalizing non-standard data

The GEC team discovered that a significant amount of engineering data was non-standard which had resulted in rework and duplicated efforts. This data was then standardized to remove discrepancies. The designs were modularized to minimize variations which made the design process more efficient.

The SolidWorks Bill of materials (BOM) was integrated with the ERP BOM through macros that standardized the BOM data across the client’s systems.  After the migration to the new platform, issues with the PDM-PLM link were resolved. 

As an added value, B-WI prepared a SolidWorks global best practices document and trained the client’s engineers on the newly adopted system. The manufacturer reduced design release time by 25% due to the implementation of global best practices for creating manufacturing drawings. 

Rework and duplicates were drastically reduced through standardization & modularization of parts, which in turn improved the overall efficiency of the design process.

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Here is the link to the previous post in the B-WI customer stories series:

Blog post #1: How A Truck Manufacturer Reduced Manufacturing Cost Through Alternate Material Selection

Topics Product Lifecycle Management Product Development Solutions