Challenges to Designing Smarter Products

By Matthew

Meeting the Challenges to Designing Smarter Products with ENOVIA

Today’s cars carry more electronics and computing power than the Apollo spacecraft that flew to the moon. One of the leading pressures facing manufacturers today is the increasing market demand for “smarter” products: products that have more functionality are more user-friendly, and more environmental. Therefore, manufacturers are incorporating an ever increasing amount of electronics and embedded software in their products.

Collaboration Design

For example, there has been a dramatic growth of electronic content in the automotive industry. The proportion of electronics in passenger cars in 2007 was around 20%, but this figure is estimated to increase to about 40% by 2015. By 2015 electronic components will become the largest contributor to a car’s overall parts and material costs.

Demand for smarter products is quite the exciting trend that offers a lot of new opportunities for innovation, at the same time there are inherent challenges. Getting it right requires new approaches to developing products. Smart products often consist of an integrated system of mechanical components, electronics, and software. This requires the involvement of multiple engineering disciplines. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, the best manufacturers seek to improve communication and collaboration across engineering disciples and increase the ability to predict system behavior prior to testing.

In particular there are certain behaviors which have negative impacts on the business of developing smart product:

  • Without significant early collaboration between the electrical and mechanical designs means that problems are addressed downstream when design changes are expensive and time consuming.
  • If the transfer of design constraints between design domains is manual and requires recreating data from scratch then there is unnecessary duplication of effort and risks of data inconsistencies.
  • When the design requires several iterations between the mechanical and electrical domains to stabilize the design, there is the chance that the design could be based on obsolete data which would lead to scrapping and rework late in the process.
  • If there is no automated way to notify the team of changes in mechanical or electrical design constraints, then design changes will be delayed increasing product time to market.

 

Costs Incurred

The impact of early life-cycle decisions on product realization is far reaching. As new products move through the sequential stages of product design to final production, the cost of engineering changes increases tremendously. A mistake that is discovered during the planning and design phase is comparatively inexpensive to fix. But if it is overlooked and discovered later during the process, such a mistake can cost manufacturers several thousand times more. By the time a mistake comes to actual manufacturing, for example, it could cost millions more to fix compared to what it would have cost if detected earlier.

According to Aberdeen Group, Best-in-Class manufacturer leverage PLM solutions to improve communication and collaboration across disciplines. However, the ECAD (Electrical) and MCAD (Mechanical) domains present a unique challenge that requires a unique solution.

Learn how Dassault Systèmes can help. Register here to watch the 10 minute ECAD EXPERIENCE webinar:  http://www.3ds.com/products-services/enovia/resources/enovia-ecad

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew Hall is the ENOVIA User Advocacy & Social EXPERIENCE Specialist.  You can find him on Twitter at @mjhall. Connect with ENOVIA at @3DSENOVIA

 

How to Stay Competitive? Develop Smart Appliances in the Era of Experience

By Estelle

Smart Home Device - Home Control

It is no secret that smart home appliances now are very complex.  No longer is a TV just a TV, or a refrigerator just a refrigerator.  Each smart home appliance needs to be digital, and it needs to interact with people or at least with other machines and devices.  It is connected to the Internet and has a variety of sensors.  It needs to collect data and give you more information, all the while lessening the need for you to actually do something to operate it.  You enter the room and your air conditioning is already up and running, keeping the room at an already comfortable temperature.  You drive up your block and your garage door opens automatically, while also turning on your lights and your TV to the channel that you always watch at that time of day.

It is no wonder IBM found that 71% of global CEOs(*)  now say that technology is the biggest external force that could impact their businesses within the next three to five years.  Most manufacturers now need to prove their competency by developing high technology products in order to stay in the competition. Otherwise, it will be your competitors who are going to give your customers the features and functionality that they want and need.

That is, of course, easier said than done.  In order to make smarter home appliances, you would need to have engineering proficiency in a wide array of areas such as software, mechanical, electrical, fluid, electronics, software, and other specialized areas.  It is not easy to excel in any of these fields, but having the knowledge is already a small part of your success.  You need to know how to bring all of these competencies together to meet what is required of your smart home appliances, as well as figure out what problems to solve and what technologies to use.

Today’s competitive manufacturer knows that looking at individual features and functionality is no longer enough.  You also need to focus on experience as well as product benefits.  Focusing on experience, you would need to know what your customers want to feel, to touch and to see, and how all of these affect their actions and emotions.

To stay competitive, you would also need to use big data to discover your customers’ preferences, even those that were not available before.  Then you would need to be able to translate these insights, experiences, and preferences into product attributes, such as energy consumption, usability, capacity and performance.

Once you know what attributes you would want your smart home appliance to have, you should be able to communicate these specifications to your design teams simultaneously and automatically.  This would mean that all your different design teams for software, mechanical design, electronics and other areas would get the attributes you need and want at the same time.

From there, you should be able to make trade-off decisions on how your design would be met by each of these design teams.  You should also strive to shorten your development time while ensuring that all your design needs are met, by using social collaboration tools and workflow.

And while work is in progress, you should be able to assess and monitor everything in real time.  Furthermore, you would need a virtual simulation of your products’ first prototypes.  This way, you would still be able to fine tune or revise everything that needs to be changed in your product design while still bringing down your development costs.

In short, traditional manufacturing concerns really need to transform their operations into high tech product development companies with the help of solutions such as Dassault Systemes’ Smarter, Faster, Lighter solution.  This way, you can transition into a more competitive and high tech manufacturing company by helping you define processes using established systems engineering principles.  These solutions also allow everybody working on the project to collaborate on your products, thereby making it easier to share knowledge and process that ultimately helps you produce a product that your customers will love.

Interested in #IoT and #SmartHomeJoin Dassault Systèmes, Panasonic, GE and Parks Associates, for strategies to transform product management in the #IoT: February 3: http://bit.ly/DassaultCast

(*) CEOs-IBM-Survey-2012

The Living Heart Project: Remarkable Progress Achieved Through a Common Goal to Improve Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes

By Helene

LHP-zSpace-Demo-Zygote-Heart-hi-res_600

Steve Levine, Chief Strategy Officer for SIMULIA Dassault Systèmes, is passionate about bringing cutting edge technologies from different disciplines to doctors and the patients they treat. In a recent recorded presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum in November 2014, Levine outlined the need for utilizing these technologies to build better human anatomical models, stating that 95% of all medical devices released to the public have never been tested on the human body.

The Living Heart Project was launched publicly in May 2014 to develop the world’s first realistically functioning computer model of the human heart. This project has made tremendous progress, and the video referenced above includes Levine and Dassault Systèmes President and CEO Bernard Charlès announcing a 5 year collaboration with the Food and Drug Association to develop cardiovascular testing paradigms.

The Living Heart Project relied on Dassault Systemes 3DEXPERIENCE platform to bring together more than 100 cardiovascular specialists from 30 organizations to develop and test the model. In the video, Levine commented that at the outset, bringing together researchers, doctors, medical device companies, and regulatory agencies was a challenging task as information is siloed. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform allowed the specialists to crowdsource the heart model, with each bringing their expertise without sacrificing intellectual property.

The video shows impressive visualizations of The Living Heart model that are, pardon the pun, heart stopping. Levine points out in his presentation that it is the first four chambered 3D heart model that is based on commercially available, validated technology. He also showed that the model can be viewed in different ways, highlighting mechanical stresses important for indications such as heart failure as well as visualizing electrical conductivity which is important for studying heart arrhythmia. Levine also showed how collaborations within Dassault Systèmes were instrumental to visualize The Living Heart in 3D, as a “walk in” model. Additionally, 3DEXCITE provided true to life coloring and features to aid medical students and surgeons.

Levine went on to tell the story of Emily, a girl born with a heart that is literally “backwards,” with right and left ventricles transposed. As the earlier 3D models Levine showed in the presentation illustrated, the heart is not symmetrical, so this defect has caused Emily to have 4 pacemakers by the age of 20. In May 2014 an animated video showed Emily’s story and how the The Living Heart would help diagnose and treat her. Emily’s story is particularly touching for Levine to relay, and the reasons are best explained by him, so we encourage you to watch the entire video of his talk to learn why.

Levine talked about the collection of resources available at 3ds.com/heart which helped to describe the vision of the Living Heart Project to collaborators and to illustrate their progress.  He sees the project as a model to unite other healthcare specialists, medical device companies and regulatory bodies to collaborate around aspects of human anatomy or disease models. The 5 year collaboration with the FDA will increase the number of participating organizations from 30 to 100 and will continue to involve the Medical Device Innovation Consortium of which Dassault Systèmes is a key sponsor.



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