1. How to reduce product cost to sustain healthy margins?
2. How to innovate and deliver products of high value without compromising on safety?
3. How to increase an already shrinking market share?
4. How to eliminate warranty costs, product recall and re-work?
The questions are unending. This is just a partial list. The answers just do not seem to be there.
A careful analysis of all the questions, posed above, provides a common denominator - Design
Product cost is dictated by the Bill of Materials and Drawings. Innovation and USP of a product is driven by product function and efficiencies. Increasing market share is directly related to selling better products of higher value at affordable (read not lower) cost. Warranty issues, recall and re-work relate to product not functioning as intended. All these lead to one common cause - Design, provided the product has been manufactured to specifications provided.
It is well known, without contention, that upto 85% of product cost is influenced by design. Then it would be prudent, on the part of every company that is looking at ways and means to stay profitable, to scrutinize the design process and revisit existing designs to achieve higher levels of efficiency, profitability and success.
If the design teams were to be able to arrive at innovative designs by evaluating a variety of design concepts, validating the same using simulation tools, optimizing designs for least cost and releasing drawings incorporating functional tolerances that meet intended functions, the challenges mentioned in the beginning of this article get addressed with higher levels of reliability, confidence and perfection.
Simulation tools in design are of 3 types. They are:
- Finite Element Analysis & Fluid Flow computations
- Kinematic Analysis for Mechanisms
- Tolerance Analysis for Stack-up calculations - Synthesis and Analysis of Tolerancing strategies for cost-effective design
Another example of a design gone wrong is shown below.
Efficiency of a cyclone separator was drastically improved, at the design stage, by performing integrated CFD, as shown below in the FloWorks model. By validating early in the design process, a near-optimal cost effective design was possible for chosen configuration. Particle tracking helped understand bottlenecks such as re-circulation in addition to pressure drop calculations.
Tolerance Analysis can help save money for any manufacturing engineering enterprise by allocating required tolerance to meet design function while minimizing costs.
Tolerance Stack-up Analysis/ Synthesis using SigmundWorks inside SolidWorks
Benefits of Simulation are many-fold. Some of the important ones are:
- Do it Once – Do it Right
- Give the Best to the Organization
- Profit on Day One of Product Launch
- Valuefacture – Eliminates Competition
- Save our Planet