CAD; The Quid Pro Quo For Automotive Component Manufacturers

Time compression strategies are of critical importance to investors in automotive components manufacturing firm. To investors and automotive component manufacturers, it is of critical importance that the time in product development takes a shorter curve so that ROIs can be generated quickly. However, certain components like power train and chassis components have longer development times unlike others such as seat and arm rest.

2D CAD drafts and 3D modeling work on the path to reduce the time by inculcating design changes early and bring profitability to manufacturers. So let’s see how CAD proves to be a Quid pro quo for automotive component manufacturers. While working in CAD software like SolidWorks, design engineers move forward in designs with three key drivers; namely inclusion, omission and timing.

Keeping these three drivers at the center, design engineers prepare checklist for to achieve successful product development.

  • Understanding the customers’ needs and including them in designs 
  • Omitting surplus features and approaches that aren’t adding value to products 
  • Wrapping up with a finalized design; quickly and on time

Debunking the myth of product development

At first, when one thinks of product development with time compression techniques, it is most commonly perceived as analogous to project management. It is usually thought of as identifying repetitive tasks, accurate planning, and nullifying the effects of wrong deeds. In automotive component development, these factors are emphasized upon because design engineers are so much engrossed in sticking to the original plan and commitments relating designs.

Design engineers invest all their resources and time in discussing, writing and planning detailed budgets to stay on track. However, more often this leads to fading of the correct aim of product development – delivering what the customer needs. For example, it might happen that automotive design engineer forgets the need to enhance designs of lever to shift gears for ergonomic purposes of end user. Design engineer often forgets the correct aim of undertaking product development and tries to stick to the plan that is to meet costs of final product.

In actual sense, product development is dedicated for the purpose to serve the customer in a right way. A key way forward, is inculcating customers’ feedback in designs during the development stage, as it will improve the chances of bringing more returns.

Having said that, it is pretty clear that there is a hair line difference between the two; and it seems blurring. The blurred vision is ruining the entire outcome of product development in automotive industry.

Keep the difference between product development and project management intact for better results

The fundamental difference between both is, in a project management all the relevant information is usually available when the project is initiated. While for a product development, significant part of feedback and innovative information is obtained gradually as it develops. The gradual evolution of information obstructs the design engineer to inculcate latest knowledge and features in designs during initial stages. Many a times design information stirs up at a validation stage. It initiates change orders in the most fundamental aspects and repeats the entire design stage. The entire objective of manufacturers of shorter time is faded when this difference is not stated to design teams. However, with CAD in manufacturer’s court, product development stage is strengthened very well.

Product development is not a process held in one fold; it requires frequent amendments in the originally planned designs and conceptual sketches. The tasks involved are often unique each time and requirements change on the go with continuous revisions. In such a scenario, CAD software and designing tools come as quid pro quo. CAD software inclusion on the roadway to product development enables early changes and yet keeps the time bound commitments.

2D Drafts and 3D CAD models enable design engineers to develop new products as per the specific needs of customers and manufacturer’s tool setting in fabrication shop floor. Once the model is out from the CAD shop, even the minutest change in design becomes difficult. This is the key area where 3D CAD modeling comes to rescue. It allows design engineers to collaborate with the shop floor team to understand the criticality of the fabrication aspects and assess every design parameter. CAD offers quick design amendments as and when the information evolves. Quick enabled changes and design validation further empower automotive components manufacturers to launch each component on time in the market.

Besides, specialist design modules of repetitively used automotive components within CAD software library speed up the product development of multi-body part assembly. Some of these include wire designs, sheet metal parts used in automobile and also other weldments in the assembly. These readily available modules cut the delays in repetitive design procedure and allows designer to keep the entire design stage efficient.

Conclusion

To sum up, having a perfectionist mindset and delivering one best product is quiet unrealistic, since all products after a certain time span will saturate in the market. Thus, automotive design engineers should rather focus on including all the end user needs; while the changes can always be incorporated later. CAD has led to better products with all the updated and latest requirements to serve the end user. With CAD adoption product development is all set to grow stronger by leaps and bounds.

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