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Does your engineering organization struggle with the following challenges?

  1. Crucial engineering data in several different systems resulting in disconnected information
  2. Manual processes that rely on human intervention
  3. Multi CAD environment requiring translations and inefficient transactions
  4. Lack of visibility of data for downstream consumers

If these challenges are something you face everyday, then you probably have considered a Product Data Management (PDM) system. This will store all your data in a single repository and help with automating workflows. But buying and implementing a PDM system seems costly and time consuming; how are you going to get started?

Teamcenter Rapid Start is the answer to all these questions. It is a preconfigured installation of Teamcenter with the following features:

  1. By using preconfigured templates, the system is simple and fast to deploy
  2. Best in class industry configurations to support engineering processes
  3. Included training allowing users to quickly become familiar with the system
  4. An implementation can be up and running to full productivity in two weeks

Lets have a look at all the components that make up a Teamcenter Rapid Start installation:

Multi-CAD and ECAD data managementFind, reuse and share data across a multi-CAD design chain

Teamcenter Rapid Start Multi-CAD data management capabilities enables you to effectively and efficiently manage, control and share MCAD data across the entire design and supply chain. Regardless of the CAD tools used, this environment provides you with a single view of product data as well as engineering processes and status. Teamcenter visualization extends this into an even more collaborative environment. Teamcenter handles all major CAD systems including NX, Solidworks, CATIA V5 and Autodesk Inventor.

Document management Create and manage documents in conjunction with product development

Teamcenter Rapid Start includes standardized document management features so you can create and manage documents in conjunction with PDM processes and data.

Related documents are associated with products, and you can synchronize the attributes between documents and PDM.

Teamcenter Rapid Start delivers a standard integration with Microsoft Office to extend the scope and coverage to the desktops of numerous professionals and users outside of the Engineering department. This includes the managed creation and update of Technical Publications, process sheets, Customer Requirements, manufacturing set-ups, test specifications, and many other Document Management applications.

Simple process managementPreconfigured processes like design release and change, based on PDM best practices

Teamcenter Rapid Start provides you with basic workflow capabilities to streamline product development by automating and synchronizing processes. You can:

  1. – Review, comment and approve/reject parts and documents
  2. – Capture and audit date and timestamp information
  3. – Manage cross-functional review teams (notifications, quorums, etc.)
  4. – Automate vital business processes and reduce manual intervention

Preconfigured roles and functionalityStart quickly with best practices to automate everyday tasks across the business

Teamcenter Rapid Start offers preconfigured groups and roles with appropriate access permissions to simplify common tasks.

  1. – The standard set of roles support the tasks done every day in an organization
  2. – For example — start a new project, issue an ECO or review a design
  3. – These tasks are easily started using a number of shortcut links in the “I Want to” area of the user interface.

Further, the tasks are automated by ‘Wizards’ to make them smooth and natural, and consistently repeatable in operation for reliable, efficient processes.

Teamcenter Rapid Start can get you up and running with PDM quickly by offering:

  1. A single installation process for server and client results in in a fully configured environment ready to use
  2. Standard organization and roles, preconfigured database, workflows, reports, security model, … so you have the capabilities you need as soon as you complete the installation
  3. Ongoing updates and support are simple, fast and effective

The other huge advantage of Teamcenter Rapid Start is that it offers a seamless path to complete PLM – supported by Teamcenter, the industry leader in PLM systems.

Contact us today to learn more about Teamcenter Rapid Start and get started with improved data management.

Do any of the questions below apply to your organization:

  • Do you own existing Dassault Systemes software products and are up to date with maintenance?
  • Do you need to transform your digital engineering processes?
  • Are you interested in implementing the true Digital Twin concept?
  • Is the technology that you are using for Digital Product Definition out of date?
  • Does your company have strategic initiatives like Lean Manufacturing, Flawless Launch, Model Based Engineering or similar?
  • Is your company expanding or looking to put new products on the market?

If the answer to any of these questions is Yes, then you should be looking at the Customer Transformation Program (CTP) from Dassault Systemes.

Dassault Systemes  launched a Customer Transformation Program for 2019 which is designed to transform the businesses of all their existing customers. This is a limited-time sales initiative program starting January 21, 2019 and ending December 31, 2019.

The program offers existing customers a voucher that makes them eligible for a discount on qualified new purchases of software from Dassault Systemes extensive range of productivity enhancing solutions. Customers can earn up to 35% off purchase of qualified new software – an exciting incentive to get up to date with the latest technology.

The future focus of Dassault Systèmes is on the innovative 3DEXPERIENCE platform, a disruptive technology that can completely transform your business. As a result, the largest discounts are for platform products, on premise or in the cloud.

As an example, a customer may have an existing Dassault Systemes CATIA V5 software and his installed base entitles them to a voucher good for 35% discount on a new product up to an amount 0f $35,000. Assume a new opportunity arises and the customer requires SIMULIA to run advanced simulations. If the list price of what is required is $100,000, then this can be purchased for $65,000 by applying the voucher.

As a trusted advisor, Tata Technologies can help navigate through the CTP program. Dassault Systemes has been investing billions into innovative technologies and helping organizations face business challenges. Please engage us to discover how your business can be transformed.

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com or contact info.americas@tatatechnologies.com

In the previous posts regarding PLM ROI ( Part 1, and Part 2, we introduced the hierarchy of strategic objectives, business targets and business costs. Examples were provided of all these categories.

In this post, lets look at some examples of how to calculate business costs and how savings can be derived from these. We will look at two examples: time searching for documents and manufacturing rework. The first example represents an efficiency gain and the second is a cost saving.

Time searching for documents or information

Assumptions:

  • Burden rate for engineer = $70/hr
  • Number of engineers = 120
  • Hours per week = 40
  • Weeks per year = 48
  • Time spent looking for documents (before PLM) = 2 hrs/week
  • Time spent looking for documents (after PLM) = 1.5 hrs/week

Cost:

  • Before PLM – $806,400 (this is obtained by multiplying the first five quantities together)
  • After PLM – $604,800 (this is obtained by multiplying the first four and the last quantities together)

Savings:

$201,600

Manufacturing Rework

Assumptions:

  • Manufacturing Costs = $2,290,000,000
  • Rework as a % of manufacturing costs = 1%
  • % of rework costs resulting from engineering (before PLM) = 25%
  • % of rework costs resulting from engineering (after PLM) = 20%

Cost:

  • Before PLM – $5,725,000
  • After PLM – $4,580,000

Savings:

$1,145,000

A few comments on these example calculations:

  1. The majority of the business costs can be calculated using addition or multiplication
  2. Efficiency gains are normally smaller than cost savings because of the nature of production centered businesses
  3. Calculation of ROI for PLM can easily be handled in a spreadsheet; this can also be used to produce graphs

Of course, anyone looking at these calculations will immediately have two questions: what is the source of the raw data and how do you arrive at the savings?

Here are some suggestions for deriving the data required:

  1. In the case of the time spent looking for documents, one can conduct interviews and ask participants to estimate the quantity
  2. A more efficient way of doing this is by sending out a online survey to selected individuals
  3. It is possible that IT have logs of various systems and can derive data on time spent in these systems
  4. Manufacturing rework is often recorded in the official accounts of the organization and can be derived form this source
  5. Alternatively, rework may be tracked on the shop floor to measure efficiency
  6. In the case of savings, there are industry benchmarks available from research firms who track this information
  7. Often, participants will be able to give ranges of what they think the savings will be
  8. If an organization has an issue or quality tracking system, then this can be a useful source of data

Once all the savings are calculated, it is a matter of spreadsheet manipulation to produce results and graphs. Below is an example of a cash flow projection:

Tata Technologies has a complete suite of tools that can help with ROI calculations. Consult any of your contacts in our organization or email

info.americas@tatatechnology.com

In our previous blog post Does PLM Pay? Part 1, we set the stage for calculating PLM return on investment and defined the hierarchy of Strategic Objectives, Business Targets and Business Costs.

Lets look at an example of this hierarchy:

The strategic objective is reducing time to market. The example shows two ways this can be done:

  1. Improving your bid response process will allow you to get back to potential customers quicker and speed up the overall time of enquiry to delivered product. PLM can certainly help with the bid response process by automating approval workflows, having all documents in one place and producing accurate BOM’s.
  2. Once a customer order is received, the delivery of product will have to be managed by some sort of project management team. PLM can help here by providing a inclusive project management environment that coordinates a large team. Poor project management will result in overruns and increase time to market.

Given these business targets, we need to put actual costs against them. The example gives four savings to which we can attach costs:

  1. Effort to process bids – it takes a time to respond to a bid request or query. In organizations that are dealing with complex products, this effort can be spread across multiple people (engineering, finance, manufacturing etc.) and can take a large amount of cumulative time. A cost can be attached to this. Any reduction in this cost as a result of implementing a PLM system will be a saving. Note this is an example of a efficiency gain (see Part 1).
  2. Profit from additional bids – Assuming that a PLM system allows bids to be turned around more quickly and with greater accuracy, the organization can expect to be more successful with winning business. More bids can translate into additional revenue and profits. Profits can be viewed as negative costs and would contribute to an ROI as a subtraction from costs. Note that this is an example of cost savings (see Part 1).
  3. Effort to manage programs – Often a product producing organization will have a separate function which focuses on managing programs and projects. (office of program management, Director of Programs etc.). If the process of managing programs could be improved by a PLM system, then the potential exists to have less program managers and save personnel costs. Note this is an example of a efficiency gain (see Part 1).
  4. Late Penalties – Product delivered late to a customer can result in contractual late penalties, which are a direct expense to an organization. If we can improve project management by implementing PLM, this can prevent project overruns and late penalties. Note this is an example of a cost savings (see Part 1).

These four examples represent the 43 total business costs that can be impacted by a successful PLM implementation.

In Part 3 we will look at some examples of calculating actual costs.  For more information, email us at Info.Americas@tatatechnologies.com

Here is a scenario familiar to many PLM professionals:- a project is initiated to implement or enhance a PLM system within an organization. All the participants are excited and everybody can clearly see the benefits to processes, collaboration and data security. All the pieces are in place; pricing, implementation schedule, software requirements, training plan – down to the last detail.

The champion starts getting all the signatures required to issue the purchase order. VP of engineering – done. CIO – done. CAD manager – done.

Then the fateful moment arrives and the champion walks into the CFO’s office. The first question out of his mouth is “You want to spend this money! What’s the return on investment?” And there it stops.

So, how do you calculate an ROI for a PLM initiative? The remainder of this post and the follow on articles will give an answer to the question. Here are the various reasons why you would want to calculate an ROI for PLM:

  1.  To justify the project to a Finance department (scenario above)
  2. For presentation to a Board of Directors. If the project is substantial enough, this is a possibility
  3. The object of the CFO is correct – a PLM project should result in real, quantifiable savings
  4. Savings from the investment over a period of time will improve the organization’s competitiveness
  5. Savings will allow for company expansion as improved cash flow can be invested in other areas

The approach relies on breaking down PLM impact areas into categories that align with business targets. Consider the following hierarchy:

The strategic objectives at the top of the pyramid are common to all companies and can be supported by PLM systems in one way or another. Of course, PLM is not the only contributor to these objectives as other business initiatives can help meet these goals. Supporting these strategic initiatives are 22 business targets (more on this in Part 2) which are further divided into 43 business cost (more on this in Part 3).

Before we start describing the targets and costs, a definition of the types of costs used in ROI calculations is needed. There are two categories of costs – referred to as efficiency gains and cost saving. The illustration below gives examples of this division

We will start looking at some specific targets in Part 2.   For more information, email us at Info.Americas@tatatechnologies.com

In the last several years, there hasn’t been a lot of ground-breaking additions to most 3D CAD software.  One of the more recent Autodesk Inventor developments in the last couple years has been the addition of the “Direct Edit” tool.  This recent addition can be used to edit models independently of any feature history.  This means you can edit models that were developed natively in Inventor, or imported as basic solid geometry from another CAD system.  The Direct Edit tool has a variety of functions including:

  1. Moving faces or solid bodies
  2. Sizing faces
  3. Scaling solid bodies
  4. Rotating faces or solid bodies
  5. Deleting faces

The “move” function has a “snap to” option where you can select geometry or a plane to set the new face termination distance.  Of course the default “offset” distance” is also available.  The “size” function allows for offsetting geometry, but there is also a diameter option that works particularly well with cylindrical shapes like hole or shaft sizes.  There are also functions within the tool to re-align the “triad” which allows for movement or rotation to be aligned with any edge or face in the model.

Once a model has been edited with the direct edit tool, you will notice that it will be documented in the model browser where it can be editing like any other feature in the Inventor model browser.  Each of the direct edit sessions will be listed as separate features in the browser, and each feature can be expanded out to modify any of the functions applied.

Overall, this is a tool within Autodesk Inventor that is well worth learning.  For more information, email us at Info.Americas@tatatechnologies.com

Digitalization is a digital process that ties all phases (ideation, realization and utilization) together through a digital thread that has the intelligence of the products and its lifecycle processes and connects to smart devices which can interpret and react to the information. This digitalized innovation environment is what will provide todays’ and the future manufacturers with sustainable competitive advantage.

Siemens PLM offers a suite of technology solutions to create Model Based Definition (MBD) and to consume it in the downstream processes to support Model Based Manufacturing (MBM). MBD is a complete digital definition of the product within the 3D model. One of the key element that contributes to MBD is PMI or “Product and Manufacturing Information”.  It Conveys information such as geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), 3D annotation (text), surface finish , material specifications etc.  NX PMI has an advanced toolset for creating rich PMI content that enables product development companies to capture and associate this design & manufacturing requirements directly with the 3D model, and share this information with other development applications . This enables the manufacture and inspection of the product without need for traditional 2D drawings.

NX PMI Objectives include

  • Capture and communicate design and manufacturing intent
  • Streamline the PMI authoring process
  • Facilitate and maximize downstream reuse
  • Remove the effort and cost of manually producing drawings
  • Support MBD and MBM initiatives

The solution capability highlights include

Dimensioning 

  • Smart dimensioning commands infer method based on selection
  • Dimensions are created in model views based on a defined annotation plane
  • Simplify authoring of dimensions by defining Feature Dimensions and Sketch Dimensions as PMI with “Display as PMI”
  • NX supports the import and export of semantically rich PMI from JT

Annotation 

  • Various types of PMI annotations allow users to specify important manufacturing requirements in the forms of
    • Note, Datum Feature Symbol, Datum Target, Feature Control Frame, Surface Finish, Weld (including Weld Assistant) , Balloon, Custom Symbols

Specialized Notes 

  • A variety of specialized PMI notes that allow users to extract or display specific information
  • Targeted at specific/specialized uses like
    • Coordinate, General & Specific Notes, Enterprise Identification, Material Specification, Part Identification, Fabrication Labels, Process Specification, URL Note, User Defined , String, Number and Integer Notes

Supplemental Geometry 

  • Per 3D Annotation Standards
  • Support for PMI Centerlines and Center Marks. Interactive control over extensions
  • PMI Regions are used to indicate or designate areas of a model for special purposes
    • Limited application of a tolerance
    • Show the area affected by a datum target
    • Designate a standalone region not referenced by other PMI annotations

Sectioning, Mirroring & WAVE 

  • PMI (Lightweight) Section and Legacy PMI Section
    • Options for Single Plane, Parallel Planes and Box Type
    • Can be inherited onto a drawing
    • Crosshatch derived from material
    • Cutting Plane Symbol Support
  • Support for Mirror PMI and Model Views & Support for reposition, delete and hide the mirrored PMI objects
  • WAVE PMI Linker: Include Body and Topology

Search & Reports 

  • PMI Search locates PMI display instances based on specific criteria
    • Specify PMI Type , Define Range ,Designate Output Preference
  • PMI Report generates a spreadsheet detailing specific PMI content
  • Find PMI Associated To Geometry displays a summary of PMI associated with selected geometry

Security Markings 

  • Per 3D Annotation Standards
  • PMI Security Markings can be applied and appear in an Information window when the part file is opened
  • Markings provide an acknowledgement mechanism before the part is loaded
  • Customizable Messages for
    • Government Security Information
    • Company Proprietary Information
    • Export Control

GD&T Validation

  • Verification that PMI GD&T on a part is compliant with the GD&T standards (ISO and ASME)
  • Syntactic and Semantic checks
    • Validation for FCFs and Datum Feature symbols
  • Results are presented in HD3D for improved visual feedback

 

 

 

One of the more common issues that come accross our helpdesk is the failed Vault log in attempt.  We try not insult the intelligence of anyone calling in, so we forego the typical first response of “Did you type your user name and password correctly?” or “Is the server on?” (I wish other technology providers would do this to…)

The first thing I will do in this situation is to see if the list of Vaults is accessible.  This will tell me that we have valid connection to the server.  The list of Vaults can be accessed by the button with the ellipses as shown below.

login

Clicking this button should then show you the list of enabled Vaults on that server, as seen here.

vaults

If you get an error message here, then I will try a couple things.  There may be a proxy server in your environment, or some other kind of IP route settings.  We can try using the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or the IP Address, as seen in the two images below.  The FQDN should be pretty easy to decipher.  The pattern is server name and the domain name (typically the part after the @ symbol in you work email address).  An example is server.domain.com; server is the server name (a.k.a. host name, third-level domain), followed by a period, domain is the name of the domain (a.k.a. second-level domain), and .com at the end, which could also be .org, or .net (a.k.a. top-level domain).

fqdn2

The IP address may not be as readily known.  You may try PING‘ing the server, which, if successful, responds with the IP address.  Some smart IT folks will disable the ICMP protocol (which PING is a part of), so you may just have to ask your network administrator for the IP.

ip

There may be one more thing to try, and that is to append a port number.  Adding a port number is valid on any of the three methods above; server only, FQDN, and IP address.  To specify a port number, just add a colon and the port number to the end.  If your Vault requires a port, you will have to contact your administrator to determine which port to use.

port

If, after all of this, there is still trouble logging into Vault, then it may be time to seek helpdesk support.

Do you currently have a problem with migrating data from one system to another? Do you wish that the current manual method could be automated? Do your qualified staff spend time on the mundane activity of transferring data from one system to another?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then Tata Technologies may have a tool available to solve these probelms – i Migrate It.

Picture2

This tool is an on-demand solution for any mannner of migrations and translations. It is configured for a given situation and allows for a user specify on demand what data he needs migrated and in what format.

From a user perspective, a typical workflow would be as follows:

  1. User logs into the tool. Configuration of the tool would determine what that specifc user is allowed to do (examine only, examine and migrate etc.)
  2. The user searches for the data that needs migration. Based on the search result, user chooses the exact data set required and specifies what must be preserved during the migration (full geometrical feature definition, brep only, metadata only etc.)
  3. Once all this is completed, the user would submit the job for processing. At this point, i Migrate It would take over and run the necessary background tasks required to complete the request. Depending on the nature of the systems, the job could take some time to complete (e.g. overnight batch process). The user has access to a dahboard that shows the status of the pending jobs and historical jobs.
  4. If the job fails (for example the requested data has already been migrated), the user is alerted with an error message which can be used to determine a future course of action.

This tool has several advantages for migration and translation problems:

  1. Only data that is really required by the users is migrated. This can reduce the cost of a complete migration.
  2. By providing options, the most efficent process is applied as determined by those who really know.
  3. After a period of time, usage will drop and the tool can be eventually phased out.
  4. Data remains secure during the process.

Consider this option when next you are faced with a migration problem!

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