The industrial equipment industry is made up of many segments ranging from special machines (production line) to complex tools including worksite machines, installed equipment and metal products. In spite of the diversity of such equipment, there are nevertheless many common points. Customer requirements with respect to quality, equipment adaptability and lead times are becoming increasingly demanding. The design and manufacturing processes for these products are by their very nature complex and involve many professional disciplines. As the number of different types of products is constantly increasing, engineering work becomes more difficult to manage. Margin protection and product innovation involves standardising parts and development processes.
The main challenges faced by companies in the industrial equipment sector fall into five key areas:
RESPONDING TO CALLS FOR TENDER: whether the company is more oriented to build-to-order or engineering-to-order, the response to calls-for-tender (i.e. RFP / RFQ) is an essential process. Managing this phase by taking the actual costs, identifying the risks and considering all the projects or products already completed or manufactured guarantees that you optimise your competitiveness and improve your reactivity and your accuracy, by establishing a standard repeatable process that can be understood by all.
PLURIDISCIPLINARY DEVELOPMENT: product ranges change fast, derived solutions increase and the systems to be integrated are more and more complex. The sector's companies must focus on integrating multiple disciplines such as mechanics, routed systems, electronics and software. Integration begins with systems engineering and impacts the whole cycle up to the production plant, expecially if the development process is marked by a large number of modifications.
INDUSTRY COLLABORATION: market globalisation leads not only to greater world competition but also to new forms of collaboration and competition between companies in the sector. The nature of sub-contracting is changing and value chains are becoming more complicated. Conventional methods of collaboration based on loosely structured data exchange are not sufficient. Development platforms allowing partners to collaborate throughout the product design, implementation and maintenance cycle must be deployed to protect certain sensitive data and intellectual property.
REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: as in other industry sectors, regulatory standards are becoming increasingly demanding and companies must ensure compliance. The constraints are all the more stringent as they often vary according to regional standards and relate to different aspects of the equipment to be produced and maintained: used materials, recyclability, safety, etc. The resulting traceability requirements require new organisational structures and procedures to guarantee product conformity.
AFTER-SALES: this phase is important for several reasons. On the one hand, it is a way of forging long-term links with customers and on the other, it is an increasingly important element for the profitability of companies in the industrial equipment sector. That is why it is essential to define, as early as possible, the maintenance services to be offered to customers, to capitalise on the procedures and control the configuration of equipment installed on customers' premises.
PLM solutions increase the innovative capacity of new industrial equipment and the services to be offered relative to these new products.
They are therefore advantageous for reducing costs and for the quality and productivity of industrial equipment.
Integrating CATIA and DELMIA solutions into the ENOVIA database gives engineers an efficient package with which, as far as possible, to run the relevant projects concurrently with the various business disciplines, determine the functional and geometrical integrity of the product package and manage collaboration with organisations regarding methods and manufacturing based on large 3D schedules.
Sequencing and simulating the assembly process, although the product definition has not been finalised, and producing product instruction sheets from the 3D mock-up becomes possible with the DELMIA and 3DVIA solutions that we distribute and deploy. These solutions are used to validate the decisions which impact on production, before any actual implementation costs are incurred.
Flexible solutions provide easy-to-understand 3D documents for presenting your future projects in 3D to communicate with your customers, prospective customers, or globally with the market. 3DVIA is a range of products specifically designed for such practices. These solutions operate in multi-CAD environments with the best known formats on the market and can be integrated into all your document or Web formats.
Complex systems engineering
Tracking your systems engineering, from customers' requirements to the functions to be developed, the logic assemblies to be defined and the physical products to be built involves practices that are widely known but which companies are rarely equipped to deal with in-house. However, they provide expertise in V cycles and a real ability to manage the impacts of modifications made as a result of the needs expressed. Combined with product conformity management solutions, they constitute a guarantee of development process durability and flexibility.
Collaborative management of product data and intellectual capital
Our ENOVIA solution is a single global collaboration platform for managing all the assets that companies create during the entire life cycle of their products. This platform includes a modern centralised upgradeable infrastructure with the appropriate level of control, traceability and monitoring. It is built around the product portfolio to equip organisations that need to be increasingly flexible and agile with the required tools:
- It is used to compile, validate and share information in a structured engineering document repository in order to increase its reusability.
- It encourages an industry approach to standardising the processes to be equipped with tools and the infrastructures to be deployed.
- It supports the industry approach to standardising the assemblies to be produced.
- It forms the basis for a controlled relationship with subcontractors and makes it possible to build better links between the development process and the purchasing process. It contains modules dedicated to the management of RFP and RFQ processes, the qualification of subcontractors and components and the successful design tools integrated into this collaboration platform.
The benefits of a PLM approach in this industry sector are already being measured by sector leaders.
Considerable benefits have been noted in several areas:
Having the advantage of a product development platform that facilitates simultaneous working and collaboration between the various players in the development process
Designing and analysing multidisciplinary 3D data, from structure to fluid systems, in a single digital mock-up to ensure a "right first time" definition
Carrying out most of the design work very early in the development cycle to anticipate and control manufacturing costs
Allowing the project leader to give an account of the progress of the design and performance of the product to all the people involved within the company, the customer and subcontractors, throughout the development process
Ensuring compliance with the specifications
Maximising the reuse of design elements and components and standardising development practices, in order to improve productivity/quality
Controlling the impacts between several batches of work assigned to different businesses or subcontractors.
This PLM approach and Dassault Systèmes solutions in particular improve not only your ability to innovate but also the definition quality of your products.
They improve the flexibility, modularity and portability of the engineering studies and production equipment to be deployed to produce industrial equipment with all the organisations impacted in the extended company, including subcontractors. They are really important mechanisms for improving the efficiency of the NPI (New Product Introduction) and NPD (New Product Development) processes.
Keonys has developed a special relationship with certain companies in the industrial equipment sector.
Our consultants have participated in many projects involving the implementation of PLM tools, particularly for major manufacturers such as ThyssenKrupp Elevators and also within smaller, dynamic SMEs such as Clextral or Cartec, to provide the tools for various business processes.
Keonys consultants are experts in various business practices and can help you via various types of consultancy or operational activities to:
define a PLM roadmap and an implementation strategy;
implement or adapt your PLM information system and measure its impact on your working methods by maintaining an overall view and consistency to ensure the scalability and sustainability of the changes introduced;
specify innovative business solutions by taking account of the most successful CAD practices such as "generative" part design methodologies (based on parametric 3D, the knowledge and incorporation of professional rules into your designs) and then implementing them on actual cases with your product development teams;
develop special tools that allow you to automate certain design-to-manufacturing systems associated with, for example, sheet metal systems, structure, electrical or fluid systems.
Our teams also have the required experience to help you with your post-deployment support or change management activities via pilot studies / demonstrations or training programmes appropriate to your PLM context.