Companies seeking a competitive strategy often raise the issue of digital continuity across engineering and manufacturing with us. The idea is to leverage digital assets consistently, from concept to service models. Engineering-intensive sectors that require more than 500 product development engineers, such as automotive, off-highway vehicles, and industrial equipment, can generate millions of dollars in savings from digital engineering methods. By trimming rework and enabling productivity gains, organizations can use these savings to start a new program with the same capacity or fund a new business initiative. Companies we work with are doing exactly that by implementing more disciplined digital engineering and manufacturing approaches.
Manufacturing today is driven by a range of transformative forces. On the technology side, IoT, additive manufacturing, digital twins, AI, and augmented and virtual reality are recasting traditional manufacturing sectors. Systems closely associated with this transformation, such as PLM, are also undergoing rapid evolution. PLM, which is influenced by trends such as cloud, Industry 4.0, analytics, customer experience, ALM, and digital twin, is an innovation platform that can bolster the digital thread.
Engineering is adopting a holistic digital methodology
Use of digital technologies is not new in engineering and product development. What is new is that organizations need to integrate product development, manufacturing, and product launches into an all-digital perspective by leveraging smarter technologies, more useful data, and better insights. The product-development process needs to shift to a more holistic digital mindset that overcomes silo mentalities and visualizes interdependencies throughout the product cycle.
The varying maturity levels of the digital technologies adopted in each phase, as well as the differing stages in the product cycle at which these improvements take place, disrupt continuity. Smoothing out these inconsistencies can generate significant advantages.
The business value of digital engineering
Three prominent macro factors influence engineering operations: new markets, engineering skills, and new competition. They put pressure on engineering organizations as they grapple with engineering-change and design-change demands from the downstream stages of product development. Using our expertise in working with technology from PTC, Capgemini has built solutions for specific stages of the product lifecycle. And, our engineering-domain expertise enables us to converge and integrate the technologies for end-to-end digital continuity.
With our Smart Engineering expertise, we transform core product engineering with next-generation technologies. With our Digital Manufacturing capabilities, we transform manufacturing by creating smart, secure, and agile factories. And, we enable servitization by harnessing the power of IoT for connected products and digital platforms around products.
Our digital continuity approach addresses some common challenges in bill of materials (BOM) management. The BOM evolution, from CAD to EBOM, MBOM, PBOM, and SBOM through the design-to-service lifecycle, can be managed efficiently through data, application, and process integration. Adoption of immersive technologies further improves the consumption of engineering data in the later stages of the product lifecycle, as in manufacturing operations and product service.
We have worked with PTC and partners, such as Rockwell Automation, to extend digital engineering and manufacturing benefits to our clients. Our global teams leverage Creo, Windchill, Thingworx, Windchill MPMLink, Kepware, FactoryTalk (from Rockwell Automation), and Vuforia to fulfill the promise of digital engineering and Industry 4.0. PLM commonly serves as the digital backbone for the processes by managing product data for simulation, 3D work instructions, service configurations, and IoT data. This backbone enables robust engineering analytics from system data and product data, improving the effectiveness of processes such as CAPA and Engineering Change Management.
With digital engineering, organizations can reduce time to market, minimize design changes, and lessen manufacturing planning time. With digital manufacturing, production throughput is increased, and overall production costs are reduced. The goal is a better stakeholder experience for product and business success.
Vivek Kotru (Twitter: @vivekkotru) is the Marketing Head for Capgemini’s
Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Services.
Capgemini brings together deep domain expertise to lead the convergence of physical and digital.