Category "Siemens PLM"

My last post outlined the significance of Product Cost Management (PCM) for OEMs and Suppliers to drive profitability and continuous improvement throughout the entire supply chain.

Ideally, PCM needs to be done early in the product development cycle, as early as the conceptual phase – design and supplier selection is much more flexible early in the process – so it is important to enable cost engineering during the front end of product development and ensure profitability with control over costs for parts and tooling.

Not everyone can optimize cost early, or not in all situations. PCM processes and tools may also need to be applied in later stages of the product lifecycle. Even when cost models and consultation based on facts get applied early in the lifecycle, there might be a need to do it several times over the lifecycle, so PCM needs to support the cost model across all corporate functions from product development to sales and establish a single consistent repository for estimating and communicating cost with repeatable processes and historical information. As PCM is spread over the product lifecycle, it’s important to take an enterprise-wide approach to costing. An ideal PCM system needs to align with the product development process managed in a PLM system, so there is lot of synergy between a PLM and PCM.

The most commonly used tools for PCM – spreadsheets and custom programs that conduct simple rollups – are not suitable for enterprise-class wide processes; these solutions do not provide the details required to develop credible cost models. They also make it very difficult for designers to compare products, concepts, and scenarios. Spreadsheets fail due to quality problems and the inability to implement them effectively on an enterprise scale, resulting in different product lines, geographies, or lines of business having different approaches. Non-enterprise approaches also make it difficult to reuse information or apply product changes, currency fluctuations, burden rates updates, or commodity cost changes

By extending an enterprise wide system like PLM for PCM functions, cost management is effectively communicated and captured to institutionalize it for future product programs.  This eliminates disconnected and inconsistent manual costing models, and complex difficult to maintain spreadsheets.  This also supports easy, fast, and reliable impact analysis to incorporate product changes accurately into costs with visibility to all cost factors and make these processes repeatable. The PCM process can also leverage the existing 3D model parametric data managed in PLM systems to extract the relevant parameters such as thickness, surface, and volume for the feature based calculations. Other PLM data that can be reused for PCM includes labor rates from engineering project management, material costs from material management modules, bill of materials/process and tooling involved with engineering and manufacturing data management. An integrated PLM and PCM solution is also important for efficiency and allowing companies to reuse both product data and cost models to facilitate continuous improvement over time .

In the next post of this series, I explain how the Siemens PLM Teamcenter suite supports PCM.

My last post outlined the importance of having an integrated PLM and PCM solution. Siemens PLM implements this vision though its Product Cost Management application bridging the gap between traditional PLM and ERP. With Teamcenter PCM, companies can migrate from disconnected tools to an integrated solution. The integrated IT environment platform helps them to manage cost knowledge with consistent data, build standardized obligatory cost methods and models, and create fact-based and cost-driver-transparent calculations; at the same time, it enables cross-functional collaboration and communication.

Product Costing

The highlights of product costing capabilities include Cross-functional Calculation of Pre-/Quotation Costing, Calculation of R&D Costs, Purchase Price Analysis, Open Book Accounting, Profitability Calculation/Project-ROI, Differentiated overhead calculation (freely selectable degree of detail), Process-based bottom-up calculation and cost models (cost engineering approach), Cost rate calculation with company-owned data records, Integrated cycle time calculators (die casting, injection molding, machining, MTM, client proprietary, etc.), Versioning of calculations (documented change history), Flexible simulations of what-if scenarios (e.g., production alternatives, volume adjustments), Profitability calculations (return-on-investment over product lifecycle), Flexible reporting functions (e.g., multi-stage cost driver analysis), Integration toolkits for data exchange with customer specific systems (e.g., ERP), Import and export of cost breakdown sheets (supplier and customer), Multi-lingual, multi-currency, freely configurable costing methodologies, cash flow calculation, and data management for reuse.

Tool Costing 

Teamcenter PCM’s parametric and 3D-based tool costing has support for both quotation costing in tool-making and cost analysis in tool purchasing. Tool Costing delivers fast, reliable and detailed information on manufacturing times and costs. Tool Costing also enables both buyers and tool manufacturers to precisely and repeatably understand knowledge data, secure this information within the enterprise and document it in an audit-compliant manner with the option of using 3D data for calculations. Teamcenter provides a variety of tool technologies, including injection molding, die casting, and composite tools. 3D data can be read automatically or manually to create the geometry parameters. Both the tool buyer and the tool maker – whether injection molding, die casting, cutting, stamping, or other production tools – can make decisions regarding the tool costs that are fully integrated within the Teamcenter product cost management solution.

Cost Knowledge Management 

Teamcenter PCM has a standard and extendable cost knowledge base for costing calculations including worldwide factor costs (labor, production area, energy, interest rates etc.), physical material data of all prevalent materials, reference machines with economic and technical data for all prevalent manufacturing technologies, and complete reference processes for many manufacturing methods with the ability to integrate customer specific corporate costing library.

Profitability Calculation

The integrated profitability calculation in Teamcenter gives project and product controllers and managers a powerful business case analysis and decision-making tool while delivering the necessary instruments to ensure success, including: Consolidation of multiple product(s) in a single project (general project data, lifecycle, quantity progression, unit costs and prices, etc.), year slice presentation of cash flows for project-specific investments (plants, tools, engineering, etc.), dynamization of unit costs and sales prices for the individual year slices in the product lifecycle, calculation of common profitability ratios such as net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), return on capital employed (ROCE), return on sales (ROS), amortization period (payback), project-based profit and loss accounts, as well as discounted cash flow accounts and trend curve for cumulative (discounted) cash flow, variant calculation, and sensitivity analyses for comparing various what-if scenarios and premises.

My last post outlined how an integrated product lifecycle management (PLM) and service lifecycle management (SLM) tool framework can benefit both Product development organizations (Brand owners) and customers (Asset owners) by  enabling higher quality service at lower cost, resulting in an increased product/asset utilization and productivity. Teamcenter as a leading PLM platform supports this vision. With Teamcenter SLM solutions, the service and support phase of the product lifecycle is included in your overall PLM vision. Teamcenter bridges the gaps between the engineering, logistics, manufacturing, and service communities. OEMs and service providers can drive more efficient service operations with a single source of knowledge for both products and assets

For OEMs, Teamcenter enables them to reuse design and manufacturing data to enhance service content and incorporate service feedback to support Design for Serviceability and other product improvement initiatives. This holistic approach to the full product lifecycle helps the OEM compete successfully in the service market.  Teamcenter unifies SLM with PLM to support bi-directional collaboration between product engineering and service operations. Service teams can capitalize on the re-use of product knowledge from engineering and manufacturing to improve service planning and execution. In return, service teams can provide feedback to engineering to improve product designs for serviceability and reliability.

For the third party service provider, the service data management and applications allow them to efficiently execute service activities in a global marketplace through a single service platform. Using configuration-driven BOM management, Teamcenter delivers a fully linked, full lifecycle BOM environment that includes the EBOM, SBOM (Service BOM), and Asset BOM to configure accurate information to support services. Different service disciplines can share a common understanding of support requirements and  Service teams can coordinate operational activities for greater compliance, faster service, and lower costs.

The highlights of the solution include:

Maximize Service Knowledge Management and Value

With Teamcenter as the core of your SLM strategy, you have one source of service knowledge management. You can perform service activities with a full understanding of physical product /asset configurations, status and service history. You can order the correct parts, ensure that the proper training is done, and access all the appropriate information necessary to manage service operations

Create Effective Service Plans

Service plans are the key to profitable service operations. Teamcenter provides you with the fundamentals to author and publish service documentation as the source of work scope definition. You can drive service operations by providing all the detailed information that teams need to track and understand asset health, such as service requirements, task-by-task procedures, necessary resources and utilization characteristics. Your technicians have a complete understanding of service needs from Teamcenter, so they are prepared to perform reactive, proactive and upgrade service activities

Optimize Service Work with Schedule Visibility

With the detailed service plans in Teamcenter, you can schedule service activities with a complete understanding of the work scope, in order to meet customer expectations for product availability and reliability. Work orders generated from service plans are used to create service schedules. It is the visibility into the schedule and resources provided by Teamcenter that allows you to optimize service events and ensure that the right resources (parts, qualified people and tools) are reserved for the work

Empower Service Technicians with Work Instructions

Service technicians are a limited resource. When you provide them with complete, intelligent work packages, technicians can execute service work efficiently, accurately and compliantly. With Teamcenter, you can deliver service work instructions, safety/hazard notes, and service procedures (text, 2D/3D and animations). You can also include asset configurations and data collection requirements. Technicians can enter data, observations or discrepancies, and digitally sign off on work, which automatically updates the service schedule.

In this era of new levels of globalization, product companies are faced with market pressures from global competition and price deflation. Today they seek alternate sources of profitable revenue growth enabled by value-add service products. Developing a service-based revenue stream and then delivering product service that is both effective and profitable has its own challenges, however. Even mature service organizations are seeking new approaches to reach a significantly higher quality of service delivery.

Today in a typical product company, there is no single application to manage the the data and the decision points required to deliver effective service. Multiple enterprise applications including PLM, ERP, and often a combination of local databases, spreadsheets and stand alone IT systems are involved in service management. This results in fragmented information and knowledge processes around service delivery.

A new approach centered on incorporating service lifecycle management (SLM) as an integral part of product lifecycle management (PLM) is required in order to to achieve significant improvement in service readiness and delivery. First, this approach focuses on making complex products easier and less costly to maintain, and allowing for more effective allocation of service resources. The second key component is managing the complexity of service information that will reduce the cost and time to create and deliver critical service documentation and service records, at the same time improving the quality and efficacy of this information.

With SLM approached as an extended PLM process, design information can be used to bootstrap and enhance service planning, and product changes and updates are directed to modify service work instructions, and field experience provides up-to-date insight into product quality. The bulk of the information required for services such as illustrations, schematics, and work instructions already exists within the engineering organization and can be repurposed with a relatively little effort. 3D CAD models and Bills of Materials can be used to create everything from exploded wireframe views to photorealistic rendering, and to remove and replace animations that help in service execution. Manufacturability and ergonomic simulations can be used to improve the safety and efficiency of repair procedures.

The expanded PLM system needs to act as a centralized repository of the service bill-of-materials (sBoM) along with Engineering & Manufacturing BoM so that service items, which are mostly design and manufacturing items repurposed for service, can be synchronized to reflect the most up-to-date state of information. This synchronization is possible when SLM is part of PLM and shares the same configuration and change management processes

This way, enterprise PLM systems become the digital backbone of the entire product life cycle – including  SLM – and SLM becomes a dynamic process connected with PLM that continues throughout the useful life of the product or asset. This reduces process fragmentation and provides rich end-to end context for better and more profitable service.

The combined PLM and SLM approach, along with new service models based on the latest technologies (such as the Internet of Things), enables brand owners to deliver higher quality service at lower cost, resulting in higher profit margins, enhanced brand image, and greater customer loyalty. Product or asset owners who are the end customers also benefit from increased utilization and productivity due to faster and more reliable service.

What do you think? Is your organization connected?

If you are in the business of designing and engineering product, then you have PLM. This is a statement of fact. The question then becomes: what is the technology underpinning the PLM process that is used to control your designs?

Because of the way that technology changes and matures, most organizations have a collection of software and processes that support their PLM processes. This can be called the Point Solution approach. Consider a hypothetical setup below:

The advantage of this approach is that point solutions can be individually optimized for a given process – so, in the example above, the change management system can be set up to exactly mirror the internal engineering change process.

However, this landscape also has numerous disadvantages:

  1. Data often has to be transferred between different solutions (e.. what is the precise CAD model tied to a specific engineering change?). These integrations are difficult to set up and maintain – sometimes to the point of being manual tasks.
  2. The organization has to deal with multiple vendors.
  3. Multiple PLM systems working together require significant internal support resource from an IT department.
  4. Training and onboarding of new staff is complicated

The alternative to this approach is a PLM Platform. Here, one technology solution includes all necessary PLM functionalities. The scenario is illustrated below:

It is clear that the PLM Platform does away with many of the disadvantages of the Point Solution; there is only one vendor to deal with, integrations are seamless, training is simplified, and support should be easier.

However, the PLM Platform may not provide the best solution for a given function when compared to the corresponding point solution. For example, a dedicated project management software may do a better job at Program Management than the functionality in the PLM Platform; this may require organizational compromise. You are also, to some extent, betting on a single technology vendor and hoping that they remain an industry leader.

Some of the major PLM solution vendors have placed such bets on the platform strategy. For example, Siemens PLM have positioned Teamcenter as a complete platform solution covering all aspects of the PLM process. (refer to my earlier blog post What is Teamcenter? or, Teamcenter Explained). All of the PLM processes that organizations need can be supported by Teamcenter.

Dassault Systèmes have pursued a similar approach with the launch of their 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which also contains all of the functions required for PLM. In addition, both are actively integrating additional functionality with every new release.

So what is your strategy – Point or Platform? This question deserves serious consideration when considering PLM processes in your organization.

My last post outlined on deriving more value out of PLM data through reports. The complexity of data in the engineering environment is skyrocketing, and Teamcenter as a PLM system provides advanced reporting capabilities for enterprise data, including the data managed in external systems like MRP & ERP.

The Teamcenter Report Builder application provides basic reporting capabilities for data managed inside Teamcenter. It supports two kinds of reports:

  1. Summary Reports
  • Reports that summarize similar information – forreportbuilder example, reports that show all the employees, all the items belonging to a user, or the release status of items
  • Context Independent reports – no object selection required
  • Generated from Teamcenter saved queries
  1. Item Reports
  • Reports that can be run on a particular object – for example, BOM or workflow information for a given object
  • Executed in the context of one or more objects

Behind the scenes, Report Builder uses Teamcenter queries based data dump and supports output to common formats like Excel, XML, Text and HTML.  It’s easy to build these simple reports based on Teamcenter queries, and they can be run from both rich client and Active Workspace client.  Excel can be further leveraged for complex processing, charting, and aggregation of the output.

tcraThe Teamcenter Reporting & Analytics module provides additional advanced reporting capabilities. It can summarize information and present data from many sources in a single report using an easy to build, configurable, drag and drop layout.

It can leverage standard formatting tools like headers/footers, dates, page numbers, report names, filters, tables, charts, and elements. Reports can be run from both Active Workspace or Teamcenter Reporting & Analytics client. It has business intelligence designed for Teamcenter and to understand the relationships and associations of PLM information.tcra1 It comes with over 100 out-of-the-box reports in areas like Change Management, BOM Reports, Substance compliance, Workflow, Administrator Reports, Verification Management, PMM, Schedule Manager, Requirements Manager. It supports powerful and fast BOM reporting, project planning and status reporting and dashboards, process and change reporting.

It has direct access to Teamcenter data through APIs and has connectors to standard enterprise applications. It can also enforce data security based on the Teamcenter access model.  Additional capabilities include:

  • Customized Analytics
    • Organization-specific process status metrics and KPIs
    • Multi-level root-cause analysis
    • Mean time between failure / to failure (MTBF, MTTF) analysis
    • Historical Performance Analysis
  • Reporting Control
    • Save Snapshots of pre-defined reports
    • Group/Role based Access to report data
    • User Controlled Conditional Formatting
  • Resource Management
    • Automated Report Scheduler and Delivery
    • Submit Analysis to queue for load management
    • Caching Techniques to reuse data cubes

Teamcenter Reporting & Analytics benefits include:

  • Analytics, Dashboards and Traditional Reporting – understand your data to improve your products and processes
  • Time to Value – start with pre-configured reports and enable custom reports for your business in a couple of weeks, not months or years
  • Designed for Teamcenter – enable your entire enterprise to easily understand the information they require to make better decisions
  • Self Service Analytics – enable data discovery through self service analytics designed for Teamcenter and optimized to your needs

Enterprise-wide PLMdata systems hold huge amounts of business data that can potentially be used to drive business decisions and effect process changes to generate added value for the organization.  Several PLM users are unaware of the existence of such valuable data, while for others, advanced data search and retrieval can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack due to their unfamiliarity with the PLM data model. Hence it is important to process the data into meaningful information and model it into actionable engineering knowledge that can drive business decisions for normal users. Reporting plays a key role in summarizing that large amount of data into a simple, usable format for the purpose of easy understanding.

Reporting starts with capturing the right data – the most important step and, many a time, the least stressed one. When data is not captured in the right format, it results in inconsistent or non-standard data.

Let’s take a simple Workflow process example: Workflow rejection comments are valuable information for companies to understand the repeated reasons for workflow rejection and to improve FTY (First time yield) by developing training plans to address them.  Users might not enter rejection comments unless they are made mandatory, so it’s important to have data-model checks and balances to capture the right data and standardize it through categorization and LOVs (List of values).

reportThe next step is to filter and present the right information to the right people. End Users typically want to run pre-designed reports and maybe slice or dice the data to understand it better. Business Intelligence Designers and Business analysts who understand the PLM Schema and their business relationships are the ones who design the report templates. Report design is sometimes perceived as an IT or software function, and as a result, enough business participation is not ensured, which can have an impact on the effectiveness of the reports for end users. It is important to have business participation from report identification to report design to report usage. Business process knowledge is the key in this area, not the PLM tool expertise alone.

Since business processes get improved/modified based on different market and performance trends derived from PLM reports, it’s important to have continuous improvement initiatives to fine-tune reporting based on these improved processes and new baselines, from data capture to presentation. That makes it a continuous cycle – business processes need to be designed to support reporting and reports need to help improve the process.

Properly designed reports provide increased visibility into shifting enterprise wide status, reduce time and cost for data analysis, ensure quicker response times and faster product launch cycles and improve product quality and integrity.

How do your reports measure up? Do you have any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment here or contact us if you’re feeling shy.

It always amazes me, the sheer complexity of the task.  We must take a detailed engineering design, start with a simple block of metal, and through the application of pressure and process, whittle that block down to a functional product, accurate to within microns.

cam_isv_3

In order to accomplish this feat more efficiently and bring the cost/part down, CNC Machine Tools have added more of everything in recent years. They have become more powerful, allowing for higher cutting speeds that require advanced feed-rate controls to make effective.  They have also become more dynamic, with 5-Axis Mills and multi-spindle, multi-turret Mill-turn machines offering opportunities to minimize part setups, increase accuracy, and reduce overall machining time.

They have, in short, become more complex.  And with that complexity comes additional expense.  With machines that routinely cost multiple hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, the reality of the situation is that a machine collision is just not an option.

There are so many capabilities and options available on a modern NC Machine tool that ensuring that the machine is properly programmed to do what is expected becomes a monumental task.  You need a powerful programming tool to help you create the paths, controlling the cutting tool axis, speeds, engagements and retracts so as to efficiently and accurately machine the product.

Those paths, when initially reviewed by the CAM software, may look feasible from the context of the tool, but upon generating the code and loading it into the controller, often there are motions that are either positional in nature (rotating the part to align the tool), or controller specific (ex. Go home moves) that create collisions with objects such as fixtures or the part, or that require movement beyond the machine’s axis limitations. […]

Siemens PLM Software OfferHere is our latest and final post in our savings series!  Check out these offers from Siemens PLM Software and Tata Technologies, which expire December 28th.  It truly is the best time of year to purchase software for all of your manufacturing and design needs!

Siemens PLM Software Promotions

  • Add  a new product family license to your existing portfolio and receive an additional 15% discount on software and maintenance. For example, if you have an existing NX CAD license, you’ll receive 15% off a license of Teamcenter, CAM, CAE, Solid Edge or Tecnomatix.  This offer is only valid to existing Siemens customers.
  • Get 25% off Teamcenter Rapid Start and maintenance including a single CAD integration with either Autodesk, Solidworks, or Solid Edge. Rapid Start is an easy and cost effective solution that allows companies of any size to get their data under control and enforce common processes.

Terms and conditions apply. Please contact us here or email me at carol.hansen@tatatechnologies.com to inquire about an offer.

Tata Technologies SpecialsTraining and i GET IT promotions

  • Get a free Kindle Fire HD Tablet or a 3D Connexion Space Navigator mouse when you attend the the open enrollment class for NX Essentials for New Users or NX Advanced User.  Click here for more details and to have a sales representative contact you.
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    coupon code CYBER2016 – valid through Dec. 31st.
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Predictive Engineering Analytics is a must in current product design and is required to integrate all the multi disciplinary inputs present in today’s complicated products. In the words of Siemens:

“Predictive Engineering Analytics (PEA) is the application of multi-discipline simulation and test, combined with intelligent reporting and data analytics, to develop digital twins that can predict the behavior of products across all performance attributes, throughout the product lifecycle.”

In the above quote, the concept of a digital twin is important; this is the goal of having a complete digital representation of a physical product throughout its design, manufacturing and in-service lifecycle. Such a digital twin can accurately predict all behaviors of the physical product.

There are five key ways that Simcenter(TM) helps achieve a digital twin.

  1. Simcenter(TM) has an integrated Engineering Desktop environment, which allows all pre- and post-processing operations to be carried out. This environment has best-in-class geometry editing tools, comprehensive meshing, and an ability to associate the analysis model to design data.
  2. The environment is completely extendable and can be scaled from simple to complex problems. The benefits include a common user interface and the capability to create automated routines for common simulation problems.
  3. Simcenter(TM) can be linked into other integrated products and engineering systems. This enables simulation data management and allows links to be established to test data, 1D simulations, and 3D CAD. Engineers now have confidence that the behaviors predicted by the digital twin correlate with real life.
  4. The solution produces a common environment across all engineering departments. This allows knowledge to be captured, automated, and then used by a broader team. Specific solutions and best practices become entrenched in the organization, allowing for more consistent design processes. Training requirements are also reduced.
  5. Simcenter(TM) leverages the extensive industry knowledge and capabilities of the Siemens PLM broader portfolio.

If we look at the specific functions that Simcenter(TM) can cover, here is a quote and graphic from a Siemens presentation:

picture2picture1picture4

Another unique feature of the Simcenter(TM) solution is its open platform capability. The solution can be used as the primary pre- and postprocessor for Siemens PLM Solvers, NX Nastran and LMS Samcef, or for popular third party solvers, such as Abaqus, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, and MSC Nastran. This is illustrated in another graphic from a Siemens presentation: […]

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