Implementing A Cad System To Save Costs


This report will analyze a proposal on how Woodbridge Foam
could become more competitive through improvements in
technology. This includes the saving of the companies
money, shortening the design time for new products,
decreasing quoting time and improving quality overall. By
implementing a company wide CAD system, which would be
networked together with each customer and all plants, these
improvements could be achieved. Research will include
interviewing various employees as to how business is done
and what influences the winning or loosing of a contract.
Research will also include study of both customer and
competitors systems. Project Scope & Current Evaluation
Goals Supported by CAD Initiative: In converting to a
completely independent CAD system, there are a few aspects
of operation which would be greatly improved. The first of
the improvements would be the elimination of paper
communication. The need to transfer large drawings using
mylars would cease to be, thus helping provide a paper less
environment. Another improvement as a result of CAD would
be that of achieving much tighter tolerances in building
new products. Using a CAD system, part designs could be
received in an electronic format such as a math model.
These models are currently in use by customers such as GM,
BMW and Mercedes. The effect of having math models of all
new products would enable a quicker turnaround in both
quoting and production of products. CAD Vendors & Hardware
Suppliers: Upon observing the various systems used by
several customers and suppliers, the major CAD vendors
worth consideration have been identified. Manufacturers of
high quality workstations which have been distinguish are:
Hewlett Packard (HP) IBM Silicon Graphics (SGI) SUN
Premium, fully functional CAD solutions are: CATIA
(Dassault / IBM) Computervision (Computervision / TSI) SDRC
(SDRC / CAD Solutions) Unigraphics (EDS) Current System
Description Success Factors: In implementing a new,
otherwise foreign system into an established habitual way
of doing things, there are several success factors which
must be examined. If these factors are carefully thought
over, a favorable shift from old to new may be obtained.
Some critical success factors are as follows: Vendor
availability - Will the chosen system supplier be readily
available for technical support? Product engineering
acceptance - Will those who are set in their ways be
willing to abandon their habitual manner of operating?
Training - Thorough training of all related employees must
be completed before introduction of the new system. Data
management - A new manner of recording all vital
information must be established and proper procedures
documented. Customer interface - Will the chosen system be
compatible with those used by our customers and will needed
data be easily convertible? Company Weaknesses: Currently,
there are many aspects of our situation which present
problems in coping with changing times, which in turn
affect the development of technology. Some weaknesses in
the company which curtail our affiliation with the
developmental progress of our customers and suppliers are:
We cannot easily accept electronic data; We must deal in
manual drawings; We have many copies of similar drawings;
We have multiple ECN levels; We have minimal CAD knowledge;
We must perform manual volume calculations. Threats to
Business: If procedures are not taken in order to improve
on the present company weaknesses, there are bona fide
threats which could potentially harm future progress and
business. Once the weakness in the company have been
effaced, the following threat to our business may be
eliminated or greatly reduced. The immediate threats are:
Suppliers may assume the design role; Competitors able to
accept electronic input; No business with new products;
Deterioration of communications; Lost productivity Process
Description: As in most large corporations, our process
generally follows a standard order of operations. There are
several departments or areas which have functions. Based on
the function of a department or area, a focus area is
established and followed. Department/Area Function Focus
Customer Designs seat
Product Engineering Designs tool to manufacture seat
Supplier Builds tools and supplies components needed to
manufacture and construct seat
Product Evaluation & Costing Costs seat based on foam and
components used, manufacturing costs and assembly
Purchasing Locates seat component suppliers and oversees
development and manufacture of components
Plant Manufactures and assembles seat
Quality Control Ensures that products meet our own and
customer standards
Sales / Marketing Processes orders and manages overall
customer relationships New System Requirements CAD System
Requirements: The CAD system which is chosen must be
capable of performing several specific tasks. In order for
a new system to be of any use to the company and an aid to
its advancement, it must present an improvement in various
areas. Some of the short term requirement of a new CAD
system are: Capable of 3D modeling including solids; May be
used for simple or complex drafting applications; Suited to
quickly perform volume calculations; Apt to translate
various forms of math data. Product Evaluation & Costing
(P.E.C.) Requirements: With respect to all the various
areas of the company, the role of the P.E.C. department is
one of the most important in the area of profit. Once the
costing department receives a part request from a customer,
it is the responsibility of the costing department to
ensure that the life cycle of the part development is
managed cost efficiently. When a current product undergoes
an engineering change, it is the responsibility of the
Costing team members to note the changes. The product must
be re-costed, accounting for variances in foam and
components. If an increase in foam is noted, the change
must be calculated. Using manual calculations, the new part
volume is derived and the customer is charged accordingly.
Because foam variances are obtained manually, customers may
at times, not be fully charged for the added cost of foam.
Using a CAD system to perform a volume calculation, the
answer would be definitive. The time needed to ship a print
is approximately two days. If math models of products were
sent via E-mail, the information needed by the costing
department would be obtained two days earlier. Once
complete, a costing package would in turn, arrive at a
plant, also two days earlier from costing. In effect, a
total of four days could be eliminated from the time needed
to begin manufacturing a product. Solution Evaluation &
Recommendation Benefits of CAD System In utilizing a CAD
system, there are many areas of operation which are
directly or indirectly affected. Because of the speed and
accuracy with which a professional CAD system operates,
time, and thus money, may be saved. Potential CAD project
benefits include: Improved accuracy in quotes and design;
Reduction in copying and courier costs; Faster and more
accurate calculations of complex volumes; Management of
expanding drawing database; Improved electronic
communication with customers and suppliers. Recommended
Vendor/Supplier Based on thorough presentations made to
executives of Woodbridge Foam by each candidate and the
penetration of these amongst key Woodbridge customers, it
is recommended that Unigraphics be implemented as the
solution. The Unigraphics system is currently used b 40% of
Woodbridge customers. This system is also capable of
performing all of the previously mentioned tasks such as 3D
modeling, drafting, volume calculations and translating
different forms of math data. Justification of CAD &
Unigraphics CAD justification includes: Elimination of
Mylars; Encouragement of a paper-less environment;
Reduction in copy and reproduction costs; Reduction in
courier costs; Faster and more accurate part volume
calculations. Unigraphics justification includes: Used by
key customers such as Chrysler and GM; Ability to convert
data used by all customers; Extra commitment and
availability for technical support; Extensive research into
company prior to presentation. Work Station Cost: One time
costs for one Workstation: Unigraphics Software License $30
000 Hewlett Packard Workstation $45 000 EDS Assistance
(Assessment/Help) $ 5 000 Training (UG Education) $10 000
Consulting Assistance $ 7 500 Printer and Plotter $30 000
Hummingbird/Exceed PC Access Software $10 000 One time
total costs $137 500 Annual Maintenance Costs: $3 750 Cost
Reductions: As previously mentioned, the implementation of
a CAD system will reduce costs in several areas. By
eliminating the need for physical prints, the cost of
reproducing and shipping prints will be eliminated. Some
potential cost reductions in dollars are: Prints: 35,000
Mylars: 75,000 Courier: 5,500 Travel: 16,000 Plants (saved
travel): 90,000* Productivity Improvement 75,000* TOTAL
SAVED: 296,500 Productivity Improvements: There are some
improvements in productivity which do not present a
monetary value. These improvements however; will benefit
the company and customer relations. These non-monetary
productivity improvements are: Improved accuracy; Improved
customer satisfaction; Support for higher tolerance of
products; Improved on-line access to information; Improved
internal communication between Woodbridge departments.
Conclusion: As advancements in technology continue to be
the norm, it is essential that those who wish to remain
competitive, adhere to these advancements. In the case of
the Woodbridge Foam Corporation, maintaining and equal
standing with technological advancements will allow for
improvements in the company as a whole. Cost saving may be
incurred in the areas of print and courier costs; while the
need for paper transference is eliminated. Tolerances,
quoting time and an overall improvement in quality will in
turn improve the satisfaction of our customers. Because of
these advancements in technology within the company, the
saying "a satisfied customer is a return customer" may be
brought to life. 

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