Seizing a competitive edge
TS ENG uses NX to differentiate itself as a technological leader in the delivery of automotive engineering services; company cuts design time in half and increases profit margins
Summer is hot in Daegu, the third largest metropolitan area in the Republic of Korea. A group of business people hurriedly step into the cool interior of TS ENG; they are happy to find relief from the scorching sun. A TS ENG client group is meeting with representatives of TS ENG and its long-time partners to discuss a new order.
The conversation is relatively brief as TS ENG’s representatives are experienced professionals proven in automotive sheet metal press die design engineering services. After reaching consensus, the customer representatives return to their company, report to their superiors, confirm the contract and place the order with TS ENG. The service is successfully provided per requirements and right on schedule.
This scenario is typical, not because all of TS ENG’s customers have identical requirements, but because TS ENG has a way of doing business that has earned the respect and confidence of its automotive clientele.
Leading auto companies prefer TS ENG engineering services
TS ENG is a small company with only 10 employees, but high-profile automotive companies like GM Daewoo, Chrysler and the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group are its main customers. “Major automotive companies have great confidence in TS ENG,” says Lee Tae Jin, the company’s CEO. “They know that it is not the number of employees that matter; but rather it’s highly specialized skills and proficiency that differentiate quality service providers.”
Jin notes that TS ENG engineers are dedicated to providing exceptional quality across its product and service lines. “Expertise, exceptional process and a passion to continuously improve are driving forces that enable our company to support today’s major automotive companies despite our small size.” Such are the characteristics that played a major role in the company’s decision to use Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software.
Converting challenges to opportunities
TS ENG was recently challenged by dynamic industry conditions and decreasing profit margins. Its engineers noted that the company would be in a far more favorable position from a volume and price perspective if it moved from 2D-based engineering services to 3D-based services. TS ENG also needed to address the increasing number of 3D mold orders it was receiving from domestic companies like GM Daewoo, Hyundai Kia Automotive Group and overseas firms including GM and Chrysler.
Similarly, the press die design industry’s perception of 3D-based engineering had significantly changed. “One of the characteristics of press die design work is the industry’s dependency on worker proficiency and skill,” notes Jin. “It is an accepted fact of life in this industry that individual knowledge of the press design work process does not properly carry forward to others and that workforce turnover causes significant problems. As a result, press design companies have a strong need to build a design infrastructure that relies more on process than specific individuals. Simply put, it was decision time for us, especially as market conditions had become increasingly competitive. We’ve always been highly competitive and we intended to stay that way. We decided that significant action was imperative.”
The company ascertained that the best and most long-lasting way to improve its profit structure meant an investment in advanced 3D technology. TS ENG compared key software vendors and their systems. TS ENG’s selection criteria included the software’s modeling features, system scalability and the effectiveness of the solution’s data interface with other CAD systems, as well as how many domestic design companies were using the software. Upon completion of a thorough selection process, TS ENG decided on Siemens PLM Software’s NX in June 2008. The doors to new opportunities had opened.
Keys to successful implementation – consulting, training and strategy
As TS ENG planned to implement its new technology, it concentrated on minimizing cost while increasing output. In its first stage, TS ENG organized the launch team, constructed its first library for data management, selected a pilot project and conducted an intensive training regimen. In its second stage, the team developed an NX sheet metal press utility and constructed its second library, this one specifically for organizing output. In its third stage, the team expanded the 3D process and delivered full 3D models from initial designs.
TS ENG points out that the consulting and training it received from Siemens PLM Software’s channel representative was an important part of its successful implementation.
Jin notes, “Equally important, we pursued a winning strategy to achieve successful deployment. As the company transitioned to 3D design, we wanted to meet three major goals: establishing an NX die design process, building a set of die design libraries and developing an NX design utility. For faster results, we introduced the system and simultaneously implemented the pilot project. Within four months, NX was fully deployed and all of our goals were, in fact, achieved.”
NX drives efficiency, productivity and improved profitability
NX soon became a core TS ENG business capability as a significant proportion of the company’s new orders were transitioned to 3D. With its new 3D design process in place, TS ENG’s profit margins dramatically improved (as measured against its 2D design approach/margin).
Among the benefits of using NX, TS ENG engineers are able to directly verify 3D shapes and accurately find part interfer-ences, which leads to increased efficiency and productivity as quantified in terms of time and reliability. “The total design time has been reduced from 10 days under the 2D design process to five days using NX 3D design,” says Jin. “In addition, using NX, we have enhanced our design capabilities and greatly improved our overall product development process. Most importantly, we are now able to provide measurably better and faster services to our customers.”
TS ENG’s technological strengths are distinguishing the company among its competitors. Jin explains, “It’s not about just technology; it’s about the right technology. When you combine NX with our knowledge, commitment and passion, we are among the best automotive service providers in Korea.”