Maximise product design efficiency, productivity and ROI of CAD software
Modern product development is a wide and complex area that requires careful planning and implementation of CAD software to best meet your productivity and manufacturing goals. Most manufacturing companies across the engineering industry have inefficient CAD implementations, cumbersome processes and poor integration with their manufacturing department.
I have helped multi-national organisations setup, implement and roll out CAD software (SolidWorks). As a professional Design Engineer using SolidWorks CAD for over a decade on complex projects, in-depth working knowledge of the software was used to assess the opportunities available in efficient modelling, CAD automation, performance validation and manufacturing efficiency.
- SolidWorks CAD setup, efficient implementation and roll-out
- Hardware recommendations for CAD software productivity
- Development of design department standards, work flows and documentation
- CAD to manufacturing efficiency
- CAD automation potential and application
- CAD model-based definition (MBD)
- Integration of advanced manufacturing
- CAD data management advice (PDM)
- CAD training and education for increased productivity
- SolidWorks API / bespoke software development for automated tasks
- CAD strategy and digital engineering
Understanding the full potential of CAD systems allows you to maximise your ROI. Having multiple seats and users of CAD software with a poor plan to use it effectively across the team only leads to poor efficiency and difficulties downstream when moving onto manufacturing.
The route to design efficiency
It’s a long one… especially if you are the only progressive, forward-thinking person on the team. However, you have decided or been tasked with reducing your product development cycle times, CAD errors and re-work. Whether you have a new product line to develop or an existing one to improve, it all starts with getting the right people on board to set the scene for the rest of the team and drive the change forward.
Over the course of the last 12 years I have helped develop complex products for big brands including Warner Brothers (Film), James Purdey’s of London (Gun Manufacturers) and Laing O’Rourke (Construction). In each case the product was different but the inefficiencies to start with were the same. A lack of engineering design standards, a multitude of CAD modelling errors, countless hours of lost time through poor design notes, missing knowledge of manufacturing processes / tolerances and the list goes on.
A process to ensure efficiency
I have developed the following process to help manufacturing businesses develop products efficiently.
- LEARN about the product to be manufactured and manufacturing processes to be used
- IDENTIFY the most efficient way of translating the idea into CAD software
- DEVELOP efficient CAD models and process documentation to support
- IMPLEMENT the new standards by supporting the team to encourage adoption
Like any process this will have to be reviewed and iterated regularly to consider the manufacturing and technology changes that may occur over time.