The Business of Engineering includes Manufacturing Process Planning

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Article provided by Aras, last updated on March 21, 2017

When we talk about the Business of Engineering, we are talking about creating well received and profitable products. For a product to be successful it needs to do many things. Some examples include, meet customer requirements, adhere to regulatory requirements, have the lowest development costs, lowest manufacturing costs, and the highest quality.

Creating a successful product is much more than designing it in CAD. It is a holistic endeavor that requires the entire business to collaborate toward a single goal. In this effort, Manufacturing and Engineering are partners that have different, but vital, responsibilities.

The Typical Manufacturing Firm

Let’s take a look at how a typical firm operates today. In the image below you see how PLM and ERP systems are used by each team. When the MBOM is created for example, the EBOM is exported to Excel on a drive somewhere and the Manufacturing Engineer types in the information into the ERP system. This means that the real collaboration/data management/sharing is done in the PLM underground – Excel, Dropbox, Shared folders and email. Not good – all of that release controlled intellectual property data is out in the wild.

Business of Engineering

In the example, firm Engineering and Manufacturing data and processes are disconnected, resulting in:

  • Manual MBOM authoring
  • No EBOM / MBOM reconciliation
  • No MBOM / Process Plan synchronization
  • No Process Plan / Work Instruction integration
  • Huge traceability gaps
  • Unmanaged manufacturing data everywhere
  • Archaic, manual authoring environments

The Aras Approach

Aras has taken a better approach to planning the product’s manufacturing. The Aras Manufacturing Process Planning application was built from the ground up to address the integration of manufacturing data and processes within the Aras PLM Platform. The application also features graphical Process Plan, MBOM and Work Instruction authoring as well as EBOM / MBOM reconciliation.

Aras also adopted an authoring process that fits the reality of today’s firm. It starts with Process Planning, because that is what the Manufacturing Engineer is really evaluating – the manufacturing process. The Manufacturing Engineer begins with the released EBOM and assets, tools and worker capabilities all in the MPP authoring environment.

The Manufacturing Engineer consumes the EBOM parts, tooling and assets into a new process plan with a structure to support the current reality in your facility. Real time reconciliation and visual cues inform the ME as to proper consumption of the EBOM, improving efficiency and reducing quality escapes. Process steps capture rich instructions, visuals and part lists ensuring the success of the manufacturing team. Behind the scenes a powerful network of relationships is created to link the Manufacturing and Engineering data – this is the start of your digital thread.

Business of Engineering

A unique part of our offering is that the MBOM and Work instructions are being authored concurrently – based on the process plan. This occurs because the same data set is used to create all three documents. From the start, we are powering your Business of Engineering by creating processes and applications that integrate your data to enable version control, traceability and security.

Key Capabilities

Version Controlled Process Plans – to capture and manage the planned manufacturing process. Consumes EBOM, resources, tools, documents etc. in operations and steps.

Concurrent Work Instruction authoring – automatically synchronize Process Plan elements with instructions, Including text, media and tabular content and publishing capabilities.

Version controlled MBOM derived from EBOM – allows for traditional MBOM first process. Improved with Drag & drop restructuring and concurrent Process Plan creation

EBOM/MBOM reconciliation – real-time, automatic reconciliation indicators to increase efficiency and reduce errors. Accounts for Quantity Split, Increase, phantoms, etc.

Plant-specific MBOMs (and Process Plans) – supporting manufacturing at multiple locations 

All of the features of Aras MPP are built on Aras’ Model Based PLM platform. This gives MPP access to all of the services and capabilities as our other applications. By utilizing our platform MPP has the same World-Class configuration management capabilities – including access and revision control, lifecycles, and workflows. This ensures 100% compatibility and traceability between all facets of your Business of Engineering.

Product Configuration

The ability to manage product configuration is seen as part of the Engineering domain. This is simply not true. The MBOM is just as important to the product as the EBOM. The MBOM along with the process plans and work instructions illustrates how the product is planned to be made. The EBOM denotes how the product is designed. However, we know even the best plans experience problems.

Changes come from any number of places – most often from the customer, maintenance/warranty, and manufacturing. Most impact both Engineering and Manufacturing. It does not matter where the change comes from. What matters is how efficiently your form can react to the change, capture the impact and make the needed adjustments. Look at the sum of all the changes a firm sees each year and it is easy to see how configuration management is a big part of the Business of Engineering!

In the disconnected firm illustrated above, the ability to efficiently and accurately respond to a change is almost non existent. Assessing the impact of a given change to the EBOM, MBOM, process plans, work instructions and supply chain will take a significant effort on a large number of team members.

Business of Engineering

By integrating the Manufacturing team into the Aras PLM Platform managing changes becomes much simpler. The connected firm is illustrated above. Data is shared among all of the team and other enterprise systems.

Assessing the impact of a change streamlined by having all of the product definition data connected by relationship and housed within the PLM system. Any member of the product team – Engineering, Manufacturing or Supply Chain can evaluate the scale of a change in seconds. Your change processes and business rules will be applied and your team can get to work implementing the changes.

The success of your firm hinges on the ability of your Business of Engineering create profitable products. Products are getting more complex by the minute and regulatory requirements are dizzying maze. By operating in a disconnected and unsecured environment your team not only wastes precious time, they also expose the firm to undue risk. Your team needs to focus on creating great products. Inefficient processes, wasted time moving data and manually entering data into multiple systems does not drive profitability.

Aras is here to power your Business of Engineering by providing a PLM platform and applications that integrate cross-discipline product development, manufacturing and field service with flexible processes across the extended enterprise, including suppliers, partners, customers and other stakeholders. Contact us to learn more about Aras PLM.

Aras Manufacturing Process Planning (MPP) Demo

Watch the video below to learn more about Aras Manufacturing Process Planning:

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Kelly Clancy

Kelly has been working in the 3D technology industry since 2014. Kelly is an Assistant Marketing Manager based at Javelin head office in Oakville, Ontario.