How can high tech manufacturers improve manufacturing engineering? We surveyed 177 people directly involved with manufacturing engineering and found that modernizing processes and technology drives higher manufacturing engineering productivity and performance. These improvements are crucial to profitability as customers demand high quality, personalized products at increasingly faster time to market; all despite rising product and manufacturing complexity.
Unfortunately, high tech companies face challenges in process design as products, manufacturing processes, including:
- Visibility to manufacturing capabilities
- Untimely design data
- Visualizing assembly processes
- Predicting impacts on sustainability
Please enjoy the summary* below. For the full research, please visit our sponsor Dassault Systèmes DELMIA (registration required).
This eBook shares additional data analysis and insights for the high tech industry from our Transforming Manufacturing Engineering with Virtual Build research.
Table of Contents
- Improve Manufacturing Engineering to Increase Profitability
- Address Process Designer Challenges
- Recognize the Opportunity
- Quantify the Potential
- Identify Performance Drivers
- Find Issues Earlier in Design
- Use more 3D and Simulation
- Leverage More Integrated Solutions
- Use More Advanced Communication and Collaboration
- Top Performers Show the Way
- Recommendations and Next Steps
- About the Research
Improve Manufacturing Engineering Performance
Improve Performance in the Face of Complexity
How can high tech manufacturers improve manufacturing engineering? We surveyed 177 people directly involved with manufacturing engineering and found that modernizing processes and technology drives higher manufacturing engineering productivity and performance. These improvements are crucial to profitability as customers demand high quality, more personalized products at increasingly faster time to market; all despite rising product and manufacturing complexity.
Modernize Manufacturing Engineering
Survey results show that Top Performers (see definition in eBook) in manufacturing engineering have increased maturity in the way they plan, validate, and communicate manufacturing operations. These leading companies waste less time on non-value-added activities, find issues sooner, and spend less on physical prototypes. They accomplish this through best practices, including:
- More advanced collaboration and communication methods
- Increased use of 3D and simulation to plan and validate manufacturing operations with virtual, digital twins
Recognize the Opportunity
Manufacturing Engineering is Ready for an Upgrade
It’s time for change. Manufacturers must digitalize production planning to reduce cycle times, increase efficiently, and deliver quality. High tech companies need to adopt new techniques to validate manufacturing earlier in the process, in parallel with product design.
Current Processes can be Improved
There is significant room for improvement. The majority of companies validate process plans with time-consuming and expensive physical prototyping. Physical prototypes bring abstract designs into the real world so engineers can identify issues and improvement opportunities. Most companies also use spreadsheets, which are prone to errors and file-based so they are not conducive to collaboration. These approaches lead to late discoveries and expensive process validation.
Leverage Visual Approaches
Trading physical prototypes for digital validation reduces time and cost. A significant number of companies already use some form of virtual representations. Static visualizations can help engineers see an issue in the digital world before committing to a physical prototype or manufacturing equipment.
Beyond static images, virtual simulation helps designers go beyond “seeing” to virtually experiencing the production process. While only about one-quarter use either 2D or 3D simulation, it’s a promising technology and a potential for significant planning and validation improvement.
Recommendations and Next Steps
Make a Strategic Improvement
Today’s product, manufacturing process, and market complexity demand new ways of working. The Top Performers are transforming manufacturing engineering through digitalization, better collaboration, 3D, and simulation allowing them to overcome efficiency, quality, and cost challenges. Using virtual, digital twins offers manufacturing engineers both the ability to improve their own performance and a strategic opportunity to increase overall product development profitability. These leaders spend 17% less time on non-value-added activities in manufacturing engineering, directly reducing development cycle times.
Improve Time to Market
Survey respondents report that they can reduce time to market by 37% by using 3D and simulation to plan and validate manufacturing operations. This is done, in part, by increasing efficiency, reducing time-consuming physical prototyping, and lowering rework by finding issues sooner in product development. This is critical in the high tech industry where time to market drives market share and products have such short lifecycles.
Survey respondents share that they can eliminate 36% of their prototypes by increasing manufacturing engineering maturity, leading to significant cost savings per product. They do this by shifting validation and issue identification sooner in the product development process so they need fewer physical prototypes.
Responding companies also indicate that they can reduce ECOs by over one-third. They do this by improving manufacturing process design using virtual technologies. Top Performers are more likely to find physical manufacturing issues in a virtual model than Others who are more likely to discover them in physical prototypes and actual production.
It’s time to improve manufacturing engineering productivity and performance. Companies can follow the lead of the Top Performers to increase maturity in how they plan, validate, and communicate manufacturing plans. To increase maturity, manufacturers should adopt the best practices of the Top Performers, including using integrated solutions such as 3D and simulation for manufacturing engineering.
*This summary is an abbreviated version of the research and does not contain the full content. For the full research, please visit our sponsor Dassault Systèmes DELMIA (registration required).
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