An interconnected system: what are the benefits?

Technological advances and ever-evolving customer demands mean that it is more important than ever for manufacturers to work within an interconnected system, as Majenta Solutions’ Neil Watford and Chris Stock explain.

Working in the digital space means OEMs are putting more pressure on their suppliers to provide integrated solutions and share more financial risk – image courtesy of Majenta Solutions.
Working in the digital space means OEMs are putting more pressure on their suppliers to provide integrated solutions and share more financial risk – image courtesy of Majenta Solutions.

The digital revolution has meant more work processes are completed in the digital realm. Product design, manufacturing, testing; a whole product life cycle is being managed in the digital space, meaning reduced physical processes, which lowers costs and speeds up processes significantly.

In this fast-paced time when products are being innovated faster than ever, OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) are pushing for faster responses from their suppliers, from RFQ (Request For Quotation) through to product production.

Working in the digital space means that they are also pushing for greater production flexibility – both increase and decrease, while maintaining quality.

These demands and technology advances mean that it is more important than ever for manufacturers to work within an interconnected system. With the ability to work in the digital space, OEMs are putting more pressure on their suppliers to provide integrated solutions and share more financial risk.

Rather than traditional over-the-wall mentality, working within an interconnected system ensures that manufacturers understand the design requirements as the solutions are developed as a team. This puts design and execution at the heart of every project.

The stand out benefit of working within an interconnected system is the increase in speed of project execution, from RFQ response, to the speed of design and manufacture. This acceleration directly increases the profitability of a business. A manufacturer that works as an interconnected system is now more likely to be chosen to complete a project for an OEM.

It’s common for manufacturers to feel daunted by the prospect of implementing large PLM, PDM or platform solutions. This can be for many reasons, ranging from the anticipated cost of implementation from additional hardware, licenses, training, downtime, etc.; legacy data complications; the storing of data in old CAD formats, or integrating old CAD formats into the new system in a way that they are still usable.

As well as the required change of culture within business, a new system can only deliver improvement if a company changes its processes to take advantage of the new functionality and this can be challenging.

Working within an interconnected system ensures that manufacturers understand the design requirements as the solutions are developed as a team – image courtesy of Majenta Solutions.
Working within an interconnected system ensures that manufacturers understand the design requirements as the solutions are developed as a team – image courtesy of Majenta Solutions.

Looking beyond the challenges, these integrated systems (PLM, PDM or platform) can help companies win more business, help to increase margin and provide a fast return on investment. PLM and PDM mean that CAD data is taken directly into the manufacturing realm, providing no unnecessary re-work.

This digital data is used to simulate manufacturing and machining processes, allowing different scenarios to be considered without the physical cost. Ideas can be tried and tested at a faster rate and with less cost.

The Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE® platform through Majenta Solutions provides an interconnected system supporting manufacturers, OEMs and engineers across many industries3DEXPERIENCE®. The 3DEXPERIENCE® platform allows digital continuity across all process within an integrated solution that improves efficiency, adaptability and profitability. It provides a driven and controlled real-time project execution solution from proposal to delivery, which can help to win more business.

It also instigates an increase in operational efficiency by reusing knowledge and automating business activities from definition to manufacture, for example, driving higher margins.  Efficiency is also improved by the enterprise all using the same information – single source of the truth.

The 3DEXPERIENCE® platform is more than a PDM or PLM system. It’s a data-driven business system that gathers data across multiple environments. As a business platform, 3DEXPERIENCE® connects a number of systems such as CAD, Project Management, Product Management, Analysis, Simulation and much more. It’s designed to cover the whole business, from concept ideas and discussions, through design and manufacture to assembly and obsolescence, implementing a truly interconnected system.

Any manufacturing business can benefit from the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform as it’s a digitally connected business platform rather than just electronic PLM software. Our customers utilise a vast number of the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform’s capabilities and the apps it contains, allowing them to manage projects from the initial requirements being provided by customers, through to the development of design and manufacturing processes.

If a company is considering or is required to start working within an interconnected system then first they should consider the scope of the project. Although a PLM, PDM or the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform can seem like an undertaking for any business, they must always remember that most systems can be broken down into manageable chunks of work.

They should try not to focus on the short-term costs, but instead focus on the long-term benefits of shorter time to market and reduced costs by taking advantage of all that the digital realm can offer.

Neil Watford, technical consultant, Majenta Solutions for Dassault Systèmes.

Neil Watford is a technical consultant at Majenta Solutions for Dassault Systèmes. With specialties in PLM Support, Neil looks after Majenta Solutions’ Catia V5 and 3DEXPERIENCE® platform customers. Neil has built 3DEXPERIENCE® platform environments for both internal use and for our customers, and has gained Dassault Systèmes certification in Transport & Mobility and 3DEXPERIENCE® platform Customisation.

Chris Stock, technical account manager, Majenta Solutions for Dassault Systèmes.Chris Stock is a technical account manager at Majenta Solutions for Dassault Systèmes. Chris is experienced in the use and deployment of a number of PLM systems, as an Engineering Designer and a PLM Consultant. Experienced across the Dassault Systèmes portfolio, Chris is able to support all of our Dassault Systèmes customers with their specific requirements.

Majenta Solutions are leading providers of CAD and BIM consultancy, software, training and data services. As resellers for Dassault Systèmes and Autodesk, Majenta Solutions work across the Automotive, Aerospace and AEC industries, for world leading OEMs through to SMEs.