Knowledge re-use pays big dividends for mold and press tool manufacturer
Elin Electronics uses NX to leverage intellectual property; company shortens design cycle by 20 percent, virtually eliminates process mistakes and improves overall production efficiency
Upgrading from I-deas to NX
Elin Electronics Ltd., with its own tool room and tool design department, caters to customers in consumer electronics, home appliances, luminers, flashlights, and automobile parts and subassemblies. With more than 2,000 employees, the New Delhi-based company is a growing supplier to OEMs throughout India and beyond.
The company had been using I-deas™ software for the last 10+ years and recently upgraded to NX™ software. “Our use of CAD is driven by the need to re-use the company’s intellectual property,” explains Gaurav Sethia, promoter at Elin Electronics. “With our rapidly growing business, cataloging of parts wasn’t sufficient to take care of our numerous intricate requirements. The designers had to create drawings of our mold tools and press tools for every project. This populated the company’s database with an extraordinary number of duplicate parts. Not surprisingly, the process became expensive to maintain. Moreover, we were looking for an economically viable way to deal with our remodeling/redrafting problem, that is, prior to the introduction of the Reuse Library in NX.”
Goal – double-digit reduction in design turnaround
With designers remodeling common parts for every tool and taking into consideration industry advancements, Elin Electronics management realized its development process had become too complex to respond to heightened customer requirements as efficiently as desired. “In today’s marketplace, anything other than optimal operations is bound to deride a company’s competitive advantage,” says Sethia.
Manual entry of data for the bill of materials (BOM) also had to be replaced by a more efficient and accurate process. “Our strategy was to totally eliminate the manual entry requirement from the BOM process,” says Sethia. “The approach had become unsuitable to our changed business needs and any error proved to be costly during downstream activities, especially for calculating finish sizes.”
Standardization was critical to overall product development improvement. Sethia explains, “We were looking to standardize the common parts and mold bases because our designers needed more automated tools to manage the extensive growth in the number of variants in our product range and to avoid remodeling and re-drafting.”
Sethia notes, “Our goal was a double-digit reduction in design time.”
Elin Electronics employed NX to realize its aspirations. The Reuse Library of NX played a critical role, particularly in optimally managing the company’s intellectual property. Yet key elements of the company’s success were also attributed to other elements of the software, including its CAD, Mold Wizard and Progressive Die Wizard capabilities.
More specifically, parts catalog and mold base creation is fast and accurate using the NX Reuse Library. Drawing production is fully automated using the template-based approach in NX. The process of associating stock sizes for finished products is handled automatically via NX Knowledge Fusion. In addition, BOMs and assembly drawings are now fully associative.
To ensure a watertight roll-out from day one, the company provided instruction on all new applications. Sethia points out, “We completed training within the planned six-month period and our designers have been working proficiently ever since.”
Acumen and edge
Using NX, the company achieved its targets, including realizing a 20 percent time savings per design project. Even the process for manufacturing standard catalog parts has improved. “Besides the time savings,” notes Sethia, “our automation of the BOM process has virtually eliminated any chance for human error. This has resulted in not only overall better production efficiency, but also greater product quality.”
While the company has significantly improved its business acumen and achieved a tangible gain in its competitive edge, Sethia explains: “We’re now exploring Siemens’ NX CAM and Teamcenter software to see how they can help us further our competitive edge, especially for global expansion.”