Golf manufacturer reduces mold production time 67 percent – from three weeks to 7 days
Fu Sheng Group
Fu Sheng uses NX and Teamcenter to satisfy diverse client requirements for small-volume runs; Siemens’ PLM tools serve as strategic difference maker in aggressive global market
30 percent global market share
Taiwan has established itself as an international original equipment manufacturer (OEM)/original design manufacturer (ODM) powerhouse among golf club head makers. Fu Sheng Group contributes to Taiwan’s leadership and success with an annual production of 15 million clubs. Fu Sheng possesses 30 percent of the global market, with nine out of ten major golf brands worldwide trusting Fu Sheng with their purchase orders, and ultimately the quality behind their brands.
The reason Fu Sheng is so trusted and in-demand lies in its capability to develop club heads featuring among the most challenging designs and complicated contours. The key to Fu Sheng’s ability to meet its customers’ requirements is advanced collaboration technology that ensures precision at each stage of the product lifecycle. Implementation of collaborative approaches significantly shortens the cycle, including design, die sinking and production, and enables efficient delivery to meet customer demands.
“Design in Taiwan, Produce by Geographic Advantage”
“In the OEM/ODM business, what matters the most is the full-scale capacity to seamlessly handle research and development (R&D) through mold production,” says D.K. Chang, vice president of Fu Sheng’s Sporting Goods Division. “To what extent you can apply sophisticated digital R&D in this process determines how far you can advance.”
According to plan, the digital tools that Fu Sheng uses for its R&D process have enabled the company to fully exploit its operational principle: “Design in Taiwan, Produce by Geographic Advantage.” That’s important, as Fu Sheng’s research and development facilities are located in Taoyuan (Taiwan) and its factories in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Guandong (China) and Vietnam.
Fu Sheng’s Sporting Goods Division deployed NX™ software for product development and Teamcenter® software for product data management. Both product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions are from Siemens PLM Software.
The company selected NX for its capabilities in mold design, especially in handling advanced mold surfaces with precision, as well as its comprehensive strengths across 3D applications, which it planned to use to improve its R&D operation. In addition, as an NX I-deas® software customer, the move to NX was natural and smooth.
Teamcenter was chosen by Fu Sheng for its proven performance and excellent reputation as a collaboration technology.
The seamless integration between NX and Teamcenter cemented the company’s decision to go with both NX and Teamcenter.
Using NX and Teamcenter, the company has transformed all of its data into electronic format and is successfully leveraging the most up-to-date information across the organization. “Every individual is on board with project requirements and target dates as Siemens’ PLM tools enable us to tightly manage our collaboration and processes through transparent scheduling,” says Chang.
Mold production time reduced from 3 weeks to 7 days
PLM-driven digital data enables speed. “The design documents of club heads from our Taoyuan R&D center are now transmitted directly to the CNC platforms of our factories in Guandong and other sites for die sinking, molding and later for immediate manufacturing,” says Steve Lee, manager of Fu Sheng’s Mold Department. “It used to take an average of 21 days to mold, but that has been measurably reduced to just seven days.”
Lee notes, “We have also solved the issue of inconsistent mold quality that previously occurred when documents were manually managed.” Jack Chang, manager of Fu Sheng’s Engineering Department, explains the new process advantage: “Fu Sheng uses the project management capabilities of Teamcenter to control its orders. Teamcenter produces tracking statistics that enable the leaders of each project to keep the progress of their work in perspective. Additionally, various levels of Fu Sheng management can review select reports to track development and identify potential bottlenecks at an early stage, further ensuring a streamlined process.”
Teamcenter is used to categorize and store data produced during project development. This allows designers from the engineering department to easily retrieve the most up-to-date versions of project documents. Change notifications are automatically sent out based on pre-set conditions to the appropriate project personnel. According to the engineering team, this highly effective bit of automation alone greatly reduces repetitive work.
Distinct competitive advantage – ability to deliver highly diverse products in small volumes
“We have a true competitive edge,” notes D.K. Chang. “NX and Teamcenter enable us to quickly deliver high-volume, custom golf club heads, but it also gives us a real notch up in quickly producing low-volume custom orders. There is no substitute for the productivity improvements made possible using advanced PLM technology, and Siemens’ tools are among the best.” He points out, “With great technology tools, proper implementation and training also make a big difference. Alpha Precision Instrumentation Corp., a partner of Siemens PLM Software, has given us a real deployment edge here. The Alpha team has comprehensive industrial experience and expertise and Alpha team members always devote their every effort to our success. The partnership with Siemens and Alpha is integral to our pursuit of continuous improvement and our strong position in the market.”
As the business model of “Design in Taiwan, Produce by Geographic Advantage” continues to prove its operational effectiveness, Fu Sheng plans to further invest in R&D tools that deliver higher efficiency. As a leader in its market segment, the golf equipment manufacturer aims to maximize the benefits of design-through-production collaboration. Chang concludes, “We plan to steadily expand our presence in the OEM/ODM sector. While we have achieved a 67 percent reduction in mold production time, we plan to further leverage the technology tools of Siemens PLM Software and the technical insight of Alpha. We plan to increase our competitive wherewithal through technology, process and knowledge, because these are the best routes to making continual headway in the aggressive international market.”