There is a long running tension in most product companies between engineering and the rest of the organization concerning product data. What product data is needed? Who should have access? Who controls that data? How can we foster innovation and creativity and still comply with our release and quality procedures? While both groups make valid points there needs to be an effective way to address this tension.
Introducing Find, Use and Publish for improved Engineering Collaboration
Engineering Collaboration is a tailored offering from Perception Software specifically designed to address this tension point by allowing engineers to do what they do best, while allowing the enterprise to maintain its processes and workflows. Engineers are given direct access to the PLM environment without adversely impacting their current workflow or creative process. Creating an efficient process for engineers to find, use and publish their product data is critical to successful operations. This solution allows the engineer to develop new products, get them to the market, and do so in the most cost efficient manner possible.
This solution also offers close looped engineering by offering comprehensive product data search, enrichment of the CAD Library with enterprise and cloud data, and seamless integration between the EDA tools and PLM. Let’s examine the pieces that make up the whole.
How Engineers Find, Use, and Publish design data from/to the Enterprise
FIND the right component
Do you know the data housed in your PLM system well enough to find what you are looking for in a matter of seconds? The fact is, unless you’re expert in all the data residing inside of your PLM instance, you are going to have a difficult time finding what you’re searching for. There is a disparity between all the data in your PLM system and what you have knowledge of, hence limiting your search ability. Engineers who cannot quickly find what they are looking for will resort to a basic internet search (e.g. Google) instead of leveraging the existing data.
Searching for something is one thing. Finding something that you can use is something completely different. This is especially true for data unknown or unfamiliar to you.
The Find solution from Perception Software is a high performance search, navigation and discovery solution that has been purpose built for the product decision maker (engineering, supply chain, product operations). In order for these users to make decisions, they need to not only find what they are looking for, but also understand what possibilities exist. Both Encompass and AgileXPLORER for Oracle Agile PLM allows the user to easily navigate and discover what product data exist today within Agile PLM and select that data for use. A user equipped with the right data in a timely fashion makes better decisions. Finding data is the first step in engineering collaboration.
USE in the design
The opportunity and monetary cost of rework is substantial. Rework can cause production delays and increases pressure on downstream processes. For example, as parts are updated in PLM, they become obsolete. An out-of-date CAD library means additional time and effort spent doing menial tasks that could and should be executed automatically.
The keyword here is automatically. By giving your Engineers access to current and accurate part records instead of making them maintain it themselves, they can make trade offs regarding cost, performance, and quality while maintaining full compliance despite having a multitude of regulations. It changes the question of “Do I have the right part?” to “What is the best part to use for my design?” The ability to automate these processes is vital, when pressed for product deadlines and constrained by cost, compliance and accuracy. Perception Software’s eCAD Library connector works behind the scenes to enrich your CAD library for part placement within your schematic. This allows for large amounts of metadata associated with the part to be used for placement. By making the part selection database PLM aware it will augment the CAD library with data from inside PLM. The part selection databases are updated so when you place parts on your schematic you are aware of those changes inside of PLM. It takes the grunt work out of using PLM and enables the engineer to be more productive.
PUBLISH to the enterprise
The current manual process of publishing the Bill of Materials (BOM) into your PLM environment is a tedious process. It is difficult to get engineering to provide a timely and accurate BOM that will perfectly import into PLM. As accuracy of this transaction decreases the cost and time needed for the completion increases. The fact is, human error is inevitable and sorting the problems in the BOM such as using the right form or late changes in requirements all impede the engineer from submitting it. When pressed for product deadlines while still having to maintain cost, compliance and accuracy the ability to automate these processes is vital.
Using automated software can make doing your taxes a lot easier and the same can apply for publishing your BOM. The ability to push a button for the automation of a process that knows the questions to ask me, speaks the language of EDA and PLM and is easy to use just makes sense.
The Publish solution from Perception Software, EDAConnect, communicates your design to the enterprise with a simple wizard launched from your ECAD Tool. The engineer can create a template for extracting and publishing design data. The connector provides the simplicity of being able to publish a BOM from eCAD to PLM with a single click. Automation allows for real time BOM analysis and access to complete design data. Improved integration of the engineering change order process (ECO) along with BOM redlining operations ensures the enterprise has the most up to date information in PLM. This gives the extended enterprise insight into the current cost, manufacturability, availability and compliance of the product as early as possible in the design cycle.
Offering the product decision makers a highly precise closed looped Engineering Collaboration solution through the Find, Use and Publish cycle greatly eases the tension between Engineering and the Enterprise.