Companies today are under extreme pressure to ensure new product launches are on schedule and on budget. To accomplish these objectives, many organizations are turning toward new approaches such as ‘chasing the sun’ engineering, product development partnerships, and increased use of contract staff to design, engineer, and validate products.
We have experience implementing Product Data Management systems that are integrated with multiple CAD solutions while providing access to design content to cross-functional users with light-weight files to share and interrogate engineering models. In addition, our team has globally implemented large-assembly management and change management solutions.
CAD Configuration and PDM Intergration
Efficient CAD design can make the difference between success and failure during new product development. If CAD models are inefficient and bloated, they are time consuming to open, and much more difficult to modify and use, which can unnecessarily extend the product development timeframe. In extreme cases, top-level models containing the entire design may not open at all.
Downstream users may also be affected, because tooling design and CAM applications are typically based upon the engineering design models. It is also important to enforce the same CAD modeling practices within areas outside of engineering that consume and develop CAD models to support production.
We have a deep understanding of CAD modeling techniques that help create efficient designs, as well as best practices for optimizing CAD models.
Our team also has experience implementing and configuring the integration software for most major CAD packages within a PDM environment.
Large Assembly Management
Even with well-established CAD design standards, bill of material structure within the CAD environment is often overlooked. Structure can vary across projects, products, and platforms, which causes downstream user (outside of engineering) frustration when locating common components between products.
Implementing a common Large Assembly Management structure across similar products can solve these problems. Benefits of a well-organized Large Assembly Management strategy include the following:
- Provide a standard practice for Digital Product Development processes by aligning with current Product Database Management System and customer expectations.
- Standardize on one design methodology throughout R&D facilities.
- Standard practices and processes to create large CAD assemblies is critical to the success of a Product Lifecycle Management initiative.
- Use of common data between plants and following a design standard are vital to data reuse.
- Optimized CAD assemblies will improve other issues such as interference, supplier collaboration, and assembly bill of materials management.
Product Data Management
A Product Data Management (PDM) deployment should be CAD-neutral, so design content authored in any design application can be managed. It should be flexible enough to accommodate the downstream data reuse requirements of manufacturing, procurement, and publications, just to name a few. We have significant experience configuring, deploying, and supporting Teamcenter Engineering in a global, multi-site environment.
Product Change Management
Organizations tend to have product change information stored in disparate environments across the enterprise, which makes configuration and change traceability very difficult to manage. For example, a change log could be authored using a database solution with product information managed using a product data application, as well as other critical attributes stored within ERP.
Our team has implemented product change management processes within Teamcenter Engineering using a combination of developed forms and configured workflows to store and manage the entire change information trail. Relevant change information is also passed to ERP for transactional purposes. The Change Proposal (CP) process tracks and controls changes throughout the product development process and ensures traceability between product and change by linking the change form (meta data) to the product data (CAD, Item data).
Downstream users of the product design can view lightweight 3D design models (JT files) using a neutral-format viewing software. JT files are beneficial to publications, marketing, procurement, and manufacturing for a variety of business needs.
Our experts can help configure the Product Data Management application to detect any new model or modifications to the existing model and convert them to light-weight format (JT). CAD file conversions may be scheduled over night so a new model or a modified model will have an associated JT the next day.