Most engineers naturally thrive on efficiency. When engineering teams are freely given the tools they need to optimize their work—and are recognized for the improvements they make—it often creates an appetite for more within the entire department where the mantra becomes, “How can we do this better?”
In this type of company culture, product design can positively impact other critical business areas. Design teams can help shorten time to market, reduce production errors and costs, and increase company revenue.
It’s all about fostering an environment in which people are empowered to continuously improve. It doesn’t take big disruptive changes in operations to create that kind of an environment. It’s more like baby steps that lead to big impacts.
For example, an increase of just six percent in the output of a manufacturing plant may not sound like much, but six percent increases over a dozen years more than double a factory’s production over time. The return on investment (ROI) is enormous. Focusing on countless small innovations that accumulate into big gains is the best strategy.
Leverage CAD Data
While this strategy is obvious, there are a surprising number of companies that do not leverage the incredible value of their CAD data.
Your CAD software should be your design team’s favorite tool. Just like any other tool—a saw, a drill, or a wrench—it should be easy to use and reliable, but powerful and sophisticated enough to get the job done quickly.
Segregated engineering and manufacturing systems (and data) create a host of problems. Not only do data translations add extra steps, but they can also introduce errors. With any change, downstream work, such as tooling and fixture creation, inspection documentation, shop floor assembly instructions, in-process drawings, and NC toolpath data must be recreated entirely or updated manually.
Integrated product development systems provide a concept-to-manufacturing solution that allows you to design, visualize, communicate, validate, cost, manufacture, inspect, compose, and manage—all in one environment. An integrated platform naturally enables concurrent design and manufacturing so you can do the following:
- Accelerate time to market, catch problems sooner, drastically reduce scrap, and lower manufacturing costs
- Avoid the time-consuming and tedious need to import/export/repair model data
- Avoid errors introduced during data translation
- Lower software maintenance costs due to fewer systems and reduced need for training
Right Information at the Right Time
Because changes propagate from design to manufacturing, you can incorporate them earlier and minimize the need to push out delivery dates. If you must make last-minute changes—for design, to keep up with the competition, new features, or to accommodate suggestions from manufacturing or industrial designers—you are covered!
Your design tools should help you provide manufacturing with everything they need to produce the finished product. Throughout the entire lifecycle, you should also have the right information at the right time to guide and support decision makers in making the right decisions.
More Strategies to Help Your Company
When designers see that they can positively impact a business, it fuels a passion for implementing even more productivity strategies—a win-win for everyone involved.
To learn more strategies about how to focus design teams on important and interesting work, provide them with the right tools, improve design and manufacturing efficiencies, and enable them to contribute to manufacturing and sales in a meaningful way, download the Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Design Team white paper now.
A motivated design team can be a manufacturing company’s greatest asset. Product design and the data it generates can make manufacturing more productive and help bring sales through the door. Whether through easily accessible product data to plan tooling, or models ready to drop into customer designs, design teams create intellectual property that yields enormous value when properly leveraged.
When you use SOLIDWORKS® connected with the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, you can have access to all your data at a single location on the cloud. You also gain easy, secure access to advanced design, data management, and manufacturing tools that allow you to implement new product strategies and workflows.
Plus, working on a cloud-based platform enables collaboration with more people more easily—colleagues, vendors, and customers—whether in the office, on the road, or working from home.
If you’d like to speak directly with someone about SOLIDWORKS or the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in your area, contact a local reseller.