Blog

Unleashing the potential of IIoT by connecting the physical and digital worlds

May 15, 2018

The global manufacturers are on the cusp of a fourth Industrial revolution at present. The so-called smart manufacturing is based on the IoT (Internet of things) and understanding of the rich data that resides at the network’s edge. To realize the full potential of industrial IoT, organizations must integrate the operational technology with the enterprise IT. They may need to collect data and analyze it companywide – from the customer order and production, to supply chain as well as delivery – to generate actionable insights.

By doing so, companies can better manage the production, address any customization requirements and generate customer insights. In turn, they can manage their businesses more intelligently, improve response time, reduce costs, promote innovation and boost revenues. IIoT is best understood as a system of systems and is constituted of different elements which are dependent on end-to-end system integration. In this blog, we discuss how industrial IoT is changing the competitive landscape for manufacturers.

IIoT: Driving the new revolution

The manufacturers must merge the operating technologies and enterprise IT to optimize performance, upgrade processes and develop valuable products. The industrial IoT connects people and the physical world including the physical world of places and machines with the digital world of cloud platforms, software, augmented reality, automation, artificial intelligence, and data. IIoT enables maintaining a single view of analytical data that operates with real-time agility and responds to adverse

IIoT helps maintain a single view of analytical data, operating with real-time agility and responding to adverse events within the manufacturing plant. For this, the functional integration of various applications, infrastructure, and systems is needed. Engineers can create complex control systems to implement increasing levels of automation on the factory floor.

The foundation of integrated shop-floor systems is created by the growth in technologies built on MES (Manufacturing execution systems) and open standards. The SoC (System-on-a-chip) and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) allow micron-scale integration of system functionality. The high-bandwidth networks, open IP standards, and virtual hardware have basically transformed the feasibility of building IIoT platform by reducing the required cost and resources. The cloud systems provide an increasingly secure and reliable network which delivers faster results. The system can also be scaled up as needed and can integrate new apps and services which analyze data and provide valuable insights.

IIoT connects the devices to a network where they interact and exchange information. The real value of IIoT lies in the data generated from relationships between devices and their environment, data analytics, insights into efficiency, and yields. As per the latest research, by 2025- sensors and IoT will stand as pre-eminent digital technologies affecting the whole manufacturing sector. Immense potential will be created by the integrated sensor data, combined with advances in security, connectivity, analytics, and interoperability.

Technologies transforming manufacturing companies

IIoT is rooted in the physical space, unlike the traditional software applications. It integrates the data from the digital devices and systems in factories with the enterprise assets. It allows enhanced monitoring, data gathering, data integration, role-based information presentation as well as situational awareness for operators.

The integration of Internet of things, components and cloud-based analytics results enables manufacturing companies to sense and contextualize real-time data. This information can be converted into actionable insights which help maximize efficiencies across all aspects of the business. This includes design, sourcing, production, delivery, supply chain, product monitoring, etc. The objective of IIoT is to convert the data into insights. It assists in informed decision-making, drives innovation and realizes efficiencies at scale.

Data integration at enterprise, operations and customer level

IIoT is a system of systems comprised of different elements and is dependent on end-to-end system integration. It presents a long-term opportunity- integrating information across the extended organization with Operational Technologies (OTs). The OTs that drive production, transportation operations and warehouse are included. IIoT creates synergy across the organization by integrating key attributes of intelligent devices. These devices have the capability to dynamically anticipate problems, diagnose the solutions automatically and adjust operations to maintain optimum productivity.

Integration can address the stakeholder needs within the organization, across the vendor ecosystem as well as supply chain. Also, it can help customers externally by sales and service support and design feedback. This helps manufacturers gather information effectively and apply the insights obtained from networked devices to identify ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The systems can also be used to monetize data to enhance revenues.

The benefits of IIoT are:

  • inexpensive processing
  • analytics technologies which automate traditional processes
  • infinite storage capacity

Multiple applications and processes work seamlessly to create a digital replica of physical assets, systems, and processes. Using this digital twin, enterprises can monitor performance remotely, and make changes in real-time to improve efficiency. Companies can upload updates, meet service needs, increase precision and quality in production and engineering. The company will get better yields, improved safety, more productive assets and lower costs.

The industrial leaders have to dynamically evolve their models while leveraging the emerging technologies to stay in the front line. They need to integrate their enterprise processes with manufacturing and engineering processes to manage every aspect of supply chain right to the customer’s doorstep.

Deriving value through IIoT

The manufacturing leaders who embrace IIoT will be better positioned to remove structural barriers which undermine technological progress. Digital integration is needed to stay ahead in the cut throat competition. This will enable you to monetize on data insights to reinvent and innovate the products quickly.

You need to align your IT and OT to create a system of systems and instrument every device in the extended manufacturing ecosystem. This will position your organization to harvest meaningful data at every touch point. You can operate processes, applications, data, devices, and assets seamlessly. This will provide your business better accuracy, cost savings, and new revenue opportunities.

Technosoft Engineering is a leader in IIoT Engineering services. Our engineers have expertise in designing and developing products that drive growth for our clients. Our world-class IIoT service is a collection of design and engineering services that help our clients from conceptualization to production of connected devices.

Engineering Initiatives to Reduce your Time-To-Market

May 8, 2018

In the current product development environment, the products as well as the technology they are based on change rapidly. It is obvious that accelerating the PDLC (Product Development Lifecycle) can produce tangible benefits to the business. It can influence all the business success measures such as:
• Revenue generation
• Early to market advantage
• Competitive advantage
• Profits and profitability
• Customer Loyalty
As most of the above-mentioned measures are critical to the success of any business so any initiative which can drive Time-To-Market will be of utmost importance.

Engineer to Order Product Development

Considerable activities before the launch of the product lie with the Research and Development and the Engineering department for most of the products. The kind of initiatives which engineering can embark on to make sure that it gets the most out of every second are:

  1. Standardization: The engineering processes standardization can help avoid reinventing the complete product from the scratch each time a new request is received for developing a completely engineer-to-order product. It may not be possible to standardize the entire product as that will make ETO lose its purpose. However, the engineering standardization can be done at the parts level. By process and part standardization there can be a significant reduction in the time spent on engineering information creation and management, procuring and holding, parts handling, assembly line adjustments, etc.
  2. Collaboration: Collaborative engineering across divisions, plants, offices or business units from different countries can reduce the need for repeated engineering. A collaborative engineering environment can accelerate innovation and help avoid redundancy in engineering efforts thus reducing the time to market to significantly lower levels.
  3. Engineering Agility: In case of ETO products, each delivery is a new product development. To respond to RFP (Request for Proposal) extensive engineering may be involved in comparison to other products. Agility in engineering via a lean and mean pre-bid engineering mechanism can compress the lead time for proposals. This reduces the cost of pre-bid engineering as well as enhances the chances of winning the order. The agility can have a tremendous impact on the award-to-delivery phase of the product.

Make to Order Product Development

  1. Modularization: To assemble MTO products considerable time is needed depending upon the complexity of the assembly mechanism. By modularizing the assemblies as well as sub-assemblies into repeatable and reusable modules the speed to market can be enhanced. Also, modularization can help in reducing engineering effort significantly by enabling the reusability of modules in future development by simply replacing the obsolete technology.
  2. Standardization: In MTO standardization has a similar impact as in ETO at the building or manufacturing stage. This engineering initiative can help accelerate POC and eliminate uncertainties associated with assembly, thereby reducing downtime and unplanned delays. Standardization also helps increase asset utilization and enhances throughput so drives profitability.
  3. Engineering Agility: The engineering agility for MTO products provide the same benefits as in ETO products. Agility can help in increasing the engineering throughput, drives utilization, and engineering profitability.

Make to Stock Products

The MTS products best perceive the benefits of reducing the time to market. The means of achieving this is maximum for MTS products. The engineering initiatives that impact the TTM are as follows:

  • Collaboration
  • Re-Engineering
  • Modularization
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Continual Improvement
  • Concurrent Engineering
  • First time right

In all, it is evident that engineering can have a far-reaching impact on your business when it is aimed at solving TTM challenges. A lot of business metrics can be driven by just focusing engineering efforts on compressing TTM. But it also makes one wonder why most manufacturing companies have not embarked on such initiatives already or even if they have, why have they not resulted in the benefits that they clearly seem to be capable of delivering.

This is a question that may have a lot of answers, but one clear answer is the lack of clearly defined purpose and a measure of success. Like most initiatives the key driver to completion let alone success is the definition of measures of success of that initiative. Unfortunately, the key measures of success impacted by these initiatives are business measures and are seldom associated with engineering. However, this also goes on to emphasize the fact that engineering is also not just an isolated department, but one that can truly spell success or failure for a manufacturing enterprise.

Key Engineering Trends Creating a Better Future

May 2, 2018

To create a better tomorrow it is essential to work in close association with industry visionaries, clients, policy makers, public as well as financial institutions. It is about utilizing our partnerships, past experiences, key assets and employees, in the optimal way. However, to do this, awareness about ecosystem, market, environment and trends that will shape our future is must.

The key trends which are influencing the future with respect to design, engineering, infrastructure and manufacturing fall under below mentioned categories:

1. Shorter Product Lifecycles

Due to rapid pace of innovation, change, volatility and preferences, we need to design world-class products utilizing newest technologies. With the expectation of quicker ROI and scarce capital, the focus will be more on ideation, concept, and designing and development phases – before the launch of the projects.

The demand on predictability and viability will also be higher than ever before. The different players in the lifecycle will either integrate or collaborate to stay significant, will need to reinvent themselves or will get consolidated.

2. Flexible Engagement Models

These days businesses are becoming increasing complex due to inter-dependency and connects between the value chains. We see our client stakeholders and policy makers discuss wider aspects at each stage of engineering project execution, financing, planning, constraints and options.

Flexible engagement model is the best engagement model looking at the current customer demands and considering their ever-changing requirements. Flexible engagement models help to strike the right balance between cost and operational efficiency. These models are geared to provide high level of transparency and control to customers. It also provides the clients flexibility to switch from one business model to another.

3. Evolution of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Industry

We are experiencing the fourth Industrial revolution now and it’s powered by advancements that include robotics, smart manufacturing using automation, and artificial intelligence (AI). By adopting AI, the organizations can keep the inventories lean and reduce manufacturing cost resulting in growth in manufacturing sector. Having said that, the manufacturing industries also have to gear up for the plants where design team, supply chain, production line, and quality control are integrated into an intelligent engine which provides actionable insights.

Automation will enable the manufacturing sector reach a level of productivity and accuracy which is beyond human capabilities. Robots are already being used in the manufacturing industry and can even work in environments which are otherwise complicated, dangerous and tedious for humans. The robotics in future can be used to re-create the complex human tasks by using advanced voice and image recognition capabilities. The shift to smart manufacturing results in increased output, corrective action and defect detection making the entire production cycle way more efficient.

4. Importance of Knowledge and Technology

Our workplaces are expected to change and are trending towards global rebalancing amidst the digital technologies and internet facilitating the collaboration of various teams. There has been a shift in employee demographics in every organization across the globe. The diversity is reshaping the environment and the work culture. The age old system of organization structure and hierarchies are being redefined.

The key assets of any business are not just the tangible components like assets & employees but also the knowledge and how organizations manage their intangible assets. The intangible assets include especially the technical knowhow and experience of a company in executing and delivering exciting work. Training and propensity to learn will stay in focus and utilization of tools to learn, train, change, manage knowledge and mentor will be an essential component of any growth or sustenance strategy.

Why Technosoft Engineering

Technosoft Engineering leverages over 20 years of cumulative knowledge and experience to help the world’s foremost manufacturers to create top-notch products and to select, deploy and adopt the technologies which underpin the entire product realization lifecycle.

We provide flexible engagement models to enable significant cost savings to our clients that are personalized to their business requirements. We drive innovation and efficiencies drawing on a combination of people, technology and process to meet the design, production and engineering challenges faced by our clients.

We offer solutions to cover end-to-end product value chain from idea to conceptualization through designing and product development. We optimize the product launching time and make sure the project is delivered on-time.

Importance of 3D CAD Modeling in Mechanical Engineering Design

April 10, 2018

Are you finding it difficult to create accurate mechanical drawings utilizing the conventional drafting techniques? Imprecise drawings may cost you both valuable time as well as money. Most of the organizations often realize the design flaws during the manufacturing stage. This may force them to revisit the design phase again.

You can use 3D CAD modeling to eliminate such problems and reduce the design costs. It increases the overall accuracy of the design and eliminates the need for redundant designs. Here we are listing the topmost benefits of 3D CAD modeling in the mechanical engineering design for you:

  • Better design quality: 3D CAD software comes with more than 700,000 standard templates of various mechanical components. By utilizing 3D CAD modeling for designing, the mechanical designers can use existing readymade templates. This ensures the design is accurate and also helps in saving time.
  • Makes the documentation process easy: The traditional drafting methods involve documenting various aspects of mechanical components manually. The method is very tedious and requires high accuracy levels. The entire process of documenting component designs is made easy by 3D CAD modeling. It comes preloaded with different documentation options like documenting geometries and product dimensions, bill of materials, material specifications, etc.
  • Enhances the designer’s productivity: The designer can visualize the mechanical component in 3D at the initial stage with the help of 3D CAD modeling. This enables the designer to make the required changes instantly thereby increasing his productivity.
  • Automatically redraws the design: The designers find it difficult to redraw the hidden parts of the components using the traditional drawing techniques. With the 3D CAD, the lines and dashes of the hidden parts are automatically redrawn from the other mechanical parts of the design. In case, there are any design changes the 3D CAD automatically redraws the lines and eliminates any chance of error.
  • Compliant with International standards: When 3D CAD is used to design mechanical components, it ensures the designs conform to the international standards. The 3D CAD supports a range of drafting platforms like ANSI, BSI, CSN, DIN, ISO, GB and GOST drafting platforms. Compliance with the industry standards results in better outputs.
  • Cost Optimization: 3D CAD comes with numerous standard designed components that save the design engineer from the trouble to design them from the scratch. This saves the crucial time and optimizes the cost. As obtaining the licensed modeling software is often expensive, outsourcing 3D CAD modeling is preferred option to save the costs further.
  • Reduction in design time: Faster development is promoted by getting a virtual CAD model in the design phase. It helps the engineers in completing the design and getting the mechanical component into manufacturing much faster.
  • Saving data and drawings for future: The designs created on CAD can be saved for future reference with ease. Few standard components may not have to be redesigned again thus saving a lot of time for future designs creation.
  • Better visualization: The 3D CAD modeling provides best visual images of the components which have to be designed in 3D. The components can also be animated and their functionality can be observed. With the help of visual graphics, clients can understand the properties and features of the component better. This helps to demonstrate the mechanical component’s functionality to the client and making a proposal.

At Technosoft, we carry out a systematic study of your concept and existing product line to redesign of systems and components successfully. Our Design Engineering Services empower you to innovate, design and develop products rapidly and help you gain the competitive advantage.

Technosoft offers custom engineering design solutions and services to our global clients leveraging a team of 450+ experienced engineers and designers. Our diverse services span all aspects of engineering from legacy conversions, to designing and detailing, to FEA/CFD analysis. Technosoft has domain expertise in many industry verticals including automotive, off-highway vehicles, heavy machinery, consumer equipment, packaging and medical devices.

How Rapid prototyping helps you Design and Develop Products quickly

February 13, 2018

Product design failure in the development stage is a huge loss for the organization in terms of man-hours and the money invested in the development process. A tangible prototype of the product makes the complex product design looks simple. It helps product designer and engineers in visualizing and analyzing the actual part of the product before the development stage. This drastically reduces the chances of product failure to a great extent.

It helps you to develop every component of the complicated product in stages and compare every part of it with the prototype prepared. Any deviation from the prototype can give you a clear indication of the design failure of the part and it helps the development team to rectify the error immediately.

Why Rapid Prototyping?

  1. Clear understanding and visualization of the Design Concepts
    It acts like a POC for the client and it’s easier to understand the design rather than struggling to visualize by looking the design on the screen or paper. It helps the designer to understand the look and feel of the design rather than having a virtual design through CAD model.
  2. Quick changes or modification
    Having a visible and tangible model provides manufacturers with the better understanding of how the product may look like. It helps them analyze the actual design and suggest correction or modifications quickly which can be incorporated to make the product design perfect before advancing to the manufacturing stage.
  3. Reduction in monetary investment and time consumption for Designing
    Rapid prototyping creates a model very similar to what an actual product can look like. This eliminates a need for preparing molds and use of other software to create a model. The existing CAD software and printing equipment are sufficient to create a rapid prototype which gives you a feel of an actual model. This not only result in saving of time and cost invested in creating the actual models but also results in overall reduction of your time to market.
  4. Product Customizations
    Rapid prototyping empowers you in developing the customized products with ease. A small modification in CAD model is sufficient to create a modification in the existing design without the need for any special tool or process.
  5. Higher Accuracy level in designing
    The material used for the prototyping has similar properties of the actual product. This makes it easier to perform the physical tests and identify the flaws and errors prior to the actual manufacturing process. This helps manufacturers to avoid the risk of halting the manufacturing process at a later stage.

Rapid Prototyping Services

Nowadays, manufacturers are more inclined towards rapid prototyping while initiating their new product development and manufacturing process. These revolutionary techniques are making things easier for product development companies, and product manufacturers in developing innovative products cost-effectively.

If you are struggling to hold the market share due to continuous innovative products being pumped by the competitors, there is a time to look into your product design and development process. Probably you require an expert who can boost your product development team to enable them to develop products at a faster pace.

At Technosoft, we carry out a systematic study of your concept and existing product line to redesign of systems and components successfully. We can partner with you to innovate, design and develop products rapidly to gain the first mover advantage.

Technosoft offers custom engineering design solutions and services to our global clients leveraging a team of 400+ experienced engineers and designers. Our diverse services span all aspects of engineering from legacy conversions, to designing and detailing, to FEA/CFD analysis. Technosoft has domain expertise in many industry verticals including automotive, off-highway vehicles, heavy machinery, consumer equipment, packaging and medical devices.

Reducing the Cost of On-Road and Off-Road Vehicle via Value Engineering

February 6, 2018

There is a rapid increase in competition these days and various organizations across the globe sought to create higher value in their automotive products for the customers. This growing competitiveness is leading to customers demanding high-quality products with better functionality, without an increase in price. Therefore, the OEM’s in automotive industry must include projects which are designed to lower the product cost and enhance the value to the customer.

The product’s performance and a major part of its cost are defined in the development stage. To optimize these two parameters, a correct approach of cost management in the product development process is needed.

The Costs to be Targeted for Reduction

A vehicle is composed of complex sub-systems and interfaces. If you are targeting a cost reduction in a complete automobile, it’s imperative to understand the build-up costs involved in manufacturing of the vehicle. The cost build-up in a vehicle begins right from the concepts designed for the simplest support brackets up to the last operation on the assembly line and further till the product is displayed in the showroom.

Some of the costs during this process can be controlled directly and other may require large-scale re-engineering program to keep them low. The total direct manufacturing cost of the vehicle becomes the base reduction cost because there is no engineering control over other components.

The Cost Flow Analysis

The first step in cost flow analysis is to understand how the cost flows inside the vehicle. You may need to identify and differentiate the high cost and low-cost items in a vehicle. The cost flow analysis is used to realize and shortlist areas with the low, medium and high potential of cost reduction. The analysis presents a roadmap for the rest of the cost reduction activities and we can prioritize and target strategic areas of reduction.

Approaches to Cost Reduction

The complete cost reduction approach is multifaceted and involves various variables such as form, fit, function, etc. which have to be considered and balanced. There has to be an outline to systematically evaluate the designs while ensuring a broad level perspective on all the aspects of product development. The various cost reduction approaches are listed below:

  1. Direct Material Cost Reduction: This can be achieved either by reducing the material from a design or by using an economical alternative. Before opting for material reduction it’s vital to understand the design’s function and analyze how it behaves under load conditions. Then redesign the product using less material and without causing significant change in the component’s form.
    When re-designing the existing component using alternate material changes, various aspects of initial design have to be considered. Extensive redesigning and cost reduction has to be calculated considering the changes in the downstream cost components. The change of material must save cost as well as improve the end function of the component at the same time.The third approach for direct material cost reduction is to opt for weight optimization of complex components using FEA (Finite Element Analysis) or to perform FOS (Factor of Safety) analysis on existing designs to identify the areas with more than necessary material conditions.

 

  1. Manufacturing Process Cost Reduction: In this approach manufacturability and assembly aspects of designs are involved to identify and evaluate different possibilities to manufacture the same component using alternate process which is cost-effective. This helps save cost by simplifying the overall production process while reducing the lead time. Minor re-designs can lead to better the manufacturability of various vehicle components. This process can be used to improve their end functionality as well as simplifying the overall design. The approach can be extended over to improve and simplify the overall manufacturing process.

 

  1. Parts Standard Cost Reduction: This approach brings about standardization in the designs. This means the overall modularity of the systems has to be improved and the part commonization has to be promoted as much as possible in the overall design of the vehicle. Commonization helps eliminate components which would have been fulfilling the same functionality and brings uniformity in operations while reducing the overall costs.

 

  1. Supply Chain Cost Reduction: Organizations can outsource their production plants to countries that provide large scale high volume production and cheap labor. This will reduce the landing costs of parts and the manufacturers can also reduce costs by locating the sources near markets or production facilities. The logistic network can be assessed and costs can be optimized by redesigning for improved handling and containerization.

 

  1. Cost Reduction through Design Innovation (CRDI):This approach involves redesigning that can trigger resultant engineering changes to such an extent that it becomes a new product development in itself. The investment in this process is huge and has longer ROI period. Thus, though Cost Reduction through Design Innovation is most powerful and must be used judiciously. CRDI can be realized in terms of overall system level simplification. These innovations should target towards a systematic combination of multiple functions which eliminate several others in turn and lower the overall cost.

At Technosoft, we use a combination of various approaches discussed above to carry out a systematic study and redesign of systems and components for on-road as well as off-road vehicles. We have been helping our clients to achieve successful cost-reduction of vehicles used for a variety of purposes.

Technosoft focuses on the Engineering Services space and partners with numerous companies globally. We offer our exceptional design and development solutions throughout the product development chain across several industries. We have a team of over 400 skilled professionals located across the world. We help our clients achieve sustainable competitive edge via our value creating services. For more information, visit us at https://www.technosofteng.com/