by July 23, 2013 0 comments

CAD Data was getting validated through verbal means or email, and keeping track of the validations was proving to be very difficult. Although the design team had methods to keep track, many cases were getting skipped. This resulted in assembly clearance problems, incorrect design and wrong material detection at critical timings. Previously, there was also no formal process for making “Design For Manufacturing Form” (DFM) compulsory before the release of PPRF, and this needed to be changed.

The Solution

A workflow system was implemented that gets data validated in an organized and sequential manner. Design data gets validated by a system engineer, parts procurement manager, vehicle integration team member and CAD validator in order. Because of a validation workflow, the data gets validated for its design, material, cost estimates, assembly clearance and design standards. If the CAD data is rejected at any stage of the workflow, it is resubmitted for validation after the required change is made. Once the data is sent for PRE-PPRF validation, it sends the data to PPM with a watermark. The PPM can view the visualization of the data to make further decisions. Also, since each stage of the workflow must be approved before moving to the next, there is a guarantee on the approval of quality before the CAD data moves on to the next stage.

Company Scenario

Before deployment: CAD data was being validated either verbally or through email, and this was becoming problematic due to lack of accountability. Keeping track of validations was difficult, and some cases were getting skipped. This led to incorrect design, problems in material estimation and assembly clearance problems.

What was deployed: A workflow system was established where the stakeholders were the system engineer, part procurement manager, concerned vehicle integration team member and CAD validator. The system was designed such that it was done in a sequence and no stage could be skipped, so every component of the design had to be validates and materials had to be approved through the electronic system.

After deployment: Transparency in the process ensured that blame did not pass around, and that tracking the stages it goes through became easy. More profit and reduction in development life cycle due to inclusion of the PPM. If any part of the data is rejected in any stage, the design goes back to the designer for modifications and the entire workflow needs to be re-initiated from the start.

Implementation partner: Internal

The Challenges[image_library_tag 883/81883, alt=”esgff” border=”0″ style=”float: right;” width=”181″ height=”140″ ,default]

It was a challenge dealing with rejection from any stakeholder during a stage of the workflow. This situation was handled through an additional status called “Pending” and extra access controls. Since the PPM is a non-CAD user, it was a challenge to make the visualization data available to them, but this was managed by adding an additional relation in the database. Also, sending emails to all the stakeholders from the server after a client made changes in the workflow was challenging, and IP level customization and enabling a port for sending the mails was necessary to fulfill this requirement.

The Result

Stake holders of the design need not send emails or make personal requests for other concerned parties to do their part as the workflow automatically informs them about it. As workflow is mandatory, no design data gets skipped from validation process. There is also transparency on the stage at which a design is pending, and the history of actions through the workflow can be observed to obtain a clear perspective. Since the PPM is also now part of the workflow cycle, estimation of the design is happening prior to the production stage, and the buyer is intimated of the development in advance, so the total development cycle is shrinking and time is saved.

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