An important factor for successful farm equipment manufacturing companies is their ability to define and manufacture quality products tailored to customer preferences and deliver them anywhere in the world at record speed.
A farm equipment assembly can be very complex because it includes mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic parts, sheet metal, cabling, automation mechanisms, and load-bearing frames that require structural analysis. Some 3D models can have more than 5,000 parts.
Need of the hour is to adopt the technology that uses single data driven approach, model based product backbone that offers digital continuity and governance capabilities – from product engineering to manufacturing to service and maintenance – in one single repository to capitalize knowledge, intensify collaboration, improve productivity and stimulate innovation.
For some companies, digital transformation is a way to get closer to consumers, for others it means accelerating innovation or speeding time to market in order to stay closer to trend. In any case, organizational process change paired with modern technologies like PLM, Mobility, Cloud & SaaS can facilitate different ways of working.
The 5 main compelling reasons to adopt digital transformation are:
- Quick Decision-Making and Risk Reduction
In today, organizations need to make quicker decisions and reduce risk at all times. It is important to implement a global, seamless governance or also known as invisible governance to make sure all the administrative tasks are as much as possible automated and transparent. This will make faster, easier and safer decisions overall during the development cycle.
Organizations have been able to plan ahead more easily, collaborate effectively with the R&D department and significantly reduce errors. Which is an illustration of the importance of combining processes and technology to manage development scope, resources, and schedule. When a project is being planned, it is often ok if different systems manage these 3 important aspects of a project because the current state is not in flux.
However, as a project proceeds, new information is gathered that causes adjustments to be made. Suddenly, having disconnected systems for scope, schedule, and/or resources introduces uncertainty.
If a single technology is used to manage a project’s scope, schedule, and resources, then the risks associated with uncertainty are diminished or avoided entirely.
- Improve Engineering Productivity
To stay ahead of the latest innovations and market trends, companies must transition from traditional disconnected, discipline specific design and engineering bill of material processes to an approach that supports a single, consolidated, fully connected, global view of the combined product design structure and engineering bill of material with consistent global product development business processes.
We need to manage the engineering definition of products from early definition to final validation in collaboration across disciplines and the value network.
For this, all the engineering departments are required to be connected to the entire organization, sales, production, simulation, etc. Also, it is needed to integrate all the engineering disciplines in the design process seamlessly.
Adopting the digital continuity platforms allows process engineers to co-design the product with product engineers, anticipate assemblies and improve the process and product quality.
- Improve Collaboration among the Cross-Functional Teams – Bringing Teams Together
Working in silos between disciplines is a thing of the past. Digital team collaboration is a cornerstone for innovation. Engineering teams need an essential set of tools for real-time, secure and structured collaboration on product content. Farm Industry needs a scalable, online environment for managing product design, multi-physics simulation and manufacturing process planning with maximum traceability and flexibility.
If the information is centrally managed and available to all stakeholders, it improves the competitiveness and technology leadership with innovative products that rapidly respond to farmers’ evolving needs. Establishing a continuous digital thread across the entire product lifecycle empowers everyone to carry out their role to the best of their ability and build each machine first-time right.
Digital tools allow process engineers to co-design the product with product engineers, anticipate assemblies and improve the process and product quality.
- Enabling Validation through Virtual Twin
Creating a digital twin of a machine can drastically reduce the wastage and costs that are often associated with physical prototypes. Digital adoption makes it possible to use 3D at all levels within the organisation. Virtually immersed in their future working environment, operators can understand the assembly of the future product and how to use their future equipment.
The plant manager can make the right decisions regarding the material and its maintenance. And the customer can view the product they ordered, including all the options, before it’s even produced.
By modelling all the parts in 3D and then sharing this 3D model with the factory to ensure the accurate assembly of parts. In product architecture, it is possible to represent the kinematics of the Assembly. It enables to create mobile parts in 3D and make sure they do not interfere with other parts when the assembly is in action. This approach also helps the design team handle changes effectively and rectify errors quickly.
- Improving Understanding and Training of Workforce
Switching from 2D paper-based processes to 3D digital modelling has completely revolutionized the way today’s factory operators work. Previously, companies used to build a prototype assembly in a testing area to describe in 2D its assembly process, and sort this documentation in folders by product bill of materials. This 2D documentation was used for operator training and to update other operational documentation. Process updates were very complicated.
With digital tools adoption, we can anticipate assembly operations with overviews, and carry out assembly tests even before we receive the parts and without any physical prototype. It has become far easier for companies to train their operators and prepare them to work on new models.
Today, with digital tools, we are one step ahead. We can run through the entire manufacturing process in detail, operators can be trained on the assembly processes before the product physically exists. When the operators visualize the product and factory model in 3D, they tend to quickly realize the new approach more clearly.
Adoption of digital transformation is all about passion, exciting new tools, openness to innovative solutions and above all delivering on the objective to serve the customer with the best products.