Change – It happens, and it must happen in order for things to (hopefully) get better.
But also, we need it to correct the occasional – ah’em – mistake. As a result, change can be a great thing, but if it is not controlled or understood, then change can be a vacuum of resources, money and be a constant source of delayed product output.
Let me introduce you to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, based on the cloud and mobile ready. It allows Change to become a thing to be embraced and excited about, not feared.
If you do not have any kind of Engineering Change (EC) process then you are open to change happening at any time, to any degree, by anyone, without any kind of audit trail to look back on. If you have a well-defined EC process that’s fantastic news, but if it is just a process then you are reliant on people adhering to process. How many times have we heard, ‘this is urgent we just need to get it done and we don’t have time for this?’
Now imagine not only having an EC process, but a system that enforced the process and automated elements of it. But also allows flexibility to use a quick process for those ‘Urgent’ cases.
If you have read my blogs, you will know I love a scenario – so here is a scenario:
A user on your production line is starting with a new product, they notice a problem with the fabrication or assembly. They use a local PC or phone to access 3DEXPERIENCE and raise a new issue (See my blog article ‘Are your Issues more of an Issue than you realise?’ for more information on raising Issues).
This issue is investigated and it is decided that a change is required, because the objects related to the issue are ‘Released’ they can’t be modified – the system will not let you (enforcing the change process).
First a Change Request (CR) is raised, the person raising this will enter all the information regarding the change including listing the object(s) that need to be changed, Parts, Assemblies, Drawings, Documents, etc.
Each object that is added will generate a Change Action (CA) automatically. In addition to the actual object that requires changing any supporting documents, photos, text, or even context CAD data can be added directly to the CA. An impact analysis must also be completed detailing what the impact of the change is: cost, time, resource, etc. but the CA can’t be started at this point as the change has not been authorised.
What the above does mean is that when the CA is authorised there is little need to start sending emails or have meetings as all the information is readily available for the user assigned the CA.
When the CR has all the information entered it is sent through a route, the route is based on a template that is created by your business and can have 1 or many approvals.
If approved, a Change Order (CO) is generated automatically, the CA’s are activated and a new ‘In Work’ (Modifiable) revision of each object is automatically created. The CA’s are sent to the people assigned to each CA – automatically with email notifications. They will also be visible in the Change Action widget that the user can see when they login to 3Dx. The severity level for each CA is shown so users can easily prioritise workload, users can update the CA seamlessly within the widget.
When each required change is made it is approved via an automated route (again created to suit your business) at the CA level (usually a peer review), then when all the CA’s have been approved the CO will be automatically be sent through a route (another one created to suit your business) for higher review.
If approved, then the new ‘In Work’ revisions are ‘Released’, meaning they can no longer be modified until another change is raised.
So what you are left with is a system that will:
- not allow change without approval;
- that contains all the information relevant to the change;
- who requested and actually made each change;
- revision control of your data;
- a list of approvers; and finally
- a large chunk of the process automated.
I hear you saying – “we can’t do all that every time we need to make a change, we need to be agile!”
So, what if I told you that the CA can be raised independently, meaning that you do not need to complete the CR and CO. So now you can use the full process (and so get a full audit trail) in your everyday change process but get the flexibility to use just the CA for those (hopefully) occasional ‘Urgent’ cases. You will still get a level of traceability as a CA with all the information related to the change is still created and this CA will still need to go through an approval route.
This, and much more, is available on cloud when you start your 3DEXPERIENCE journey
- Project Management
- Issue Management
- 3D for all
- 3D Design Reviews
- Manufacturing Planning
- And lots more
So, do you still fear change in your business? Or do you think it is time to add the power of 3DEXPERIENCE and start to embrace (and control) change? If you feel that you could benefit from some of the concepts shown in brief here or would just like a conversation – get in touch.