Integrated systems for product design, manufacturing, and lifecycle management are difficult to implement and customize. Commercial software vendors, including CAD/CAM and third party PDM/PLM developers, create user interfaces and functionality that allow their products to be applied across many industries. The result is that systems become overloaded with functionality, difficulty to navigate, and use terminology that is unfamiliar to engineers and production personnel. For example, manufacturers of aerospace, automotive, electronics, and household products use similar but distinct methods and processes. Furthermore, each company tends to have their own preferred tools and programs for controlling work and information flow and that connect design, planning, and manufacturing processes to business applications.
This presentation will outline a methodology that is being implemented at a highly competitive U.S. aerospace tooling and component supplier that works with many prominent airline manufacturers around the world. During the last 5 years, the program has produced significant benefits such as the automatic creation and management of component and assembly designs, the extensive use of lightweight 3D data, and changes to the way projects are executed from beginning to end. The web-based platform is facilitating collaborative work across multiple sites around the world and improving communications with customers and suppliers. The presentation will include an overview of the working program and create discussion points about smart manufacturing.
- Understand how Applications Programming Interface tools can be utilized to customize commercial software
- Take the lessons learned and benefits realized by the company in the case study and apply them to their own environments
- Identify potential engineers and/or personnel that can lead the effort toward departmental integration and effective product data management
Why Is This Important?
Expensive commercial CAD/CAM and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software programs often do not meet customer expectations for integrating design, manufacturing, production, ERP, CRM, and SCM to streamline operations and compress the cycle of product development. Personalized software programs created using Application Program Interfaces (API) must be developed that incorporate the standards, work flow, and best practices that clearly represent a company’s engineering and business methods so data is managed, distributed and utilized more efficiently. Today’s hot topics such as Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, web-based product development, and Standards for Exchanging Product Data (STEP) are dependent on a clear understanding of how decisions are made and resources are allocated for companies to realize some of the true potential of today’s technology, putting a system in place that can grow over time through in-house expertise close collaboration between engineers, managers, and software developers.