Category "Product Lifecycle Management"

Does your organization build mutiple prototypes for physical testing and verification? Do you feel that you could leverage more CAE and simulation technology? Is getting simulation results a bottleneck in your engineering process? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Simulation Benchmark.

The Simulation Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Simulation requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Simulation “Pillars” ranging from Physical Prototypes, through to Best Practices. The pillars are listed below:

  1. Simulation Tools and Technology
  2. Physical Prototypes and Testing
  3. Complexity of Physical Prototyping
  4. Regulatory Requirements
  5. Materials Library
  6. Simulation Automation
  7. Management of Simulation Data
  8. Simulation Process
  9. Simulation organization
  10. Optimization Tools
  11. Stiffness and Deflection
  12. Durability and Fatigue
  13. Crash or Drop
  14. Fluid Dynamics
  15. Thermal
  16. Simulation demand
  17. Best Practices

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

Does your organization rely on creating and using CAM (Computer Aided Machining) programs? Do you have difficulty keeping track of all your CAM data? Do you struggle with quality issues in your machining operation? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Machining Benchmark.

The Machining Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Machining requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Machining “Pillars” ranging from PLM Training, through to Automation and Development. The pillars are listed below:

  1. CAM Programming Capabilities
  2. CAM Maturity
  3. CAD/CAM/CNC/CMM Integration
  4. Tooling and Fixture Design
  5. CAM Best Practices
  6. CAM Validation and Simulation
  7. CAM Efficiency
  8. Version and Revision control of CAM data
  9. Supplier Collaboration
  10. Shop floor Documentation
  11. Model based Definition
  12. Quality Management
  13. Dimensional Control
  14. CAM User Support
  15. CAM Application Maintenance
  16. On boarding for CAM systems
  17. Ongoing training for CAM systems

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

Does your organization struggle launch a product into manufacturing? Do you have costly launch cycles that overrun both budget and time? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Digital Factory Benchmark.

The Digital Factory Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Digital Factory requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Digital Factory “Pillars” ranging from Factory as Built, through to Robotic programming. The pillars are listed below:

  1. Factory As-built
  2. Digital Factory
  3. MBOM
  4. Process Planning
  5. Assembly Simulation
  6. Work Instructions
  7. Ergonomics Task Definition
  8. Ergonomic Analysis
  9. Manufacturing time library
  10. Resource Modeling
  11. Production Line Simulation
  12. Materials flow
  13. Factory infrastructure optimization
  14. Robotic offline programming
  15. Robotic Simulation
  16. Robotic Arc Welding
  17. Robotic Spot Welding

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

In Active Workspace 3.4, Siemens PLM has made some significant improvements to search capabilities. Here are some of the highlights

Numerical Range Filters

Users can now filter and narrow down search results by entering a range of values for numerical properties in the filter panel so that they  get results only in the range of what they’re have specified. For example find bolts with a length between 60 and 100 mm.  They can also use open ended ranges by leaving the lower or upper range value blank.  This is supported for both classification & object properties in both global and in-context search using  integers and real numbers.

Pre-filter for Add Objects 

Active Workspace 3.4 allows application of property based pre-filter for in-context search.  This provides a better control of allowable choices when adding related objects with the ability to retrieve context sensitive search results via configuration.  The configuration is to set a “query type” pre-filter in the XRT definition of the “Add” command, which can be based on any property value. User can always widen the scope by deactivating the filter.

Search for Business Objects based on Form Properties

Users can now search and filter on properties of Master Forms and other Forms attached to any item revision without using compound properties . Master forms are supported OOTB, other forms (including custom forms) require adding a reference to the form storage class . The properties from forms can be configured to display as Form Name.Property or  only Property . This is used in filter panel and search string syntax. This can be also used in conjunction with dynamic compound properties (DCP) to avoid making schema changes to enable search and filters for properties on related forms.

With every release of Active Workspace, Siemens PLM keeps adding more enhanced capabilities for change management process execution, Active Workspace 3.4  is no exception.

The first enhancement is a simplified overview of change that includes most relevant information pertaining to the change.  The Consolidated change overview now includes; change description, details, participants, and originating changes.  There is a new visual status bar showing change maturity progress in overall maturity process. This progress chart helps users to understand and quickly determine the change maturity.  There is also an easily accessible change summary that shows adds, removes, and replaces. The Impacted/ Solution items added or Lineage set via Active Workspace UI  or the BOM changes done via rich client from structure manager in supersedure window are reflected in the new change summary. These easy to interpret change details help users to understand the full impact of change before they make decisions on it.

The Active Workspace 3.4 relationship browser is now improved to show all associated change objects and their relationships in the interactive relations browser.  This helps users to easily understand change objects and their hierarchical relations (Implements, Implemented by, dependencies) ,   find change objects and  other business objects  relations (Problem Items, Impacted Items, Solution Items) and also relation between items (Lineage).

These new capabilities makes Active Workspace an even more preferred user interface for change management adoption.

With every release of Active Workspace, Siemens PLM keeps adding more enhanced capabilities for Schedule Manager process execution, Active Workspace 3.4  is no exception.

The most exciting Schedule Manager process execution improvement in Active Workspace 3.4 is the ability to perform a “what-if analysis”.  What-if analysis mode enables project managers to experiment on a live schedule without impacting it . This is like working with the schedule in a “sandbox” environment to perform changes  to the tasks without committing them to the production database.  This helps project managers to determine how various schedule component changes may affect the outcome of the schedule, before actually committing the changes to the schedule. Once they are satisfied with the changes,  they can promote and commit the changes to the schedule. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of the changes, then they can choose to discard the analysis.

There are also enhancements to make the Schedule Manager tool usage easier .  Now users can change the Gantt timescale using the zoom in/out feature. They can add and remove schedule deliverables, assign multiple schedule tasks to one team member using multi-select mode, add multiple tasks quickly and easily by pinning the ‘Add schedule task’ panel and also manually launch workflow on a task. These advances in schedule authoring provide project managers and coordinators greater ease and flexibility in schedule definition and maintenance.

In this age of disruptions, product development companies need to reach across the evolving business ecosystem at a rapid pace than ever, at the same time protecting  their intellectual property . Teamcenter Active Workspace enables product development companies to

  1. Reach More people by connecting more people in more places with product data and processes; both internal and external. With a light-weight, web based user interface, they can harness the power of a changing workforce to get ahead of the competition.
  2. Reach across the business processes and leverage disruption to be a market leader. Using new tools for configuring Teamcenter, they can easily adapt to change now, and in the future.
  3. Reach greater returns by finding new ways to support the business. By reducing the burden of software support and maintenance, companies can focus on driving revenue.

User experience is the key factor when it comes to reaching more people in more places. The user experience focus for Active Workspace is to provide a clean, efficient, and simple user interface that works across multiple devices and use cases, from the basic, to the more sophisticated.  Active Workspace  UI guiding principles includes

  • Simple – A clean, efficient, and responsive layout that works in various form factors and conditions
  • Engaging – Embedded dashboard views and big picture reporting
  • Effective – Easy data and relationship visualization and creation
  • Active – Configure search results in relevance of best match, allow fast and efficient refining of the results

Active Workspace is focused on delivering content for the use cases people need to execute, making it effective to easily create, find, relate and work with data . This focus makes the experience more engaging and active for the users as opposed to a static non intelligent user interface.  Throughout the interface, companies are able to personalize the user experience to minimize training and encourage participation from key stakeholders throughout the enterprise.

The key business drivers for Active Workspace are

  • User productivity –  The expectation from today’s web users is that there should be no need for training.  Applications on the web should be easy to learn and be simple to use.  .  Active Workspace User experience design is simple enough for occasional use, yet productive and powerful enough for complex business problems making it consistent and efficient for all users and process
  • Reducing information overload  –  This is key to help make smarter and faster decisions.  Users should only see relevant and necessary information in context of what they are doing.  The UI actively guides user to what needs attention and it automates the mundane as well as provide contextually integrated tools. 
  • Reducing Cost of Ownership – Active Workspace can be easily configured, extended, and deployed with lower cost of ownership.

Many leading manufacturers pursue a global product development and manufacturing strategy. Although this allows manufacturers to achieve tremendous economy of scale and scope, this strategy has increased planning and collaboration complexities by order of magnitudes, especially in the following areas.

  • Planning global production
  • Optimizing and effectively leveraging capacity
  • Answering manufacturing feasibility questions with confidence
  • Mitigating scrap, rework and delays

When product design and manufacturing are dispersed on a global scale, how do they ensure that their teams can collaborate, perform analysis in a secured environment? Often there is a vacuum between product /process design and the actual manufacturing execution. These two teams don’t have the suitable tools to share and exchange information.

At the design stage engineers have to deal with design data, CAE models, embedded software designs, etc. At the execution stage ERP and MES systems are responsible for managing job orders, inventory, scheduling etc.  Manufacturing process management solutions allows manufacturers to  manage their enterprise product and production data on a global scale. They can integrate the product design and production execution processes in a single platform. Teamcenter Manufacturing Solutions provides an en d-to-end solution to collaboratively design, validate, optimize, and document manufacturing processes .  Key capabilities include:

  • Process design and planning

A single source of manufacturing knowledge can streamline collaborative processes and decision making across the product and manufacturing engineering departments. Teamcenter supports process design and planning by leveraging all of the product and process information for planning purposes, creating multiple plant views with process structure, scoping the process workflow and tracking BOM line items. This can reduce planning cycles and optimize production.

  • Change visibility

Teamcenter provides visibility to change. Late-stage changes can have the largest impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line as the cost of change raises exponentially throughout the product lifecycle. Teamcenter communicates change from engineering to production in controlled workflows that include bill of materials management. Teamcenter provides production updates and validates the impact to existing production processes.

  • Manufacturing work instructions

With Teamcenter, electronic work instructions are created and managed in one single source that spans the lifecycle, from Design to Manufacturing Planning to Process Instructions Planning to Execution. You can streamline workflow, and work instruction processes, including 3D visualization and simulation  to provide product context and demonstrate how to execute tasks

  • Interoperability and open architecture

Underpinning the entire manufacturing process is Teamcenter’s open PLM platform. Teamcenter brings together all engineering and manufacturing information, including bi-directional BOM-BOP integration. By using ISO-standard JT files, manufacturing workers have visibility to 3D product designs in a CAD-neutral visualization format.

In summary, the benefits of using Teamcenter for manufacturing process management are:

  • Concurrently develop product and process plans so you can make smarter decisions, earlier, and speed time to market.
  • Mitigate the risk of late-stage change, which has the largest single impact to profitability
  • Reuse proven global production capabilities to optimize quality and performance
  • Leverage Teamcenter PLM investment to streamline manufacturing planning and operations, as well as engineering

Product Excellence Program helps Siemens PLM Software to understand how customers use their products and assists them in improving the software in future releases .The Product Excellence Program is designed to protect the privacy of the user and the intellectual property created through the use of Siemens PLM Software products. It’s used to collect data about Siemens PLM Active Workspace product usage and associated Teamcenter platform installation. Data collection occurs in the background as software is used and does not affect performance or functionality,  collected data is sent to Siemens PLM Software for analysis. Per Siemens PLM no contact information is contained in the data collected not any information about data created or managed is collected. Data is solely for use by Siemens PLM Software and is never shared with third parties .

Participation in the Product Excellence Program is enabled by default during installation using either TEM or Deployment Center. System administrators can always opt out during install. Post install, participation can be controlled  with the TC_ProductExcellenceProgram site preference.  All data collection is anonymous and includes product usage; Teamcenter server platform (version, platform, architecture), client environment (browser type, version), client page visits and collected data is sent from the client browser.  

My last blog focused on the need for a Manufacturing BOM (mBOM). When organizations start to embrace the value of mBOM and  decide to invest on solutions to manage a mBOM, the first question is where to master it , PLM or ERP ?

The answer to that question varies depending on the maturity level of PLM and ERP adoption and penetration in the organization .  If both PLM & ERP are at the same or similar maturity level, then there are many good reasons to author & manage mBOM in a PLM system and to make ERP a consumer of the mBOM mastered in PLM.

First, in PLM mBOM is integrated with the eBOM and design process . eBOM integration and reuse enables front loading, and helps manufacturing team to lower cost of mBOM authoring and management and shorten time to market.  Manufacturing users can also leverage the 3D visualization data in mBOM for better decisions and  better quality. With the master model approach being adopted by leading organizations, there is lot of Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) on the 3D Master Model, which can be leveraged in both mBOM and downstream process planning.  mBOM can also act as the starting point for detailed process planning to create the Bill of Process (BOP) inside PLM . BOP or Routing can also leverage the 3D visualization data to produce visual work instructions , which will always remain updated with the upstream design changes. The process plans can  also be simulated and validated (feasibility, human ergo, collision etc) before actual execution.  The validated Routing then get sent to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) along with the visual work instructions. That way there  is full traceabilty from CAD to eBOM to mBOM to BOP and eventually to MES.

The traceability enables users to run where used queries among all products and plants during a change process. This ensures all product changes are evaluated for impacts in both engineering and manufacturing contexts.

 

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