Can SOLIDWORKS 2016 bring innovation to your design process?

The Australian government defines innovation as positive changes to the way a businesses operates or utilises technology, processes or ideas. In many cases, these trends can enhance productivity, efficiency and business growth, allowing organisations to better position themselves within a market. 

For businesses in industries such as architecture, manufacturing or any other sector where success depends on quality product creation, the design process is usually the best place to introduce innovative practices. 

Examples of this include everything from adopting new communication techniques, debuting new technology or upgrading the CAD software that designers use. 

With these considerations in mind, here are some of the ways SOLIDWORKS 2016 can help designers to foster innovation within their organisation. 

Link designers with creators

One of the key updates to SOLIDWORKS 2016 concerns the communication and collaboration processes that are enabled with the help of the software. In particular, it's important that not only designers can share ideas effectively, but members of other teams can be involved easily as well. 

SOLIDWORKS 2016 ensures that all members of a project development team are able to contribute to a design as required, from initial concepts all the way through to manufacturing. This update is intended to unite people across various disciplines, eliminating the need for complex communication processes or the use of multiple programs. 

According to an interview McKinsey & Company conducted with industry experts, the manufacturing sector is perfectly poised to benefit from these updates. The firm believes this due to the fact the industry is in the middle of a shift into digital manufacturing, which it states will rely on inter-team collaboration. 

"The people who design things and the people who make things are separated."

Chief Technology Officer of the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute Bill King believes this link is the key to creating value for the digital manufacturing process. Mr King also outlined the challenges that demand software which supports collaboration. 

"Today, what happens is that the people who design things and the people who make things are separated," he began. "They're separated by technology, by organisational barriers." 

"In many cases, the designer and the maker work for different firms. Perhaps they work on different parts of the planet."

With SOLIDWORKS 2016, the links between designers and other key stakeholders are stronger than ever before. 

What are the barriers to innovation?

There are a number of features within a workplace that can hinder an organisation's approach to innovation. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) produced a whitepaper on the topic, finding that IT innovation in particular often experiences a number of roadblocks. 

One of the central concerns for businesses undertaking IT investment, whether that's in new hardware or software solutions, is that increasing complexity can be off-putting. PwC believes this usually occurs when organisations attempt to merge too many different software configurations with hardware from multiple vendors. 

How can investment enhance innovation?How can investment enhance innovation?

In the case of SOLIDWORKS 2016, the focus on collaboration and communication across disciplines within one program seeks to greatly limit this complexity. 

PwC also discovered that businesses need to make an effort to seek out and employ opportunities for innovation. The firm found there is a significant culture of saying 'no' to innovation, which could harm businesses in the long run. 

Whether companies are facing software upgrades, such as moving to the 2016 edition of SOLIDWORKS, or considering hardware implementation like 3-D printing, PwC advises keeping an open mind. In many instances, these are the decisions that drastically alter an organisations approach to innovation. 

Designing or manufacturing in the architecture industry? Contact us at SOLIDWORKS to see how we can help inspire engineering innovation and improve every aspect of your product development.