We frequently hear that design reuse is important. You don’t have to be an engineer to understand the benefits of reusing designs and inventory parts instead of designing them from scratch over and over again. The concept is intuitive, in part, because there are so many real-world examples. Here’s just a few:
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Imagine the horror. The untimely disintegration of a particularly brittle parametric model explodes right in the face of an unsuspecting designer, an unwary victim of a thousand unresolved dependencies. What manner of creature developed such an intrinsically complex system? After all, direct modeling is the new hotness. History-based modeling is old and busted. We're going to push and pull our way to a better tomorrow. Hold on there just a minute, slick.
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The debate around part number systems is often reduced to a pitched battle of absolutes, pitting the cold simplicity of the Generic Numbering Coalition (GNC), against the historically focused Confederacy of Intelligent Numbers (CIN). There’s no shortage of arguments about one approach over the other. But you don’t have to play that game; there are always other possibilities. Let’s understand why.
For many entrepreneurs, manufacturing in high volume is a new journey. In turn, how do you know if your contract manufacturer (CM) is performing up to snuff with no basis for comparison?
Business is good and you're anticipating a big new project. The development team seems stretched, and you think it might be time to add headcount. But as a manager, you know that finding the funds and approval for a new employee is rarely easy. And nobody wants to hire someone today, only to have to lay him or her off 6 months from now when the current projects wrap up.
What's in a part number? That which we call a part by any other number should assemble as easily? Every company struggles with defining part numbers. Should you use an intelligent numbering system that embeds important identifying information or go with easy-to-mange generic numbers? Choosing between these opposing methodologies might seem intimidating; solid arguments exist for either approach. Crowning a winner is not going to be constructive, but understanding how the underlying issues affect your company certainly will be.
The trick to getting better products out the door faster is design reuse. You start with a legacy model, incorporate a vendor’s new PC board, add some mad curves to the grip, and before long, your electronic ice cream scoop is on the market and you’re collecting a Red Dot award. Read the rest of this entry »
Somewhere lurking in your Bill of Material (BOM), there just might be a hidden surprise, and not the good kind of surprise with cake and balloons.
Parts don’t have revisions. Such a broad statement seems a little absurd especially considering today’s available software technology, but it’s nonetheless a long-held tenet of engineering configuration management.