• Five Ways Shape Search Drives Business Value shares the shortcomings of traditional search methodologies and how geometric search can complement them to drive new business value. The report includes some basics about shape search, five tangible ways it can improve business performance, and an example of how to calculate the ROI of a shape search investment.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report or title to view the full PDF courtesy of our sponsor Siemens PLM (free of charge, no registration required).For more information, please visit the Siemens PLM Community blog to read the Shape … [ read more ]

    Five Ways Shape Search Drives Business Value (eBook)
  • Jim Brown contributed a guest post to the Siemens PLM Community blog discussing how R&D in the food and beverage industry can step up to the digital age to combat smaller, innovative companies that embrace the digital enterprise. This is the first of several posts that drill down on Surviving the New Competitive Landscape in Food and Beverage, a post that shares three ways that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can start their digitalization journey and discusses how that can help them avoid industry disruption.The first opportunity we're looking into is how the digital enterprise can improve … [ read more ]

    R&D Enters the Digital Age (guest post)
  • Please join Tech-Clarity's Michelle Boucher, Mark Turner from Alcon Labs, and Swapan Jha from PTC on Tuesday September 12, 2017 for a discussion on the right software solution for medical device engineering. The discussion will feature an interactive discussion between the panelists coving topics such as:Challenges facing medical device manufacturers. Why to consider the complete product lifecycle with respect to:Managing product and requirements. Transitioning from document to product centric approaches. Enabling smart and connected products.The best selection criteria for … [ read more ]

    Selecting the Right PLM Software for Medical Device Engineering (webcast)
  • Jim Brown contributed a guest post to the Siemens PLM Community blog discussing the opportunity for food and beverage companies to leverage digitalization and the digital enterprise to combat market disruption from new, innovate companies that are challenging current industry leaders. The post offers several ways that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can get started on their digital journey, achieve tangible business value, and combat challengers like Blue Apron and Amazon Fresh that are disrupting the status quo.The full post, Surviving the New Competitive Landscape in Food and Beverage, can be … [ read more ]

    Digitalization in Food and Beverage (guest post)
  • Dassault Systèmes continues to make significant progress on the 3DExperience vision they laid out 5 years ago. This strategy has seen them transform from a software vendor offering distinct solutions for a variety of functional areas to a company that leads with a strong business transformation message backed up by a platform of solutions. I dropped "PLM" from the title of last year's strategy review. I feel even better about that decision a year later. They now have a broad software suite brought to market as solutions tailored to support key initiatives in the vertical industries they serve. As times goes … [ read more ]

    Dassault Systèmes Strategy 2017+

Digital Prototypes – Yes. But for a Manufacturing Plant?


A quick peek into some research on … the use of digital prototyping techniques and technologies to design (and redesign) efficient manufacturing plants. Thumbnail_DP_PlantMost of the times I discuss “digital prototyping” it regards products. But the same concepts apply when using digital prototyping in the plant – namely using digital models to increase design efficiency and get designs right the first time. Today I am happy to share my new report with you, Digital Prototyping in the Plant: Improving Manufacturing Agility with the Digital Factory.

Why Digital Prototyping Now?

Clearly, the economy has been tough on manufacturers across the globe. Today, manufacturers are facing a series of demands to survive today and thrive during the economic recovery. I researched engineering’s role in a survive and thrive strategy from a product perspective earlier this year, noting that Engineering can make short-term impacts on both the top and bottom lines in the near term while innovating to prepare for the future. But what impact does the economic downturn have on manufacturing and plant engineers? In the plant right now, you are probably facing:

  • The need to cut cost
  • The demand to improve efficiency
  • The requirement to adjust to plant or line consolidations, volume/mix changes, and potentially new products
  • Lean resources to accomplish all of the above

What Did the Research Reveal?

Tech-Clarity interviewed leading manufacturers including Android, Robert Bosch, and General Motors on their use of digital prototyping. By leveraging 3D models in their plants, these manufacturers are improving their ability to design and reuse optimal tooling at a detail level as well as optimizing workstations, lines, and plants at a macro level. They are leveraging the tools to validate and optimize changes in a virtual environment before commiting to physical changes. In return, they are able to “find hundreds of issues … early in the process” and ensure smooth production in the plant when modifications are brought online.

One interesting finding was the use of 3D laser scanning to create 3D models of older plants that were likely designed using 2D drawings. In these scenarios, 3D for prototypes is created “using 3D laser scanning (LIDAR) to capture 3D point clouds of existing brownfield sites and pulling those into our CAD models.” This helps to reduce the barrier to entry for digital prototyping in existing plants.

Another interesting finding was the use of digital prototypes to collaborate with tooling suppliers, who are frequently geographically dispersed. With lower travel budgets and short time frames, electronic collaboration can bridge the gap. As one participant said, “This enables engineers collaborating deeply with external design suppliers to see the changes much faster and with less errors than in the 2D world.” Of course digital prototypes also help enable collaboration with design engineers in a concurrent engineering approach to get new products ramped up quickly.

Implications for Manufacturers

Cost saving opportunities are available, and change is inevitable. Manufacturers today have the opportunity to increase their agility and improve efficiency through digital prototyping technology. Please read the report for more recommendations. You may also be interested in a prior report, Leveraging the Digital Factory: Enhancing Productivity from Operator to Enterprise on the use of digital prototyping and Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) and Digital Manufacturing solutions to reduce cost, speed time to market, and improve product quality.

So that was a quick peek into some recent research on digital prototyping in the plant, I hope you found it interesting. Does the research reflect your experiences? Do you see it differently? Let us know what it looks like from your perspective.

Please feel free to review more free research and white papers about PLM and other enterprise software for manufacturers from Tech-Clarity.

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