Jul 21, 2015 -- There’s an entire segment of manufacturers that still rely on conventional design approaches that have no digital information at all. Manufacturing teams still develop products based on old drawing information that either is in the form of rough sketches or drawings in non-editable formats, making them completely useless when it comes to altering the product design. This sounds quite surprising in an era where best-in-class manufacturers are transforming their facility through the implementation of advanced product design techniques such as reverse engineering and rapid prototyping.
Furthermore, manufacturing techniques have also advanced to a level where the need to have a digital model has become mandatory. It is therefore an alarming call for those laggards to keep up with the fast changing manufacturing environment.
Transforming the design information digitally is what manufacturers should look for to ensure that the design data remains secure and flexible to implement changes easily. However, it may seem a mammoth task to convert all the hand drawn sketches or PDFs into CAD format.
Since there would be lot many data required to be converted, which would block the resources and subsequently affect the production cycle. Roadblocks can also be in the form of resistance from the staff itself to adopt the change in the design process.
Training the resources and providing knowledge about the benefits of this change can help a bit to bring the enthusiasm and motivation, but transformation would still be difficult at a time due to the necessity to maintain production efficiency. Manufacturers might require hiring experts in such cases and develop special team under them to carry out the conversion process, so that core product development stages do not get affected.
Another alternative is to ask for external help from engineering consultants or engineering outsourcing service providers, who provide conversion service at low cost. Outsourcing CAD conversion can be extremely helpful for organizations that have limited resources and infrastructure facility.
The outsourcing alternative can also free up the resources of the organization so that focus on core activities can be ascertained. Since the outsourcing partner looks for all the conversion process, manufacturers can focus on new design development through in-house facility. The production process as such does not get affected and the plant efficiency is maintained.
Whether to outsource or not is however the decision that depends entirely on the importance and criticality of the design being under consideration. For designs that are very much close to the manufacturer’s reputation and brand value, the partner selection should be accordingly.
The important requirement however is to convert the design information to digital as soon as possible, so that the product design and the manufacturing facility remain up-to-date for the new transformation that’s happening across the manufacturing sector. Before it gets too late, convert all your design information to CAD format today. Consult an engineering partner or implement the change yourself, but better do it soon.
About the Author:
Nikunj Patel is a design engineer working with Hi-Tech CADD Services - CAD Drafting for the past 4 years. He loves designing specialized industrial equipments and can always be found in the lab discussing, brainstorming & tweaking designs. He has also worked on architectural projects taking interest in every aspect of design & analysis.