Expectation of this blog post is to emphasize the need for automation in the field of New Product Development (NPD) and use of integrated validation tools throughout the process, CAD software that combines 3D,2D, manufacturing process guidelines and cost analysis capabilities in one system can save product development time and effort. Designers can reuse these guidelines from a library (saves design time) with confidence and react faster to design changes.
Knowledge sharing can happen between departments so that designs can be done right the first time with manufacturability considerations. When everyone works on the same system, this is much easier to do and the benefits can be substantial. This is an easy way to properly control changes in products, processes and master records.
“What if you could receive notices from your systems before manufacturing feasibility fails, so you can take action to avoid it. If you apply the same principle on cost, definitely you will take action”
Industries are looking for solutions to support fast-changing demands of its customers, to assist real-time recommendations through closed-loop system on manufacturing process, have control over manufacturing challenges. The cost impact of such solutions may lead or support indirectly supply chain team for better negotiation. The selected tool or solution should have capability to suggest and report changes within the business or commodity and is able to instantly communicate across enterprise from product design to manufacturing. So, as per recommendation, design team can sense and respond to business signals and progressively define manufacturing business success.
Smart closed loop engineering vision
Real-time recommendations are defined guidelines for design for manufacturing feasibility analysis (Guidelines). These guidelines must influence manufacturing business success. This is possible when these guidelines are integrated with CAD tools to meet main expectations of manufacturing industry and have capability to include additionally required manufacturing process guidelines. Recommendations for process optimization or selection of ideal manufacturing process may support for vendor discussion or selection for cost negotiation. Today, every industry is having an infrastructure to implement automation for every subject, but everything is divided into pieces and continuity is missing within the manufacturing teams. Many companies may be working on product development without the knowledge of manufacturing process and cost. Unfortunately, in such cases, designers do not realize the impact of their decisions on the manufacturing process. Design features that are difficult to manufacture can add extra costs to jobs. As we know, design to cost is a widespread area, every change is cost to the product, company needs to think about cost or value, which aspects add values for the customer or for their own industry, sometimes customer prospects may help industry to develop capabilities within.
Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Assembly(DFA)
The phrase itself has two subjects, one is Design, another is Manufacturing and assembly, both require guidelines and best practices for successful product development.
Design is a creation of plan, convention for the creation of an object, system or measurable, work process which has an end user perspective. It drives development based on specific needs and this design process varies between different tasks and development fields.
Creation of 3D concept and measurable object on the 2D drafting (Virtual model) is Computer-Aided Drafting and conversion of end user perspectives is design technology. CADD operators use latest drafting tools (AUTOCAD/CREO/CATIA/NX/ SolidWorks) to create drawings that are used to convey technical information and guidelines to manufacturing team. Drafters may be employed in the engineering fields, creating drawings that provide the technical specifications of parts or products.
Conversion of virtual model to physical object by using drawing, process, man-machine tools setup with help of labor, raw materials into finished goods with respect to defined specifications and guidelines is called Manufacturing and Assembly.
Comprehensive vision for business growth
Design for manufacturing and assembly guidelines support a company’s fundamental business by helping automation and making processes more efficient, those can be used to help you plan your actions or to form an opinion about something aims to streamline processes according to a set routine, it combines expert knowledge and research into a document that argues for a specific solution or recommendation. The guideline allows users to understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision.
For engineering leaders, DFM&A and cost analysis help build smart manufacturing strategies and global vision for business growth. Both subjects follow some established guidelines, keep costs down and productivity up while increasing an organization’s ability to quickly respond to market conditions. The best application of a guideline is to provide information that helps solve a problem, it should justify why the problem must be solved, objectively explore alternative ways to solve the problem and logically lead to the conclusion that your organization has the knowledge, expertise and tools are available to solve problem. Current guidelines are written in ways that fail to address cost and ideal manufacturing process recommendations.
Expectation of engineering guideline at design
Any guideline should be written to provide solution or justification for manufacturing process and meet expectations (Refer figure 1), using objective study through instructive content for design from manufacturing perspective (Ideal manufacturing process recommendation).
Comprehensive parametric DFM & DFA guidelines and costing solution for success
So far, guidelines are generated to fulfil the gap from Design to Manufacturing feasibility and select ideal manufacturing process. But every design ends with cost of manufacturing. Cost of product is influenced by features and dimensions of component or product, manufacturing process or manufacturing location. for example: Tight tolerance of a component increases cost of manufacturing. Yes, this may be an application requirement, then one should follow recommendations for alternate cost effective manufacturing processes to manufacture product or part.
Figure 2. “All in one place”
So far, we have discussed about guidelines, but each change or step in the manufacturing process adds cost to part, some of the following factors and above parameters (Refer figure 2) are very crucial for supply chain team, when they take it for outsourcing and supplier negotiation.
Multi-functional teams, including supplier’s engineers are responsible for successful product development. Starts from concept development and up to manufacturing (Finish product or part).
Supply chain team selects or identifies suppliers as per requirement early in the concept stage from lists of prequalified suppliers considering their most advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities, with help of supplier audit or track records. Customers are sharing risk factors and maximum major responsibilities with supplier on component development to meet target cost, quality and on-time delivery. Risk sharing factor analysis indicates which approach gives them greater flexibility to develop cost effective ideal solutions to problems as they arise.
Detailed cost breakup analysis and ideal process consideration reports may help facilitate interactions with suppliers and schedule face-to-face meetings with them on a regular basis discussion on manufacturing cost this cost is the sum of costs of all resources consumed in the process of making a product. This cost breakup analysis will help both buyer and supplier reduce manufacturing cost and provide a negotiation mechanism for customer.
To meet the diverse expectations of any product development or manufacturing industries such as fast turnaround on design for cost, detailed cost breakdown and consistency in reports should be available in product costing software package to meet “Design for cost” as explained in the Figure 3.
The bottom line is – This paper introduces a manufacturing firm really needs CAD integrated guidelines to develop effective Engineering, Ideal cost effective process recommendations and solutions within and beyond its boundaries in order to maximize growth in operational area, as well as helps make industries more responsive, reliable and predictable right down to the production. It enables quick deployment and helps designers work closely with supply chain, reuse these guidelines from a library (saves design time) with confidence and react faster to design changes. Manufacturers can improve designs, eliminate waste, improve quality, increase productivity and make the product more easily and sometimes at a lower cost.