Wondering what others are doing to help their engineers and designers achieve better design for manufacturability as new products are developed. Like many companies, we have a lot of tribal knowledge and conduct cross-functional design reviews to vet new designs and try to address issues before they get too far long the design development lifecycle (where they become more time consuming and expensive to address). But we'd like to achieve better consistency / repeatability and push this earlier into the design development process. The question is, what methods and tools are successfully being used? Electronic knowlegebase / lessons learned database or design element checklists? Tools within Creo like Model Check (with a custom library of do and don't rules)? Add-ons like DFMPro from Geometric? Are you doing something in gated processes within your PLM system to verify these tasks have been completed and capturing the results? How is this knowledge being communicated as new-hires are brought up to speed? How is all of this being managed to ensure accuracy and keep it current as new manufacturing capabilities are brought online or old rules become obsolete?
Erik C. Gifford
G.W. Lisk Co., Inc.
Man - if I had $0.05...
This is a balance -- if you have a repeatable product design, or families of product designs (not necessarily Family Tables - but design or configure to order types) then you have a few options.
Model Check and similar tools are good - they have their purpose - typically enforcing the basics and finding stupid stuff that a user should NOT have done (like burying a feature, or not filling in parameters, etc.).
This is really coming down to effective modeling and drawing standards. The more Picaso's the more problems you will experience over time in every aspect of modeling, drawing, change management and ultimately DATA MANAGEMENT. This is why outsourcing of CAD work is often painful and expensive - if there are no standards to guide and enforce the results... the results will be obvious - whack-a-mole problem solving and resolutions.
We advise our customers to capture the knowledge and then force everyone to use that knowledge whenever they want to do something "new" ... reusing as much as possible along the way.
This requires a solid understanding of "what" you do... and "why" you do it. ("why" is the most important element)
When done right, the knowledge and standards remain in the company when people leave (or are promoted), and new people can get up to speed VERY quickly because it is useable and not sitting in a 3-ring binder.
We recommend using Excel for capturing the process (everyone knows it) -- and also keeping everything in CREO as autonomous as possible for maximum item reuse and interchangeability with other designs. The more you put into CREO (relationships, dependencies, etc.) the harder it will be to manage and reuse things later.
There are many tools out there for helping with this -- but in the end, no matter what tool you use, you MUST get your processes down first.
Your issues are really a data flow problem, not a "modeling" or "tools" problem when you really think about it.
When done correctly - your knowledge is captured and version controlled -- just like everything else.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your thoughts. Absolutely agree that nailing down the processes first is key to anything like this being successful (along with understanding the "why", as you mentioned). Without capturing where you are with your current processes and defining where you want to end up, an implementation of software or any other tool to gain improvement won't be successful.
Your products look "easy" enough that you should have good design and documentation standards in place already. Given the highly regulated industries you service.
If you are interested in digging deeper - check into Nitro-CELL. I would also look at other solutions, but it all comes down to how much work do you want to do to get the results. The benefits are huge if you capture and control the flow of information.