Engineers at Whirlpool Corp. in Sweden turned to digital manufacturing technology when they devised three new platforms for microwave ovens. Process Engineer and V5 DPM assembly software linked by a Manufacturing Hub from Delmia Corp., a Dassault Systemes company, Auburn Hills, Mich. (www.delmia.com), solved these problems.
“In the past, our simple database did not connect CAD data with assembly times or cost of materials, and there was no link between the ordering of tools or materials,” says Anders Claesson, production manager at Whirlpool. “We found Delmia's Manufacturing Hub could be integrated with our current PDM system, ProductCenter. We realized product and manufacturing data could be transparently shared. Also, we will improve our concurrent engineering using Process Engineer and V5 DPM Assembly for process verification and documentation,” he adds.
Whirlpool will rely heavily on the Delmia Manufacturing Hub, a data repository that stores both historic and current product, process, and resource information. Engineers can continuously update and share the most current data to better manage processes and equipment orders. Processes that can be created and evaluated include time analyses, rough balances, ramp-up scenarios, and capacity analyses.
In the future, Whirlpool's engineering department will be able to provide CAD models and the engineering bill of materials to develop assembly processes and manufacturing bill of materials in one seamless and interactive process. “Ultimately, we anticipate that Delmia technology will accelerate time to market through faster product and process verification and validation,” says Claesson. “Manual-data transfers should become a thing of the past and our assembly line workers may even complete their training in a Delmia environment,” he adds.