Simulation has taken over the conventional manufacturing approach for many industries. However, research shows that many small and mid scale manufacturing organizations are skeptical about including the technology in the product development process and prefer to use these tools past the design release.
For organizations looking to adopt the simulation driven product design, it is indeed difficult to re-consider the entire product development process. There are several complexities present for organizations that must be eliminated to involve analysis-led design process for product development. There might be resistance from the internal team due to lack of expertise, or even the fear of investing too much in developing the infrastructure.
As such, incorporating simulation is similar to any major business transformation process and requires support from the top level management to bring a change in the organizational culture. Some important tips to incorporate simulation process in the organization DNA are mentioned here.
Simulation Driven Design for Your Next Product Design
Promote Simulation Culture
One of the important factors required in any organization willing to adopt computer aided design process is to develop an environment within the teams to ensure smooth transition. Usually, engineering department is most likely to resist the change due to perceptions about quality and lack of knowledge. Ideally, a domain expert must be appointed to lead the team and make them realize about the possible opportunities that can be grabbed by bringing this transformation. Design experts to support the change.
Train Your Staff
It is important to consider training as a critical process, if you seriously consider incorporating simulation driven design for your next project. Most organizations fail to implement the transformation due to lack of effective training. Engineering teams must be encouraged to undergo a professional training session, in order to develop know-how about the software. Members from the management team as well should undergo a basic training session, so that cross-communication in the organization can be improved post-transformation.
Get the Right Tools
With numerous tools available in the market, it is always confusing to choose the right one that will suit your requirements. Although many open source simulation tools are available, it is ideal to select the ones that are user-friendly and are CAD-embedded. This will ensure that the design process remains closely coupled with simulation at every stage. Moreover, CAD like interfaces allows users to quickly adopt the software capabilities.
The product development process needs to be redefined in order to make the most out of simulation technology. It is required to involve simulation testing in early design phases, rather than post design release. This requires re-considering the workflow and involves simulation and result verification in the design process earlier, so that errors in the design can be ascertained before experimental investigations.
Collaborate Design and Testing Teams
It is also important to collaborate the design and testing teams more tightly, in order to ensure good level of information exchange, which can lead towards a better product design. Usually, it is ideal to appoint common design expert between the two teams to better co-ordinate the process and establish good communication in order to achieve excellence in product development.
Incorporating simulation for small enterprises is not as easy as it seems; however, encouraging staff about its potential capabilities and a dedication from management team can certainly help in transforming a conventional organization into a more forward-thinking, simulation-driven product development company.
Gaurang Trivedi is engineering consultant. He has applied his engineering expertise across several highly complex and big scale projects, consequently managing to flawlessly deliver as per the client requirements.