Any seasoned engineer can tell you stories of how reality got in the way of a beautiful model, drawing or calculation. A screw hole that couldn’t be accessed by a screwdriver, an assembly line that moves too fast for a worker, or even a plant wall that has to be moved so that an assembly line will fit in a building. Some of these anecdotes are humorous tales of the trade, making good teachable moments for junior engineers. Others led to less entertaining outcomes, causing significant overages in budget and schedule, and even costing some engineers their jobs. Unfortunately, many times these issues arise after an investment decision has been made or a contract has been won.
Projects typically go sideways due to mistakes or oversights made during the planning process. All the upfront planning and effort spent by engineers can turn in an instant as overlooked scenarios or off base assumptions catch up with them. Without proper planning, a small mistake can turn a profitable project into a huge loss or a minor annoyance into an enterprise wide disaster. Often, these troubles are avoidable if only the engineers were able to anticipate how those well laid plans would translate from linked cells in a database to moving parts and people on a production floor.
Proper and extensive planning is critical to ensuring you can turn your vision into a reality. To do it right, you need accurate data and information, the right analysis and assessment tools, and a way to clearly communicate your technical analysis with project stakeholders.
3D manufacturing simulation technology brings spreadsheets to life and highlights real world interactions while providing a unique way for engineers, planners, and sales teams to interact. By consolidating engineering data, including CAD layout files, CNC tool path data, and personnel utilization data, manufacturing simulation software offers organizations a way to analyze, visualize and optimize plans at the quoting or planning stage.