Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936)

Design for Manufacturing: If You Don’t Have Time to Do It Right, When Will You Have Time to Do It Over?

By | Manufacturing, PLM | No Comments

The High Cost of Manufacturing Errors

High costs of rework and scrap plague many manufacturing organizations across all industries and product lines. And the list of root causes—and, quite commonly, excuses and finger pointing—can be bewildering.

Most commonly, manufacturing blunders that result in rework, tool damage, and scrap are the outcome of poor design for assembly and manufacturing.

But quite often, manufacturing setbacks are caused by human errors, omissions, and plain misunderstandings in the process of transitioning a new product from design to manufacturing.

Other organizational ills, such as poor maintenance practices of manufacturing assets, unmotivated employees, and poor quality management, can add to the problem.

No matter the root cause, the impact of rework and scrap can be overwhelming, especially when a problem is discovered only when the organization is already in full volume production. About half of the causes for rework are discovered during ramp-up time, resulting in design or process changes that cascade to several design or manufacturing activities, and impact work in progress, inventory and supplier contacts, and are highly disruptive and resource intensive. Read More

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (Katsushika Hokusai, 1832)

Digital Disruption: Shaping the Future of the Auto Industry

By | Automotive, Mergers & Acquisitions, PLM | No Comments

Industry in Turmoil

Automakers have been keeping a steady pace of technology innovation and manufacturing excellence for over a century. Since the breakthrough of the highly efficient assembly line, auto manufacturers were in the forefront of engineering innovation, designing and building cars that were successively better, safer and cleaner. For many decades, the industry has been at the center of the US economic development, and, to many, an industrial and social icon.

But over the past decade or so, the iconic and seemingly stable industry has been in turmoil. It has been undergoing massive changes caused by the cumulative effect of rapid technology innovation, disruptive business models, aggressive new competitors, and an emerging supply chain ecosystem whose full impact is not fully comprehended yet.

One of the most profound changes the auto industry is grappling with is the emergence of connected and autonomous cars. Most industry visionaries and practitioners portray a bold vision of a future in which cars, occupants, and cloud-based information and control systems communicate and exchange information in the omnipresent Internet of Things cloud. Cars are becoming part of the Internet, or, in today’s parlance, they are yet additional, if unconventional, “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). Read More

Le Sommeil (Salvador Dali, 1937)

Propping Up PLM

By | PLM | No Comments

Why Are Companies Creating Uber-PLM Environments?

“Engineering Cockpit”, “Product Development Dashboard”, “Product Management Environment”, these are but a few actual names of integrated product lifecycle management environments developed by product companies on top of their standard off-the-shelf PLM software. Typically, these are a blend of customizations, integrations, and software add-ons, touted as a better and more comprehensive way to give design engineers a complete view of product information.

Is something wrong here? Isn’t a complete and up to date view of a design information the promise of PLM? Weren’t we told that the PLM system is THE system of record and represent the only version of the truth? Read More

Ranking The PLM Vendors

By | PLM | 4 Comments

Aras PLM is Challenging the Hegemony of Established PLM Software Vendors

A recent Forrester Wave Report, ranking product lifecycle management (PLM) vendors for discrete product manufacturers. As is typically the response to this type of analyst reports, the report generated multiple responses from participating vendors and industry analysts.

I always find analyst reports such as Forrester’s Wave, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and IDC’s Marketscape, interesting, but difficult to decipher and reconcile, especially when they include rankings based on vague and highly subjective metrics such as “vision” and “cool.” Read More