Industry 4.0 is the Smart Revolution. Referring to the past blogs on the subject, this means that we have the infrastructure to connect, be intelligent and have flexibility in automation.
Understandably, these are simple terms; however, in the application of such terms creates much complexity when applying these terms to a design ecosystem.
Each person in an organization has his or her own responsibilities and plugs into a bigger role at that organization. Many times, these software packages and hardware pieces that each user executes require additional workarounds to integrate and talk together, this leads to inefficiencies.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to export a PDF and email it separately outside our ecosystem so that someone in purchasing could interface with our design? Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to sidestep a STEP file so that the downstream mold maker could create a tooling split? These are just some examples of work inefficiencies as it comes to workarounds in the workplace to get to the finish line. Trust me, having over 10 years of technical support experience in the reseller channel, there’s many other questions I get and often ask why. Is there a better, more efficient way to design?
Let’s review the main points of Industry 4.0 and talk high level on how the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform by Dassault Systems can help get your company set to execute on these points.
This is a straight-forward idea that everyone in our team can communicate and update the tasks at hand. How is your team connected? How do you handle approvals? What about the connection to fabrication and machining? Are there individuals and vendors outside of your ecosystem? If there is something wrong, how does the Quality Department interface with the engineering team? Is it a laundry list of emails and sticky notes? What happens to those data points at the obsolescence of those projects?
TULIP, which offers a connected platform where data is read from the shop floor and fed back to the design team. These data points can be consumed on any number of devices including mobile phones.
Having a system that understands and communicates with each other seamlessly is the benchmark.
Here is an example: you are part of quality assurance and you have data that is read from an assembly process. What happens to that data? Is it simply recorded in a disconnected environment? For example, does the person in QA record a number in a spreadsheet and that file lives electronically on a mapped network drive? What happens to the collection of that data? What happens when information comes back from use of the product that something needs changed? Does it automatically go back to a bigger ecosystem that immediately points to recalls or does the data plug in separately?
This can be a very powerful and interesting aspect of the fourth Industrial Revolution. A simple example seen in the automotive industry, would be an assembly line having the ability to work with new products easily by possibly changing minimal parts to a much larger top-level assembly, rather than the entire jig or fixture itself. It means when that new end product’s design rolls in from Japan, our assembly plants in the United States aren’t down for weeks to retool. Yes, ‘down-time’ will be necessary to retool, but how quickly that happens depends on the end-product design and how those assembly tools, of course, interface with that end-product.
Today, there are many options when it comes to software and hardware, and the choice for your design team. Perhaps, there are too many options in my mind. What software is the best for me to design electrical boards or mechanical widgets? Do those packages interface downstream with purchasing and documentation and fabrication and consumer instructions?
Intro to 3DEXPERIENCE
The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is a one-stop shop, and this is the piece that allows for smart integration within your team. No matter what your role is in your organization, there is a software piece to which you can execute on your task for the day. The backbone of the 3DEXPERIENCE is the community; this is the area everyone in your organization can see and use. When a user logs in to the 3DEXPERIENCE, they immediately have access to their roles in the company. Do you need to see what Matt is doing in the machine shop or what Ralph is designing in SOLIDWORKS? Well, in the Platform, because the starting point is the same for everyone (web access available on any device, anywhere in the world), all team members are connected all the time. When Ralph generates a CAD model, Matt can immediately start to generate G code on it because everyone is connected.
Let’s use a standard factory plant example. You have a mixture of people in your team’s division including mechanical and electrical engineers, shop floor workers, managers, quality control personnel, team leads and support personnel. Is there a connection between what the engineers are designing, what the managers are communicating in team meetings and what the shop floor workers leverage at the time of fabrication? Each person has very different responsibilities.
In the 3DEXPERIENCE, there is a breadth of apps distinguished by one’s role in his or her organization. With Lean Team Player, team leads can organize, share team boards and kick off meetings, ideas, just like you may currently be doing with sticky notes and whiteboards. Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS allows SOLIDWORKS users to collaborate immediately on their designs in the Cloud; realize that there is a connector or plug-in for many other non-SOLIDWORKS CAD tools as well. Managers can leverage Product Release Engineer and Project Planner to improve productivity, view and sign off products with reports and tables and ensure timely release of products. Those at the backend or in fabrication or manufacturing can benefit from several roles as well to ensure the product can be made correctly. All of this is happening in a connected ecosystem without tripping over unnecessary imports and exports or installing that ‘other’ software.
Industry 4.0 is here and ready supported by Dassault Systems with the advent of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. Its effectiveness in your organization is purely a function of each user’s willingness to adopt a connected ecosystem of products that constantly communicates and provides real-time collaboration to everyone in the team.
To learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, stream the webinar "Get to Know 3DEXPERIENCE".