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White Paper - Reclaiming engineering productivity EN - as published

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White Paper - Reclaiming engineering productivity EN - as published

  1. 1. W H I T E P A P E R z u k e n . c o m Reclaiming engineering produc tivity 5 easy steps to increasing engineering productivity Z u k e n – T h e P a r t n e r f o r S u c c e s s
  2. 2. Z u k e n – T h e P a r t n e r f o r S u c c e s s 2 and electrical engineering continues to be a concern for us,” or that: “we need to integrate discipline-specificdevelopmentprocesses”. This apparent need for improvement raises the question about what approaches are available to ensure product success, and which of them are best suited to enable electronic and electricalengineersasdriversofinnovation. Companies have three main levers to increase productsuccess: • The product itself – how it is structured and built with regard to modularity and configurability. • The product process – how companies work internally and with their suppliers andsubcontractors. • The organization – how specific product development methodology is implemented and anchored in the organizationalstructureoftheenterprise. These approaches are supported by related IT systems: • CAD and EDM applications supporting the design of products and the reuse of productmodules • PDM and PLM systems to manage engineering processes and to coordinate and provide data to different engineering disciplines • ERP or enterprise business systems to supportrelatedbusinessprocesses. Information technology plays a pivotal role for all three product success levers. However, the new capabilities provided by IT come at the expense of increased complexity. In this way the steadily growing complexity of products, variants, value chains and processes is further aggravated by the dimension of IT complexity brought about by different environments, user andsystemsinterfaces. In other words: today’s typical approach to managing product complexity is to increase IT complexity. So far, we have assumed that the additional capabilities provided by the multitude of new IT systems far outweighs the additional workload imposed by the growing complexity oftheseITsolutions. But before we go any further, let’s look in detail at the three main levers companies have for increasing product success, and the commonly used strategies for their optimization. We’ll consider organization first, followed by the productprocessand,finally,theproductitself. Introduction We have turned creators into managers, and engineers into administrators. And for good reason! We assumed it was wise to reallocate a small amount of an engineer’s time to administrative tasks, based on the premise that gains would be achieved elsewhere in the process through the benefits of data and process consistency. But it could well be that thiswasafalseassumption. ThisWhitePaperinvestigateswhatapproaches exist for increasing engineering productivity, and identifies steps that can be taken to find a better balance between engineering management tasks and effective use of engineeringdevelopmenttime. Increasing development success A quick glance at the current situation in product development from an electrical and electronic engineering perspective shows threeimportantindicators: 1. In both the automotive, and machinery and plant sectors, process complexity is growing at a rapid rate. Measured by the number of product variants in the machinery sector, complexity has grown bytwo-and-a-halftimes1since1997. 2. Product lifecycles continue to shrink: over the last decade, the average product lifecycleshrankbyaroundonequarter². 3. At the same time the share of electronic and electrical engineering in product innovationisrapidlyincreasing:Measured by the number of patent applications, the sector of electrical machinery and equipment grew by almost 90%. In comparison, the machinery and drive technologysectorgrewbyonly23%³. While the share of electronic and electrical components (E/E) in today’s products is steadily growing, the degree of integration of these disciplines into the overall product development process (PDP) remains at rather a low level. Although the shift of innovation towards E/E has already taken place on a large scale, the product development process itself continues to be characterized by the methodologiesofmechanicalengineering. This is highlighted by a survey⁴ of companies using EDA solutions from a range of providers, includingZuken. Morethanhalfofthosequestionedcommented that: “the missing integration of mechanical 1 RolandBerger:MasteringProductComplexity,2012. 2 Seepreviousfootnote. 3 VDMAIndicatorsforResearchandInnovationin Engineering,March2016. 4 SurveyofcompaniesusingEDAsolutionsfromZuken andotherproviders,Germany,2015. “...themissingintegration ofmechanicaland electricalengineering continuestobeaconcern forus⁴.
  3. 3. z u k e n . c o m 3 Process If we turn our attention to the operational procedures of product development, the focus naturally goes to the IT systems that are deployed to support engineering processes. In new product development these are typically PDM and PLM systems. It appears that these systems seem to be viewed with increasing scepticismamongseniormanagement,astheir benefitsdonotalwaysmeetexpectations⁶and, consequently, the relationship between cost and achievable benefits can be unfavourable⁷. As a consequence, the majority of decision- makers are negative about investment in PLM technologies⁸. Product Consequently, the key to sustainable success appears to be the product rather than the organization or the process. Incidentally, this corresponds with the self-perception of the European machinery and plant industry: The majority of German machine builders are focused on innovation in the product (62%) ratherthanoninnovationintheprocess(36%)⁹. It appears then that engineering productivity provides the most promising approach to securingproductsuccess. Considering the high degree of attention that organization and process have enjoyed with the rise of PLM, it may be concluded that the netavailabletimeforengineeringactivitieshas beencontinuouslyreduced. Reclaimingengineeringproductivity Three product success levers Organization The two primary levers with a direct influence onproductsuccessare: • Largerengineeringteams • Outsourcing engineering tasks to remote subcontractors. However, practical experience has shown that these apparently obvious approaches frequently produce negative effects on engineeringproductivity⁵: • The average engineer’s productivity will decrease with the growth of an engineering team, because internal coordination efforts grow drastically with thenumberofstakeholders. • For similar reasons, teams spread across different locations can be up to 20% less productive than teams working in the samelocation. We may therefore conclude that increasing the size of engineering teams and adding geographically distributed locations are no guarantee for increasing engineering productivity. Following on from this, it’s clear that organizational measures seem to have only limited potential to enhance engineering success. ⁵ McKinseyonSemiconductors–Bythenumbers: R&DProductivityinthesemiconductorindustry (2014). ⁶ “Companiesrequire,no,demandquickerand moresubstantialROI”–Source:CIMdata:Stateof PLM–ConferenceProceedings2014,2015. ⁷“HugeeffortandexpensetogetPLMcore capabilitiesupandoperating”.Source:CIMdata. ⁸PLMdecisionmakerswereaskedbyindustry analystCIMdataabouttheviewsoftheir seniormanagementtowardsPLM.61%ofall decision-makersstatedthatPLMhasnotfulfilled expectations. ⁹VDMAIndicatorsforResearchandInnovationin Engineering,March2016. PLMiscommonlyacceptedasanapproachtocontrollingproductcomplexity “Today’stypical approachtomanaging productcomplexityisto increaseITcomplexity. Newcapabilities throughIT NewITcomplexity ECAD&EDM Product Makecomplexity manageable PDM&PLM Process Securedata& processes PLM&ERP Organization Optimizeproductivity &costs ?
  4. 4. Z u k e n – T h e P a r t n e r f o r S u c c e s s 4 the expense of some degree of engineering productivityisalsotrueintheotherdirection! In other words: if we succeeded in reducing the amount of time spent on supporting and time- sink activities by only 5% – from an estimated 55% to 50% – the daily available time for pure engineering tasks would increase from 1 ¾ hours to 2 hours – which would equate to an increaseofmorethan20%. An increase in engineering productivity in the region of 20% through the reduction of supporting tasks would definitely appeal to all companiesfocusingonproductinnovation! Summing up: to achieve a substantial increase in productive time, engineers need to curb timesinksbyaseeminglyachievable5%. Eliminating time-sinks Process support and data management comprise both indispensable supporting efforts such as project and change management, but also time-sinks such as redundant work in the form of data re-entry or waitingtimeforsystemresponses. Many of these time-sinks are caused by a multitude of different IT-systems and interfaces, poor response times, as well as inconsistentorambiguousdata. Focusing on these types of areas should provide sufficient leverage to achieving a reductionoftime-sinksby5%. The promise that an improvement in the area of process provided better results than improvements in the area of individual productivity was apparently the justification for the transfer of a growing load of process- related tasks to engineers at the expense of theirengineeringtimebudget. Accordingtoseveralsurveys,anengineertoday spendsmorethanhalfoftheirtimeonactivities relatedtoretrievingandprovidinginformation. The rest appears to be divided equally among engineering and testing activities. The net engineering time of an average 8-hour work day is therefore somewhere in the region of 1 ¾ hours; just under one quarter of the daily work time10 : The engineer seems to have been turnedfromacreatorintoanadministrator! In the area of information management and retrieval we can find a whole range of necessary, but non-development efforts – from supporting activities, such as project and change management, down to important but non-productive activities such as duplication, data re-entry, or waiting times for system responses–time-sinkactivitiestobeavoided. Supporting activities and even more so, time- sink activities, cost a high price that shows apparently insufficient return in terms of increasedefficiency. Consequently, we need to find ways to optimize supporting efforts and to minimize time-sinkactivities. What is remarkable is that the presumed approach of more process productivity at Engineersareturningintoadministratorsbecausesupportingand time-sinkactivitiesdemandagrowingamountoftime. Howdoesaproductdeveloperspend theirtime,onaverage? Development and testing*: 1:45h 4:25h 3:35h Lessthanone-quarteron development. Engineering development*:Retrieving and providing information*: 22% 45% 55% 10 ATimeStudyofScientists&EngineersintheAir VehiclesDirectorate,USAF2010(numbersroundedup) “Engineering productivityprovidesthe mostpromisingapproach tosecuringproductsuccess.
  5. 5. z u k e n . c o m 5 Federatedprovisionofdata managementreducestime-sinks. Reclaimingengineeringproductivity Many interfaces, large integration gaps With the introduction of CAD systems in the late 1970s product development in mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering experienced an unprecedented boost of productivity. But along with it came incompatible data, unmanageable versions and releases, and, in spite of all technology support, a relatively small degree of data re- use, all contributing to an alarming state of entropy. As a consequence, inconsistent data and insufficient process support threatened to neutralize the gains of what amounted to a substantial investment. The solution appearedtobeathandbyintroducingsystems that would manage both engineering data as well as engineering processes, such as change management, within one consistent environment. The approach of managing not only the overall process,butalsoallrelateddatainacentralized environment brought about IT installations that in spite of substantial integration efforts do not provide the necessary depth of integration. In particular, this is the case in the disciplines of electronic and electrical engineering,asneithertherelatedengineering methodologies nor the required data models are supported. This is because electronic and electrical data models require a much great depthofdetailthanmechanicalengineeringto ensureunambiguousness. As a matter of fact, the capabilities for managingelectronicandelectricalcomponent libraries is not provided by any of the current PLMmarketleaders’environments. An alternative approach There is no doubt that an interdisciplinary engineering process requires an interdisciplinarysystemtomanageandcontrol processes across the domains of mechanical, electronic, electrical, fluid and software engineering. There is however no compelling reason why such a system should also manage all engineering data from all disciplines in a centralizedrepository. Apragmaticalternativewouldbethefollowing hybridapproach: 1. Centralized control of the inter- disciplinaryprocess 2. Federated data management within the authoringenvironments This approach promises to provide a twofold advantage: on one hand, the number of required interfaces will be reduced (and with it the effort for implementation and maintenance), and on the other hand the number of user interfaces (and with it, time- sink effort due to redundant data entry) will be substantiallyreduced. These monolithic systems that purport to be the “single source of truth” not only take up engineers’valuabletime,butalsotheirgrowing number of additional applications, interfaces anduserinterfacesaddtotheburden. For the user this means that they frequently need to have up to four different applications running in parallel on their desktop. And every single one comes with its own logic and user interface. For any head of IT the sheer number of different applications represents a considerable maintenance and support effort. In addition, since hardly any application today is operated in isolation, a corresponding number of interfaces has to be put in place and maintained. A little earlier, we formulated the following objective: if it were only possible to spend 5% less on support and blind effort, it would amounttoasubstantialincreaseinengineering productivity. Applied to a complex IT landscape, even a minor reduction in the number of different applications would bring us a good deal closer tothisobjective. “…reducetimespent onsupportandtime- sinkactivitiesby5%and dailyavailabletimefor engineeringtasksincreases bymorethan20%.
  6. 6. Z u k e n – T h e P a r t n e r f o r S u c c e s s 6 For that reason, we at Zuken believe the followingapproachtobehighlypromising: • Interdisciplinary processes should be covered by interdisciplinary systems such as ERP or PLM, in which important revisions or milestones should be documentedassnapshots. • Transactional data such as engineering data that is subject to frequent change and requires detailed insight into the respective data model ought to be kept within their specific disciplines. In total, this would amount to a federated data model. With this approach, integration efforts with regards to PLM and ERP would be reduced, whereas the degree of integration within the disciplineswouldbeasdeepasrequired. Consequently, unambiguousness and traceability of data will increase drastically, making local workarounds redundant. As a result, redundant work and waiting times for systemresponseswillfurtherdiminish. While it may be relatively easy and plausible to postulate a similar claim, the question arises, how vendors should support it with their softwaresolutions. NETWORK. LEARN. INNOVATE. FiveITrequirementsforengineeringproductivity A user-friendly approach As a matter of principle, every enterprise can implement a similar approach with a limited numberofsteps: 1. Providedatamanagement capabilitiesaspartofECADauthoring environments CAD and domain data management (DDM) will form part of the user interface of the eCAD system with interfaces to PDM running in the background. Data will be managed locally and user tasks that are triggered by an interdisciplinary processes in the PLM environment will appear directly in the eCAD system. If we managed to eliminate just one single application, we would already have achieved a big step forward. Fewer different user interfaces mean: productivity goes up as response times and redundant tasks are significantlyreduced. 2. Manageelectricalandelectronicdata modelsintheirnativeformat Many companies use existing projects as a template from which they create new designs and variants. Frequently this is done by simply copying and modifying existing projects. However, in this way, there is no linkage between source and copy, so that changes on a components level cannot be consolidated acrossdifferentvariants. Especially if changes are made in related projectsitisimportanttoknowinwhatdesigns therelatedcomponentsweredeployed. This question can only be answered if a “where-used” analysis on a component level is supported. A prerequisite for such an analysis is a data management environment that is capable of handling information on a component level, which can be provided only by a component level domain data managementsystem,suchasZuken’sDS-2. In addition to a reduced integration overhead, managingelectricalandelectronicdataintheir native format enables detailed where-used analyses on a component level as well, as the management of variants and options, which would require exceptional integration efforts if it was to be implemented in a (mechanically- oriented)PDM-environment. “Revertingfroma process-centricperspective totheneedsofthe engineeropensupthe chanceofaddressing growingproductand processcomplexitywith engineeringproductivity, ratherthanadding additionalITcomplexity.
  7. 7. z u k e n . c o m 7 Reclaimingengineeringproductivity Copyright © Zuken GmbH. 160914 3. Managematerialandcomponent librarieswithintheauthoringsystem Just like engineering projects, electronic and electrical component libraries are subject to a process in which they are created, maintained, reviewed, released and rolled out to the differentengineeringlocations. Acentralizedapproachtolibrarymanagement helps to control and reduce the number of individual entries and reduces maintenance efforts, while providing the basis for efficient design re-use. In addition, a library that is consolidated across different operations and locations provides a basis for more favourable buyingconditionsthrougheconomiesofscale. And finally, a centralized approach to managing libraries ensures data consistency across different engineering locations, while data exchange and design-reuse is better supported and manufacturing resources can beflexiblyallocated. 4. Integrateandsynchronizeprocesses withPLMandERPbutmanagedatain decentralizedrepositories It is the promise of centralized data management systems to provide a unique interface for all applications. It is, in fact, an appealing idea to have to integrate applicationsintoonesingleenvironment. The reality of today’s IT landscapes continues to be fragmented, and in all probability this will not change in the future – not only for technical reasons, but also as a result of mergers and acquisitions of companies with theirownlegacyenvironments. The integration of systems and applications remains a running target, in which the objective of a single source of truth generates a high amount of effort, without providing the requireddepthofintegration. Federated data management is a valid alternative, because the integration of processes is more manageable than the integration of transactional engineering data. It is, however, a requirement that eCAD systems in turn provide workflow and data managementcapabilities. 5. Enhancecollaborationwithinthe discipline In a typical distributed process shared development, work is characterized by check-in and check-out routines: While an engineer is working on a project, it will be lockedforallothers.MeanwhileeCAD-Systems such as Zuken’s E³.series enable more agile ways of working together, as they support several engineers working in parallel on the same project, with all changes visible for the whole team in real time. It is, however, a prerequisite that the eCAD system provides multi-user capabilities and related role and rightsmodels. Summary Reverting from a process-centric perspective to the needs of the engineer opens up the chance of addressing growing product and process complexity with engineering productivity, rather than adding additional IT complexity. This approach, however, requires bringing functionality that today is scattered around different systems, into the engineer’s environment – i.e. the CAD system. This is an approach that offers agility and distributed repositories versus the monolithic approach of centralizedsystems. AbouttheAuthor: ThomasGessnerisBusinessDevelopmentManager forZuken’sDataManagementSolutions.Hejoinedthe companyin2013tomanage themarketintroductionof E3.EDM.Gessnerhasheld similarpositionsatPTC, BroadVision,AdobeSystems andInterleaf,andhasbeen sellingandmarketing engineeringdatamanagement solutionssincethemid-1980s.

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