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Using NX and Solid Edge, Hexagon Ortopedia decreases product development time by 40 percent, realizing product development ROI within one month
Hexagon Ortopedia is a medical products company that manufactures stainless steel and titanium orthopedic implants. Its products are sold all across Brazil, as well in South America. The company specializes in manufacturing implants and instruments for bone restoration surgery.
Hexagon is widely known in the Brazilian implant market for its investments in research and development, technology and product certification. The company is especially proud of its reputation for continuous process improvement and its ability to comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of ISO 9001:2000 and the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) as set forth by the National Agency for Public Health Surveillance within the Brazilian Ministry of Health (ANVISA/MS).
Equally important, Hexagon is driven by the challenge of meeting a multidimensional set of business requirements that include showing respect and responsibility towards the lives of implant users, taking part in key social initiatives, such as Brazil’s childhood support program, ABRINQ Foundation, minimizing environmental impact, and, of course, maintaining market leadership.
To address its challenges and facilitate its business strategy, Hexagon needed an integrated technology solution that could deal with both the product design and production side of the company’s business. However, as Felipe M. Machado, Hexagon’s technical manager indicates, “Until mid 2006, Hexagon only used a 2D CAD platform for product design and manufacturing. As a result, process and execution feasibility analyses were only fully conducted during the manufacturing phase, which caused delays since projects frequently needed to be clarified because of the difficultly in properly interpreting 2D drawings.”
With the need for improved design productivity, higher design quality and faster product development in mind, Hexagon went looking for a better CAD solution. In early 2007, after evaluating the 3D tools that were available in the market, Hexagon chose the Solid Edge® system from Siemens PLM Software for its design engineers. “Solid Edge proved to be extremely efficient, practical and objective for product modeling, even with complex surfaces,” says Machado. “Our first major task was to convert all of our projects to the 3D platform and then to start dealing with our productivity issues.”
After that, Hexagon began to look at issues that were evolving on the production side of the company. “By the end of 2008, we acquired NX™ CAM because we had noticed that production was not keeping up with engineering in terms of handing our more complex products, molds and manufacturing processes,” Machado explains.
After implementing Solid Edge and NX CAM, the company integrated these new tools with other technologies to achieve a more substantial return on investment (ROI). The company is now leveraging a full virtualization of a human skeleton so that its designers can generate actual models and perform near real-time simulations. The Solid Edge and NX CAM integration enabled the company to significantly reduce the lead time for its product development projects, as well as facilitate better product designs. The designers also used a 3D mouse with Solid Edge, noting that it provided an easier, more streamlined way to work. Moreover, Solid Edge’s ability to facilitate innovative, higher quality end products became crucial to Hexagon’s ongoing goal to implement process and product improvements to promote and improve the lives of implant users.
“The entire process of acquiring various systems from Siemens PLM Software was consistent with our strategic plan,” says Machado. “First, we purchased the Solid Edge CAD system and then the NX CAM system.We plan to implement Femap for CAE in 2010, after which we will have covered the complete product cycle, including product development, analysis and manufacturing.”
The decision to use these tools was carefully studied by Hexagon’s technical team, since their implementation was expected to directly impact the success of the company’s investment. During the pre-sales, training and implementation phases of these projects, end-user adoption of many of the systems’ available features was remarkably fast. Just as importantly, the products that were developed by these tools adhered to the highest standards of product development while minimizing development lead time.
A significant challenge that was directly resolved using Siemens’ technology was the need to make sure that all of the engineering sectors in both plants were able to access projects online and achieve optimal communications and collaboration.
Along with product engineering, other sectors also began to benefit from the use of these tools shortly after their implementation. Marketing generated photorealistic images for its catalogs and surgical technique publications, as well as created videos that demonstrated product use. Sales quickly responded when input for the newest product designs was needed. Production leveraged enhanced project documentation, including isometric drawings that had not been feasible under 2D technology. These process advantages were critical to reducing work stoppages that previously had resulted when project clarification had been needed.
Siemens’ technology has enabled the company to significantly reduce project development lead time, improve design accuracy and increase innovation in the delivery of its solutions. The results are measured. For example, Hexagon achieved product development ROI within approximately one month, decreased product development lead time by 40 percent, reduced the number of prototypes needed for analysis by 20 percent and improved design productivity by approximately 30 percent.
Keys To Success:
Client's Primary Business:
Hexagon Ortopedia manufactures stainless steel and titanium orthopedic implants for all of Brazil, as well as across South America.
Campinas, São Paulo and Itapira
"Solid Edge proved to be extremely efficient, practical and objective for product modeling, even with complex surfaces. We acquired NX CAM because we noticed that production was not keeping up with engineering in terms of handling our more complex products, molds and manufacturing processes."
Felipe M. Machado
"The entire process of acquiring various systems from Siemens PLM Software was consistent with our strategic plan. First, we purchased the Solid Edge CAD system and then the NX CAM system. We plan to implement Femap for CAE in 2010, after which we will have covered the complete product cycle, including project, analysis and manufacturing."
Felipe M. Machado
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