Written by: Dave Leahy, Simulation Product Manager
Simulation tools are traditionally the most popular add-on tools for SOLIDWORKS users because they have the ability to impact the time and quality metrics in a product development organization and can often mean the difference between profit and loss for a company.
Look at the areas of a company this investment can influence:
- Reduce manufacturing scrap costs (reduce scrap caused by design errors)
- Improved new product development productivity (significantly reduce the time wasted in multiple physical “prototype and break” cycles)
- Reduce prototype testing costs (often need only one final prototype before production)
- Reduce ECOs (find a defect before the product is deployed in the field)
- Improve project lifecycle quality (better parts last longer with minimal premature failures)
- Improve Competitive capabilities (Simulation helps find competitive advantages and helps to lower product cost increasing margins)
- Launch more new products (See Productivity improvements above)
- Improve time to market velocity
Give the impressive track record of using virtual simulation to improve the bottom line it’s no wonder it continues to be deployed in the automotive industry in still increasing numbers. Here, they are seeing cases where simulation results are more accurate than could be achieved by building and testing a physical prototype.
So why aren’t more companies doing this early and often in the product development process? Much of the challenge involves the up -front learning of the new tool and then taking the time to compare your mathematical models with known physical models so you can validate the sensitivities of the modeling environment and build confidence in the results. Companies need to feel there is a payoff before they invest the time in software and initial engineering effort to get simulation included into the design process.
Fortunately for DASI Solutions/SOLIDWORKS customers there is an ROI tool that can help a company understand the impact that Simulation can have on the bottom line and justify the up-front investments.
As with any financial justification we will need the assistance of the company finance department because much of the data we need is outside of the typical “engineering” process and budget. Remember a design defect, should it get released, impacts all areas of the company from Customer Service to Manufacturing and accounting. Overbuilding a product can help you meet specifications in a reasonable timeframe but if your competition finds a way to make it faster, cheaper or better, new sales may decline which also affects many areas of the company beyond engineering.
So if you’re interested in understanding how SOLIDWORKS simulation products including our Flow and Plastics tools can contribute to your bottom line, ask your DASI Account Manager today about using the ROI tool to help understand how this investment can or has contributed to your bottom line.