Continuous compliance with PLM.

27/07/2016
Adam Bannaghan, technical director of Design Rule, discusses the growing role of PLM in managing quality and compliance.

The advantages of product lifecycle management (PLM) software are widely understood; improved product quality, lower development costs, valuable design data and a significant reduction in waste. However, one benefit that does not get as much attention is PLM’s support of regulatory compliance.

Compliance-PLMNobody would dispute the necessity of regulatory compliance, but in the product development realm it certainly isn’t the most interesting topic. Regardless of its lack of glamour, failure to comply with industry regulations can render the more exciting advantages of PLM redundant.

From a product designer’s perspective, compliance through PLM delivers notable strategic advantages. Achieving compliance in the initial design stage can save time and reduce engineering changes in the long run. What is more, this design-for-compliance approach sets the bar for quality product development, creating a unified standard to which the entire workforce can adhere. What is more, the support of a PLM platform significantly simplifies the compliance process, especially for businesses operating in sectors with fast-changing or complicated regulations.

For example, AS/EN 9100, is a series of quality management guidelines for the aerospace sector, which are globally recognised, but set to change later this year. December 2016 is the target date for companies to achieve these new standards – a fast transition for those managing compliance without the help of dedicated software.

Similarly, the defence industry has its own standards to follow. ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and EAR (Export Administration Regulations) are notoriously strict exporting standards, delivering both civil and criminal penalties to companies that fail to comply.

“Fines for ITAR violations in recent years have ranged from several hundred thousand to $100 million,” explained Kay Georgi, an import/export compliance attorney and partner at law firm Arent Fox LLP in Washington. “Wilful violations can be penalised by criminal fines, debarment, both of the export and government contracting varieties, and jail time for individuals.”

PLM across sectors
The strict nature of all these regulations is not limited to aerospace and defence however. Electrical, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and consumer goods are also subject to different, but equally stern, compliance rules.

Despite varying requirements across industries, there are a number of PLM options that support compliance on an industry-specific basis. Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA platform, for example, allows businesses to input compliance definition directly into the program. This ensures that, depending on the industry, the product is able to meet the necessary standards. As an intelligent PLM platform, ENOVIA delivers full traceability of the product development process, from conception right through to manufacturing.

For those in charge of managing compliance, access to this data is incredibly valuable, for both auditing and providing evidence to regulatory panels. By acquiring industry-specific modules, businesses can rest assured that their compliance is being managed appropriately for their sector – avoiding nasty surprises or unsuccessful compliance.

For some industry sectors, failure to comply can cause momentous damage, beyond the obvious financial difficulties and time-to-market delays you might expect. For sensitive markets, like pharmaceutical or food and beverage, regulatory failure can wreak havoc on a brand’s reputation. What’s more, if the uncompliant product is subject to a recall, or the company is issued with a newsworthy penalty charge, the reputational damage can be irreparable.

PLM software is widely regarded as an effective tool to simplify product design. However, by providing a single source of truth for the entire development process, the potential of PLM surpasses this basic function. Using PLM for compliance equips manufacturers with complete data traceability, from the initial stages of design, right through to product launch. What’s more, industry-specific applications are dramatically simplifying the entire compliance process by guaranteeing businesses can meet particular regulations from the very outset.

Meeting regulatory standards is an undisputed obligation for product designers. However, as the strategic and product quality benefits of design-for-compliance become more apparent, it is likely that complying through PLM will become standard practice in the near future.

#PLM @designruleltd #PAuto #Pharma #Food @StoneJunctionPR

Manufacturing improvements with PLM.

04/05/2016
Adam Bannaghan, technical director of Design Rule, discusses three ways that the digital continuity of PLM helps manufacturers deliver high quality innovative products with ease.
Adam_Bannaghan

Adam Bannaghan

No one hates being faced with a problem they weren’t expecting more than manufacturers. During the design and build process, unplanned events can increase cycle times and have a detrimental impact on the management of materials and working hours. There is now a demand in the manufacturing sector for a system that provides real-time visual status and control, alongside product quality predictions. Enter, product lifecycle management (PLM).

 

PLM is used by different sectors for various reasons. For manufacturers, the virtual production element is used to improve the planning, management and optimisation of industrial operations. The software also allows users in multiple locations to work on projects simultaneously, tracking progress and inputting operational data. Manufacturers may not have as much paperwork to track or intellectual property to protect as other sectors, but there are three important reasons why manufacturers should invest in PLM software.

Immediate insight
When used as part of a PLM system, virtual production software can visualise the build of a product before the assembly line is in place. This means engineering and manufacturing directors can identify possible constraints and fix errors before the product reaches the manufacturing stage. Engineers can then evaluate ‘what-if’ scenarios months before making the commitment to production. Having a 3D visualisation of how the product interacts in the real world means designers can make changes, optimise operations and facilitate higher quality innovation.

For instance, misjudged timings are a major cause of product delay and error. Having this software in place ensures all parties developing or manufacturing a product are in sync. This synchronisation is referred to as digital continuity, where all parties have access to the same design at every stage of the design and build process. This optimises the manufacturing process, bringing lead times forward and helps those involved spot errors before they have a serious impact.

Smoother collaboration
Interconnectivity and the industrial internet have increased the complexity of PLM requirements, especially in operations planning, management and optimisation.

Many manufacturers now run their design and build operations across multiple locations. Distance, cultural differences and diverse approaches to problem-solving can sometimes result in costly production errors if seamless communication is not possible. By using software that bridges the gap between different locations, businesses can plan, manage and optimise industrial processes.

For example, a common problem when part measurements and specifications being are sent overseas for production is that poor translations or measurement system differences can sometimes cause costly production errors. Engineering teams can easily fix these errors in the manufacturing process, but they still cause delay, confusion and ultimately cost money. By using 3D virtual production software, users can communicate instructions and measurements clearly as well as alter specifications during the design stage.

Optimised manufacturing
The more complex a product is, the more critical the assembly process becomes. Software that allows companies to properly plan, simulate and implement production lines can benefit all departments, from design to engineering, sales and marketing. By implementing a digital continuity platform, all parties can start planning well in advance, bringing lead times forward and reducing the risk of missing deadlines.

Whether a company is experiencing geographical expansion, requests for more complex products or has a history of misjudged timings, implementing virtual production software, such as Dassault Systèmes’ DELMIA, could prevent you from getting a nasty surprise during your next project.

@DesignRulePLM #PAuto