LEAN Product Development And Six Sigma
The concept of LEAN is not new. In it's basic form, it is described as a mixture of practice principles, culture and attitude that eliminates waste and improves process.
Lean Product development philosophies don't have anything to do with engineering tools.In a LEAN environment a tool is regarded as just, a tool. Lets say a CAD engineer finds a £35k tool that will improve productivity by 5x and pay for itself in 6 months, even if that tool comes from a vendor that has no current reputation with the company.In an non-LEAN environment, that employee would be chastised for stepping above the parapet and challenging the norm as 'not the way we do things'
LEAN practitioner professionals and operatives would run for cover if any software vendor tried to label their software LEAN. that's understandable because LEAN is a style of product development process that uses real process governance at it's core. Now of course, software plays a part and our solutions are all about removing waste in whatever form makes sense today to your organisation. It can even mean different things from project to project, so its an agile concept. LEAN practices are dynamic until the point that they become core to the company ethos, then becoming a standard set of processes.
So, if you are truly keen to embrace LEAN practices, you will be ready to destroy the familiar phase gate GANTT chart. In it's place you will be open to explore a Set Based Concurrent product Development Methodology. Let us know if we can help you with your transition, whether it be driven by departmental requirement or from a broader company perspective.
Six Sigma principles are also very relevant to the manufacturing design process. The principles seek to improve the quality of various process outputs by identifying and removing errors and minimising variability in the manufacturing and business process. Using a set of quality management and statistical methods helps to create a special infrastructure and project management champions. Identifying quantifiable financial targets, cost reduction and/or profit increases is at the core of any initiative.
So, how does the Xisis portfolio of products help with these special business initiatives?
When only CAD users work in 3D, every demand on that team creates a wasteful interaction. SpaceClaim lets you use 3D to remove waste associated with day-to-day demands placed on the CAD team.
3D CAD data is vital to engineering and manufacturing organisations. CAD systems are excellent at capturing knowledge in 3D and archiving it from production through the end of its lifecycle. While most CAD teams excel at creating CAD designs for production, many key stakeholders along the design-through-production value stream remain unable to access and reuse that knowledge captured in CAD. Simultaneously, the constraint-based architecture of CAD prevents it from being an effective tool for set-based design methodology and responding to the voice of the customer. SpaceClaim is a precise 3D solid modeler designed to help sales engineers, concept modelers, and simulations users maximize their options early in the design cycle and build confidence in concepts before committing to detailed design in CAD at the last responsible moment.
Companies with LEAN product development initiatives adopt SpaceClaim to improve processes surrounding their core CAD workflows. Value stream maps of several key processes involving CAD tend to reveal dramatic opportunities to eliminate waste and streamline collaboration and productivity throughout product development. In particular, when all 3D in the enterprise is restricted to monolithic CAD systems, many processes lend themselves well to SpaceClaim's flexible 3D Direct Modeling environment, as follows.
Understanding Customer Requirements
When conceptualising new ideas with customers, traditional CAD tends to get in the way. The problem is the traditional CAD architecture. Detailed designs are engineered to constrain parts so they can't be changed in any way other than how they were originally designed. SpaceClaim breaks that tradition by creating an environment where customer-facing engineers can make whatever edits a customer suggests without being forced to live with previous design decisions that don't add value for the customer. SpaceClaim lets companies listen to the voice of the customer in 3D.
"My clients' jaws drop when I make edits in real time - online or in person."
Dan Falvey, CEO, Tools4Design
When modeling a new concept, engineers are able to wait until the last responsible moment to make design decisions. Unlike traditional CAD systems, where designers must know what the requirements and materials are before beginning to design, SpaceClaim makes it easy to ideate as many design ideas as potentially viable. Switch a concept between different manufacturing processes and figure out what version fits best. Develop deep understanding of the problem before sending the concept to the CAD team to finalize. Don't let CAD systems force decisions before the last responsible moment.
"Going to CAD too early costs us dearly. With SpaceClaim, I can evaluate 3-4 times more concepts in the same time."
Senior Design Manager, Fortune 100 Aerospace Company
CAE and Simulation
CAE analysts all too often rely on CAD designers for geometry. Typically, analysts must request each change when making design studies. There are two problems with this approach: CAD users are distracted from their core competency, detailed design, and simulation users must wait days or weeks for seemingly simple changes that they should be able to perform themselves in minutes. SpaceClaim turns week-long iteration loops into hours by giving CAE users control of geometry, allowing CAE and CAD to occur simultaneously and even letting simulation play a guiding role throughout engineering.
"I've gained back at least 50% of my time with SpaceClaim...I can now run twice as many simulations at the same time."
Senior Mechanical Engineer, Production Equipment Manufacturer
The interoperability Challenge Met
In the past, interoperability problems inherent to traditional CAD systems forced organisations to deploy a single CAD system across the company. Sometimes OEM's even limited their choice of supplier to only those that could supply data in the original CAD system's format, turning down potentially more competitive offers. SpaceClaim's 3D direct modeling technology overcomes these traditional interoperability problems, providing a way to deploy the right 3D tool to any engineer and maximise their nimbleness. SpaceClaim lets all engineers work in 3D, increasing their value to the organisation.
"The argument for streamlining by enforcing a single CAD platform is a thing of the past. The goal is to streamline the workflow while introducing the best tools for every job. Although a mix of tools comes at higher support costs, reducing wasted time in engineering and getting products to market faster is what gives us our competitive advantage. We have achieved this goal by empowering our engineers with SpaceClaim."
Hiroshi Mizuide, HIOKI E.E. Corp.
SpaceClaim is the ideal 3D tool for set-based concurrent design because it maximises
ideation and allows engineers to quickly converge on the most fit models.