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Digital Transformation for Digital Engineering in Manufacturing

The future of manufacturing runs on data. This data enables deeper insights into manufacturing processes, higher quality standards, lean manufacturing initiatives, clearer communication and stronger work culture throughout an organization. These benefits are just a few of the values that come from embarking on a digital transformation journey.

Click on a section below to jump to it:

  • How To Begin
  • Reality vs. Hype
  • Benefits for Manufacturing
  • Keys to Sustaining Progress
    digital transformation for the manufacturing industry
    Digital transformation is critical in modern manufacturing to produce higher quality products faster at a lower cost. Transitioning out of traditional engineering systems and stepping into the digital realm requires embracing transformative technologies that open the door to a digital transformation journey. But what does it take to begin a digital transformation journey? The first step in any digital transformation journey is to establish an accurate method of collecting full-field data that provides a gateway into digitalization.

How to Begin a Digital Transformation Journey

3D scanning is an easy way to implement the first step of digital transformation. Not only are companies visualizing existing operations in new ways but applying advanced 3D measurement technology also supports faster decision-making while accelerating the internal adoption of modernizing processes. With data from 3D scanners, manufacturers can improve part and process validation, root cause analysis, and ongoing production inspection— but that's only the beginning. 3D scanning also enables other transformative abilities, such as quickly capturing accurate digital twins to improve productivity, efficiency, and collaboration. Accurate data also powers predictive insight to detect potential quality and production issues in advance, creating the ability to be proactive in deriving solutions.

Leveraging digital transformation is the key to many opportunities for improvement and advancement for your entire organization. To access these opportunities, we must embrace change, and that includes changing the way we work and the way we think about work.

What is Real versus Hype? Why Change?
digital transformation for manufacturing

Digital transformation is a buzzword used so frequently that oftentimes, it's tough to understand what it is, and what it's not. In short, digital transformation is bringing the physical world into the digital world through digitalization. This movement includes systems, processes, organizations and beyond.

Digital transformation is often regarded as a technology-driven initiative. However, the reality is, it's actually people-driven, requiring people to adopt and sustain changing systems and processes that have long been in place for the sake of bettering the organization as a whole. Sometimes executing this approach also requires a cultural change to becoming open-minded to integrating new technology, processes and information.

It's also often perceived that digital transformation is something that gets completed— but that's another misconception. The truth is, digital transformation isn't a destination or stage of completion, but rather, it's a journey grounded in continuous improvement powered by accurate data and the intelligence it enables. That intelligence points us to where there are errors or weaknesses in our processes that prevent us from achieving higher productivity and making better products.

Digital transformation drives cultural change, with one of the first and most essential changes inviting people to move away from the mentality of, "If it's not broken, don't fix it" and understand that sometimes it's not about fixing something; it's about discovering a better way of doing something. By approaching the application of digitalization technology holistically, you'll strengthen all areas of your organization— whether broken or not.

What are the Benefits of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing? 

Digital transformation is about optimizing instead of fixing. Undergoing a digital transformation optimizes efficiency in many areas, including greater worker efficiency, cross-organizational communication and collaboration, and asset uptime. That efficiency results in a faster time to market, less scrap, and higher employee retention, which in turn increases revenue and reduces downtime.
data visualization for engineering

To begin a digital transformation, one of the first changes should be moving 2D processes into the 3D world. With digitized components, evaluation of a product design to ensure it fits together properly happens in a completely simulated environment. It's possible to understand where changes should be made for quality, cost and performance before ever moving into a physical process. Evaluating these processes beforehand minimizes variation, eliminates waste and delivers a high-quality product with consistent, repeatable results.

Digitalization allows you to make faster decisions using reliable information that you won't get with a 2D drawing or traditional process. Visual data makes it easier to communicate these problems to the necessary departments throughout your organization. Having all the information available in a format that's easy to understand, even for someone without any special skills or training, promotes collaboration by making it easier to communicate problems and quickly come to a decision. That increase in responsiveness reduces downtime. Bringing your parts and processes into a digitized environment allows you to identify problems earlier and create an optimized, reliable and repeatable process that reduces the amount of waste resulting from producing bad parts, making digital transformation a key driver for successful lean manufacturing.

By measuring in 3D, part quality, safety and functionality improve through data visualization and 3D dimensional analysis. Visual data comprised of millions of precise 3D coordinate points from an accurate 3D scanner provide the intel needed to make decisions more quickly, streamlining product development, quality control, manufacturing, and production. Accurate data also enables various process simulations, such as mold flow simulation and digital assembly, supporting lean manufacturing initiatives.

Developing and Advancing Your Digital Transformation Strategy: Why Accurate Data Matters

The strategy behind the digital transformation movement is to become proactive instead of reactive. Companies are rapidly moving in this direction to gain the agility necessary to thrive in our changing market. For industrial organizations, digital transformation objectives revolve around increasing operational efficiencies and improving customer experiences, equating to revenue growth. Real-time data on the status of assets, processes, and people is a key enabler for these goals.

Digital Transformation Enables:
- Lean Manufacturing
- Industry 4.0
- Adaptive Machining
- Digital Twin
- Digital Engineering
- Lean 4.0
- Agile Manufacturing
- Artificial Intelligence Integration
- AR/VR Integration
- Automation
- Quality 4.0

By committing to digital transformation, you have the potential to unlock all of these strategies and more. However, these strategies are data-driven, and for them to be successful, the data must be accurate – because accurate data is at the core of every successful strategy.

For example, model-based definition and product manufacturing information, or MBD/PMI, allows for the digital communication of design requirements using PMI embedded directly into a 3D annotated semantic model creating utility in downstream applications and interoperability with software that increases digital engineering abilities. With this information in one centralized place, you've established a single source of truth and a singular interpretation for anyone who works with the part throughout its lifecycle. By reducing opportunities for error caused by misinterpretation, you're also fostering better communication, reducing scrap and wasteful costs. Working with PMI is key to standardizing and communicating design, performance and quality specifications to generate consistent repeatable results. Utilizing MBD/PMI is just one way to apply digital transformation now, and thousands of manufacturers are already doing it successfully.

Your Digital Transformation Journey Begins Heremanufacturing technology for digital transformation

The future of manufacturing is data-driven. But these advancements can't happen without accurate data. Following the rules of "garbage in, garbage out," the accuracy of the data, how fast it is obtained, and its ability to be interpreted are key to using it throughout a product's lifecycle. ATOS 3D scanning enables a fast way to collect data for use in many different stages of your manufacturing process, whether you are in the designing stage or production stage. With millions of accurate data points, you gain insight into the entire product lifecycle from design to development to production for a modernized lean manufacturing strategy.

Ready to begin your digital transformation journey? Contact a CAPTURE 3D team member today.

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