Fabrication companies for automotive products like jigs and fixtures are well aware of the challenges of documenting all the technical papers required for fabricating the smallest fixture; in the era when CAD software like SolidWorks or Autodesk’s AutoCAD did not prevail. These documents may varyingly range from owner’s manual to installation drawings, including 2D part drawings, part lists, wired diagrams, marketing content, bill of materials, and everything else pertaining to the component that is to be fabricated.
The real pain of producing and storing these documents is the cost incurred which is not easily affordable for any fabrication unit. Excluding the necessary costs of doing business; there are ways to reduce these unnecessary overheads & still have desired effects of putting money to the bottom line of business.
Did you know about the added costs in fabrication business?
They say, “Every second spent extra is an added cost of doing the business.” Time, on fabrication shop floor is equally important as money. Slightest of delays and downtime of machines, due to unnecessary bug fixing proves immensely expensive for fabricators. Some of these added costs that most of the times go unnoticed; affect fabricator’s business adversely.
Enlisted are some of the common added fabrication costs:
- Engineering time spent in documenting BOMs, texts, component diagrams, etc.
- Extra time consumed in producing detailed 2D drawings to manufacturers
- Time spent in reworks on shop floor due to wrong interpretation of 2D drawings
- Scrap produced due to reworks
- Delays in launching the products in market due to machine downtimes
Some of these downtimes occur because customers or suppliers downstream the fabrication supply chain; aren’t equipped with latest CAD software or 3D CAD models of the product which is supposed to be fabricated. In a nutshell these are a few of the reasons as to why fabrication is a costly business. Let’s check out what can fabricators do to address these challenges:
Let the drawings die and CAD annotated PMIs be borne
Today’s intelligent CAD models are essentially a wealth of information for fabricators, in-fact the entire fabrication industry. As a fabricator if you aren’t leveraging it enough and still use documents, how long do you think you can sustain in such dynamic markets? Not to mention, such fabricators are also wasting their time and money over producing drawings and documents that are difficult to interpret.
Putting CAD models through fabrication stage streamlines fabrication operations and enables the communication between the fabricator & the engineer in 3D – interesting and beneficial – isn’t it?
3D CAD models annotated with PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) essentially bypass the need to go through generating 2D fabrication drawings and eliminate potential problems.
Companies embracing 3D CAD models annotated with PMI approach have reported saving costs from multiple areas like reduction in fabrication, decreased reworks, and lowered procurement costs for purchased parts whatsoever needed. Information of tolerances, curves, notch angle etc., which are some common attributes for jigs and fixtures; are necessarily included in PMI making the fabricators’ job easy.
Product managers on any shop floor are required to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. MBD enables them to monitor the part flow on fabrication shop floor. Furthermore, MBD is a format that pertinently includes information exactly that a fabricator wants, and exempts him from running to design engineer asking questions about the drawings while the machines are in operation.
Time to generate accurate quotes for products to be fabricated
Another major concern for fabricators apart from costs is to serve their suppliers well. Generating accurate quotes for complex parts to multiple suppliers in line at the same time is a cumbersome process. A good ERP system tracks all the parts and work orders, and prepares BOMs however; it still possesses drawbacks of miscalculations originating from non-updated changes.
On the other hand 3D CAD models for fabricators are comprehensive and single source of truth that gives accurate results. PMI annotated 3D CAD models when leveraged to full-scale enables generating work route and BOMs that enables accurate quoting for the product; ultimately serving customers promptly.
This might not seem to be a quick return, but the recurring business that is generated with satisfied customer eventually proves fruitful in a longer run.
Optimizing fabrication costs, hence; ultimately of doing business
Upon fully leveraging 3D CAD for fabricators, dramatic changes in fabricator’s outputs are witnessed, since; it cuts down the costs across the business cycle, while serving the customer rightfully. 3D CAD solutions for fabricators reduce overall burdens and helps in competing with accuracy when it comes to services and product delivery. Fabricators should resort to 3D CAD solutions; they are worth the time and cost invested.