PLM software vendor PTC and factory automation equipment maker Rockwell Automation recently announced a partnership agreement. As reported, Rockwell is making a $1 billion equity investment in PTC to acquire 10.6 million newly-issued PTC shares and will become its third-largest shareholder. Rockwell will also get a seat at PTC’s board of directors.
In the first part of this two-part blog article, I discussed how two global high-tech manufacturing companies use validation tools to formalize and automate the design review process for downstream manufacturing, thereby reducing costly and time-consuming rework and engineering change orders, manufacturing defects, and costs.
In this article, I discuss the benefits of using formal manufacturability validation tools as a mechanism for best-practice knowledge capture and continuous improvement.
A Growing Manufacturing Knowledge Gap
Many design engineers lack theoretical and practical manufacturing process knowledge in well-established manufacturing disciplines such as injection molding, casting, and sheet metal fabrication. This gap is more pronounced in newer manufacturing processes that involve composite materials and additive manufacturing. Read More
Competing in a Global Market – What’s Your Competitive Advantage?
Today’s global marketplace gives companies access to more customers and greater growth possibilities. But to succeed in a crowded, hypercompetitive market requires companies to outperform the competition in speed to market, product quality, competitive pricing, and strong margins.
Traditional product leadership tends to focus, not unreasonably, on competitive functionality and cost. But all too often management neglects to consider the far-reaching impact that suboptimal design could have during prototyping and manufacturing volume ramp up. Whether because of time pressure, lack of experience, or just complacency, many product organizations often ignore downstream manufacturing during product design.
Study after study shows that inept design for manufacturability leads to unnecessary engineering changes, slower time to market, and higher manufacturing ramp up costs. Meeting project schedules, achieving a high level of quality, and controlling production costs are highly dependent on getting designs right the first time. Read More
For most of its short history, additive manufacturing technology innovation focused on demonstrating and proving its viability. Commercial 3D printer manufacturers have been busy making fanciful trinkets and miniature plastic replicas of industrial parts, while only a small number of industrial manufacturers have been using the technology in a limited role in prototyping and a product development stage between 3D model design and small-scale manufacturing.
From the introduction of stereolithography technology as a rapid prototyping technique in 1980, additive manufacturing evolved as a technology rather than an engineering and manufacturing discipline. While the 3D printing technology and material science have demonstrated rapid progress over the last couple of decades, the process and practice of additive manufacturing still lack industrial manufacturing orientation.
Is a Car Really Just a Computer on Wheels?
I am sure you have heard it before: your car is just a computer on wheels. It’s an opinion most common among the numerous startups and entrepreneurs with minimal industry experience attempting to jump on the automotive innovation bandwagon. I heard it again last week at an industry panel I participated in.
It’s true that modern cars incorporate a growing number of powerful computers that control most vehicle operations and interactions with driver and passengers, and with the outside world.
But whether thought-provoking or plain cute and trying to impress the audience, the assumption that these computers render a car as not much more than a powerful computer on wheels is not only inaccurate, it can be self-limiting and leading those new entrants astray. Read More