On May 18th, 2021, our partner Dassault Systèmes hosted a virtual event on the topic of Digital Manufacturing – Another step towards operations excellence. The event showcased examples of success in digital manufacturing from companies such as Airbus Helicopters, Geico Taikisha, Mi-Integration, and Uriach as well as provided technical workshops around Dassault Systèmes solutions. This event had lots to offer and made every moment interesting.
Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation of the manufacturing industry, especially when it comes to the tremendous forecasting, production, logistic and procurement issues that have become massive headaches for most organizations. It now is obvious that we must rethink our simulation models to address those new challenges. The power of digital twin becomes a key enabler in an organization to accurately simulate the production.
For those who missed the event, here are the key insights I would like to share with you on how manufacturing industries can attain digital continuity and gain industrial agility. The main agenda of the event can be viewed at this link.
Key takeaways from the event
- Digital Continuity for the manufacturing industry serves to optimize the end-to-end production process, providing a holistic perspective and avoiding silos.
- The stakeholders become an integrated part of the process, which enables them to speak the same language.
- The configurable nature of the solution fits well in different manufacturing scenarios and customer requirements.
- Companies have full knowledge of resource and material availability; hence, they can now respond in real-time to any customer orders and provide an accurate delivery time.
- The system offers visibility of bottlenecks and thus helps in planning the best sequence of production steps with an optimised resource.
- Data remains centralized and is always up to date. It is linked together with no duplication and to the exact configuration of the process, any change is cascaded to all connected downstream systems and functions.
- Processes, people and tools can easily communicate with each other through a single platform.
Client’s Success Stories
Airbus Helicopters on Industrial Engineering
Thierry Berthelon, the Vice-President Airbus Helicopters DDMS Program (Digital Design Manufacturing and Service) explained that Digital Transformation is the way to think beyond competition and become a business leader. Their company focuses on reducing the time to market and how their systems can cope with unprecedented situations like the Covid pandemic while still maintaining economic and environmental sustainability. The biggest challenge today for an aeronautical manufacturer is the importance of safety and ensuring they make the right choice the first time around. Manufacturing new planes involve major investments into a new ecosystem along with a lot of simulation and digital tools. In a typical aircraft manufacturing industry, there are around a million parts that need to be simulated. Therefore, companies like Airbus Helicopters need the best possible technology to manage this volume of data.
The whole system should be capable to handle the dynamic need, which is why Airbus has a partnership with Dassault Systèmes. Now they have access to an overall digital twin not just for the individual parts but for the whole aircraft model.
They can anticipate the risk better and this gives an overall consistency in production.
M-I Integration on Automotive Sector
Dany Godue, BI/ERP Specialist at M-I Integration explained how difficult and cumbersome it was to operate with a bunch of excel files in managing the part numbers, quantity, and bill of materials. There were human errors in the data collected as most of it was stored manually by operators. Now with the new solution provided by Dassault Systèmes, everything is automated and they can do real–time monitoring.
This system collects the information by itself and records it on a database. Every day, the team simply needs to check the figures that come from various machines to be able to detect which one is working at an optimum level and which one needs to be serviced. This solution also helped them to reduce the number of rejections as the reaction time was faster. The improved traceability in the system facilitated the quality team to easily spot which batch has a performance issue and which one is improved.
The performance level has improved drastically and all the KPI’s are now available in a single dashboard and visible to the team, the whole day.
Geico Taikisha group on Manufacturing Operations Management
Daryush Arabnia, the Chairman, President and CEO of the group, explained that Geico Taikisha operates in the automotive industry and deals with the paint shop for a car body. Currently, they use a smart paint shop solution that is in line with the Industry 4.0 strategies.
With the new partnership with Dassault Systèmes, apart from the solution regarding the paint shop, they can now also leverage the features from MES.
The whole system is now automated and gives them the flexibility to try new things within the dynamics of the paint shop. It has become easy to track how the car is progressing at each stage and how many layers of paint have already been applied. Even the quality check is now automated and the system can monitor the status of each car and its progress through a control screen. A single dashboard shows all the KPI’s and would highlight instances of any red flags.
This whole new system with improved traceability, visibility of paint shop lines and synchronization of various processes helps to improve customer satisfaction at Geico.
Uriach on Planning and Scheduling
Jordi Macias, Planning Manager at Uriach explained the issues in their pharmaceutical business due to improper planning and scheduling of orders. There was a lot of manual effort in maintaining big data excel files. They used to download all collection orders from SAP and build their own Gantt charts manually. Human error was then unavoidable and brought some issues with collaboration between various systems. What was missing here was a Digital Transformation Platform.
Using the solution provided by Dassault Systèmes, they found interconnectivity with SAP systems and made them more agile. They were able to better manage the planning and scheduling activities at a faster pace.
They now have a single system to manage all the inventory, orders and even financials.
Considering all these client stories, my take is that now is the time for industrial organizations to take that leap towards operations excellence through Digital Continuity.
Digital Continuity for Manufacturing Industry
The main issue today is the lack of strategy of collaboration and communication between different partners. When design to manufacturing strategy is in place, design engineers, product manager, specialists and others from the department can connect and work together. Digital Continuity is what connects engineering design to what the manufacturer can produce, reducing the gaps between various processes and leading to higher sales as well as improved gross margins.
This also means that people can collaborate and work together in the right place and at the right time making the whole process extremely efficient.
The Manufacturing Industry today faces many challenges such as:
- Demand for Customization
- Product Diversity
- Product Complexity
- Global Competition
- Streamlining the Development Process
Typically, in the development process from design to manufacturing, several steps are running in sequence: initial concept, design, technical communication and production, each department works in a sequence. Issues arise when the product cannot be produced after a design freeze and technical communication, increasing the costs already incurred so far in the whole process.
- How to Boost Sales & Profitability
One simple formula to boost sales in any manufacturing industry is to accelerate the production of what is in demand and similarly cut down the production of what’s not selling. However, in the real world, it’s not that simple. Companies need to ensure they have enough resources and material to meet the demand of all orders received. Customer also need to be provided with an accurate and reasonable date of order delivery. Thus, overall, this has an impact on the actual sales and profitability of a company.
- Be Sustainable with Economy & Environment
The manufacturing industry needs to be compliant with regulations and control carbon footprint. To deal with the dynamics of a changing economy, the industry needs to invest in the training needs of the workforce and look for a platform that allows more collaboration, breaking the silos of various functions within the organization.
Companies are looking for more agility and flexibility in production, providing a holistic and systematic approach.
How 3DEXPERIENCE can help?
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps to unite the organization from design and manufacturing to marketing and service in one collaborative, product development environment. It allows people from diverse technical experience and background to speak the same language. The human brain can interpret images better than simple text and this platform can provide digital mock–ups and dashboards for better visualization.
I will now provide some insights about 2 such solutions provided by Dassault Systèmes: 3DEXPERIENCE Works and DELMIAWORKS.
The 3DEXPERIENCE Works is a combination of Solid Works and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform which enables the engineering and design process to work in parallel and not in sequence. The benefit is time and cost savings all the while improving quality. There are chances to innovate for manufacturers which allow them to reduce time to market. The Integrated design platform connects mechanical design, technical communication, data management, electrical design and simulation together with a 3D CAD model at the heart of the process which makes all functional areas aware of any changes in design and there is no need to have design freeze just for manufacturing. This provides better collaboration and planning opportunity.
The DELMIAWORKS solution resolves the problem of integration between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Management Execution System (MES) for any manufacturing company dealing with order management, planning & scheduling of work order, product process monitoring, quality & maintenance, and shipping. It connects machines from the shop floor to information and data which help in production monitoring, leading to operational equipment effectiveness and reduced cycle time. In terms of process monitoring, it gives real-time information of the shop floor with colour coded dashboards and visual analytics, allowing to plan the downtime well in advance and make the best use of the machinery. Thanks to the platform’s intuitive and proactive response, workers can react faster to any unforeseen situation.
We can summarise the benefits of these new platforms as:
- Increased plant efficiency from 70% to 98%
- Reduction in maintenance costs by up to 70%
- Increased on–time deliveries to 99.3%
- Reduction in warehouse space by 25%
For more information on 3DEXPERIENCE Works, please follow this link.
For more information on DELMIAWORKS, please follow this link.